Trademark Cancellations

April 14, 2008
Trademark Cancellations

In addition to inventions (patents, utility models and industrial designs), distinct symbols (trademarks, commercial brands andcommercial names) that have been registered in Mexico may lose their registration and, thus, be subject to use by third parties, ifsuch symbolic marks are declared null by trademark authorities, or if such expire in conformity with the terms of the MexicanIndustrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial). In addition, registered marks may lose their registration if they aredeclared to be “canceled,” thus losing their efficacy precisely by the mark’s force and presence in the market, which causes publicconsumers to confuse said marks with the usual or generic form of naming a product or service. The Mexican Industrial Institute(Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial or IMPI), which is the federal administrator or authority responsible for grantingtrademark registrations and issuing cancellations, may receive a petition to cancel a mark based on the argument that such mark hasbeen transformed into a generic name corresponding to the products or services its registration covers, and, if it is shown in atrademark proceeding that the owner of the mark caused or allowed such transformation to occur, the authorities are required tocancel the registration. Based on the above, owners of registered trademarks, who likely will seek to popularize and disseminatetheir mark, must also be careful to not cause such mark to be converted into a generic name or “tolerate” others using the markwithout legally opposing such use.

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