Since 2005, Mexico’s Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial) has regulated specifically those trademarks that are famous and notorious among the general public, establishing special procedures through which the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial or IMPI) may qualify and declare as famous or notorious certain trademarks. A notoriously known trademark is one that is well-known in a determined sector or commercial area of the country as a consequence of the commercial activities of a Mexican or foreign company, while a famous trademark is a mark known by a majority of the consuming public. It is important for owners of such real property, as well as the general public, to know of the existence of these types of famous or notorious trademarks, given that it is precisely the spirit of trademark law that producers of goods or services obtain such recognition and that, in turn, the consuming public has a certainty of what type and origin of products or services they are acquiring. The above is important given that after five years of existence under Mexican law of the notorious and famous trademark concept, in recent days the first declaration of a famous trademark has been published in Mexico, that being for the trademark RED BULL®. Many other companies are seeking additional protection of their trademarks because they are known in determined sectors or by the public in general, which has prompted many proceedings seeking these famous trademark declarations. Thus, it is likely that soon many more trademarks will receive this type of recognition. If at the beginning of this period of time, precisely because of its novelty in Mexico, these famous and notorious trademark applications take time to process, it is hoped that such will become more common and the issuance of declarations of famous or notorious status will become routine. Companies that consider their trademarks to merit such category or classification and additional protection should seriously consider applying for issuance of a declaration of famous or notorious status for their trademarks.
On April 29, 2010 the Mexican Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) published new regulations to the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection pertaining to Environmental Audits and Self-Regulation matters (the “Regulations). The Regulations create a new process of self-regulation through which entities may adopt practices that meet or exceed applicable environmental requirements, with the purpose of obtaining a certification from the Mexican Federal Environmental Protection Prosecutor’s (PROFEPA) office recognizing the entity’s full compliance with environmental regulations. The Regulations establish procedures for applying for and obtaining certificates, such as the National Environmental Auditing Program, based on principles of strategic planning, promotion of environmental certification, clear evaluation procedures and development of self-evaluation capabilities.
The First Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice recently issued a decision in case number 33/2010 under the heading: “Private Document. A copy of a certified private document by a public attestor certifies that such public official saw the document before being reproduced in order to attest only to such document’s existence on such date of attestation.” In its ruling, the Supreme Court held that the date certain of a document certified by a notary public is that of the certification and not the date of the document that is the subject of such certification, given that the public faith and authority invested in the notary public allows for consideration that the reproduced instrument existed on the date the reproduction and certification occurred. Additionally, Mexico’s highest court reiterated in this case in its commentary that the notarial certification of a document “should not be considered equivalent to the legal effect of a notarial certification of the authenticity of signature nor qualify the document as legal for the purpose that is expressed in the document itself.” The result of this case is the Supreme Court’s confirmation that the meaning of the certification of a document by the notary public does not qualify or make the document legal, or the contents expressed in such document legal, but simply that the certification has the effect of providing evidence of the existence of the document and its identical quality as a copy with the original document that was presented for certification. In multiple occasions, it has been thought that the simple fact that a document contains the referred to certification before a notary public makes the document valid and, as confirmed in this case, this is not correct. The case referred to above is currently pending publication in the Judicial Weekly of the Federation.