Registering Trademarks with the Customs General Administration

March 30, 2012
Registering Trademarks with the Customs General Administration

As of January 2012, a database was created, to be administered by the Customs General Administration, whereIntellectual Property rights owners may register their trademarks that are already registered in Mexico. This database is intended to be an additional instrument to combat piracy in Mexico. The impact on trademark owners and consumers, when products are imported to Mexico bearing registered trademarks without proper authorization, is significant, including, of course, the costs arising from the prosecution of offenders once the products have entered the country, making this new instrument an effective tool intended to prevent these wrongful imports before they take place. For such purposes, companies or owners of registered trademarks inMexico may voluntarily opt to register with the new database, allowing for quicker preventive seizures of such merchandise and the initiation of the corresponding legal actions. The requirements that must be complied with to register in the new database are simple and include the following: a) registry number, name (if applicable),logo (if applicable) and term; b) general information as to the trademark owner and its legal representative inMexico; c) import/export tariff classification, detailed description of the merchandise, including specifications, technical characteristics and other data that allow its identification; d) name, business or corporate name andFederal Taxpayer Registration (RFC) of the importers and distributors or authorized licensees, if applicable; e)port of entry and period when the legal merchandise normally enters the country; and f) photographs of the merchandise and, if applicable, its packaging design. As a result of this registration, the customs authorities can identify with greater ease whether the merchandise that is to enter the country is authentic and authorized and can immediately inform the corresponding authorities and legal representatives of the trademark owners of the potentially wrongful act. Without a doubt, this is a tool that trademark owners in Mexico should be aware of, the same which will be beneficial in the fight against trademark piracy, while preventing contentious proceedings over trademarks already sold and marketed in Mexico.

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