Mexican law establishes various causes to nullify registration of a trademark. This item focuses on the cause contained in article 151,section V of the Mexican Industrial Property law (Ley de Propiedad Industrial) which states that any authorized agent, user ordistributor of a trademark registered outside of Mexico may request and obtain registration of the foreign trademark in Mexico withoutconsent of the party listed as owner in Mexico if the listed owner’s registration was obtained in bad faith. The authorized owner mayfile a proceeding to nullify the foreign trademark previously registered in Mexico by the unauthorized party. Mexican law recognizesthat the trademark registration procedure may be abused when trademarks rightfully belong to foreign parties, and such foreign partiesdesire to grant the right to use their marks to authorized Mexican parties. There is no statute of limitations limiting the right of parties toseek nullity of a trademark that was registered illegally in Mexico by an unauthorized party.
On July 24 the Department of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) published in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF) newregulations for insurance and reinsurance transactions denominated in foreign currency by mutual insurance institutions and companiesin Mexico (Reglas para operaciones de seguro y reaseguro en moneda extranjera celebradas por instituciones y sociedades mutualistasde seguros en el país). The new regulations establish that insurance institutions and companies in Mexico may assume up to 100% oftheir technical reserves risks derived from insurance policies denominated in foreign currency. In addition, the regulations provide forthe issuance of insurance policies denominated in foreign currency, as well as corresponding reinsurance contracts assigned and/or pre-assigned, including those of foreign reinsurance companies registered with the General Registry of Foreign Reinsurers to Engage inReinsurance and Refinancing in Mexico maintained by the SHCP. This registration must be carried out in accordance with the rulesdictated by the National Commission of Insurance and Bonds (Comisión Nacional de Seguros y Fianzas), considering: i) theestablishment of a position for each currency it manages; ii) application of “Equivalency to currencies of various countries with theUnited States of America dollar” of a determined position, corresponding to the month in question as issued by the Banco de Méxicoand published in the DOF; and iii) once the foreign currency has been converted into U.S. dollars, such amounts must be valued inaccordance with the exchange rate applicable to foreign denominated obligations paid in the Mexican Republic on the last working dayof the month in which such transaction occurs, which exchange rate is published by the Banco de México in the DOF. The regulationsprovide that amounts insured in foreign currency contracted for in the respective insurance policies, and the obligation to pay suchamounts, shall be settled in accordance with the terms of the Mexican Monetary Law (Ley Monetaria).
A recent decision of the Mexican Supreme Court holds that public authorities not designated as responsible parties in a constitutionalamparo lawsuit are obligated to take all actions necessary to enforce the terms of an amparo lawsuit judgment. In this manner, eventhough a governmental authority has not been included as a party in an amparo lawsuit, such authority will be obligated to follow theamparo decision. The change yields significant practical value and efficiency. This important decision must be taken into considerationby those individuals and companies who file amparo lawsuits, or who are enforcing amparo judgments, as this decision confirms priorSupreme Court holdings and interpretations in this area. Such prior interpretations sought to provide more complete remedies to amparolawsuit parties and to Mexican federal courts to enforce amparo decisions. The new case broadens this concept to include “all”authorities, whether or not such authorities were designated as responsible parties and not included as participants in the amparo lawsuititself. To cite a practical example, in recent lawsuits filed by taxpayers against the tax known as the Public Utility Tax (Derecho deAlumbrado Publico or “DAP”), the judge could hold an amparo decision invalid as against the Federal Electricity Commission ormunicipal authorities. However, thanks to the new decision and the other prior decisions of the court, these authorities may now bemandated to follow amparo court decisions in their various areas of competency, such as suspending collection of specific taxes or feesand reimbursing such payments to taxpayers, even though the authorities taking such actions were not named parties in the amparolawsuit. See Decision LVII/2007
On September 8, 2006, the International Commercial Practices Unit (known by its initials in Spanish UPCI) of the Mexican Departmentof the Economy published in the Official Journal of the Federation a decree giving notice of the elimination of compensatory dutiesimposed on the following products: steel I-beams originating in the Federal Republic of Brazil (deadline to file notice of interest: August28, 2007); furazolidone originating in the People’s Republic of China and European Union (filing deadline: September 18, 2007);Trichloroisocyanuric acid originating in the People’s Republic of China (filing deadline: November 9, 2007); and footwear and theircomponents originating in the People’s Republic of China (filing deadline: November 9, 2007). The decree states that Mexicanproducers of merchandise that are subject to the compensatory duty may submit a request to the UPCI with 25 days’ advance notice during the term of such compensatory duties, requesting the authorities to begin a review procedure lasting six months to one year inorder to determine the consequences of removing the applicable compensatory duty. The decree also reminds interested parties that,unless they file a statement of interest to initiate a review procedure within the stated time periods, the compensatory duties will beeliminated by means of a decree that will be published by the Department of the Economy.