Intellectual Property Rights in Mexico, such as patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, commercialnames, etc., may be lost if the authorities declare such rights null upon the petition of an interested third party so longas the required elements under Mexico’s Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial) have been shown.However, only in trademarks there is an additional way of losing registered trademark rights, this being known as“trademark cancellation.” This concept applies specifically when a trademark reaches such a high level of knowledgewithin the general public that it becomes confused with the usual or generic name of a product. In particular, article151 of the Industrial Property Law states: “Article 153. Cancellation of a registered trademark shall be proper of theowner of such trademark has caused or allowed the trademark to be transformed into a generic name that correspondsto one or more products or services for which such trademark was registered, so that, in commercial media andgeneralized use by the public, the trademark has lost its distinctive character as a means of distinguishing the productor services to which it applies.” In the marketplace, trademarks may exist precisely in a form that, when they aredisseminated by their owners, little by little become confused with the technical name that should be applied to theproduct and, over the course of time, may cause the unique name to be converted to a common or generic designationfor such product, with the consequent possibility of cancellation. It is recommended that trademark owners simplymake it very clear that the trademark name is precisely that of the registered trademark and among other forms use a® symbol, and at the same time disseminate the technical name of the product in question. In this manner, one mayavoid a determination that the owner of the trademark has “provoked” the trademark to be converted into a genericname. In addition, in regard to “allowing” a protected trademark to be converted to a generic name, this situationoccurs when the owner of the trademark does nothing to intervene, when third parties freely use the registeredtrademark as a generic name and the owner of the trademark takes no legal action to prevent such use, such as filing alegal complaint against such infringing party.
On November 30, 2010 the Department of the Economy published in the Official Journal of the Federation a decreeamending article 3 and article 85 of the Federal Consumer Protection Law. Regarding such reform, it is worth notingchanges in article 85 of the cited law, which establish the requirements of form adhesion contracts. With thisamendment, the elements of an adhesion contract are established, in addition to those understandable upon a simplereading, as established prior to the reform, and such agreement must be of a certain type size and uniform text. Thisreform seeks to address the common practice of some businesses to establish contractual provisions expressed in socalled “small print” that many times pass imperceptibly by consumers or, because it is difficult to read the text, causesprejudice to many consumers. With this reform, greater clarity in form adhesion contracts is sought, which willbenefit consumers. Note that the reform will enter into force 90 days following its publication in the Official Journalof the Federation.
On November 5, 2010 an amendment to the Environmental Law of the State of Nuevo Leon was published in theOfficial Journal of the State of Nuevo Leon. The amendment comes as a result of the modification of almost 100articles of the State Environmental Protection Agency and State Department of Sustainable Development, in regard tochanges in rules governing wastewater discharges that are subject to self-regulation by the industry, as well as makingwastewater quality standards consistent with the Mexican Law of National Water and other Official Mexican Norms(Ley de Aguas Nacionales y Normas Oficiales Mexicanos). Another notable modification is the reduction of responsetimes from the authority regarding whether or not a party is required to submit an environmental impact statement in agiven situation. Once an interested party has submitted its documentation, the State of Nuevo Leon’s Department ofSustainable Development is required to respond within a term no greater than 20 working days stating whether thefiling of an environmental impact statement is required or not. Upon the end of this term, if the state does not respond,it will be understood that one will not be required to file an environmental impact statement (this applies for thosewho are not obligated by law to present such an environmental impact statement). Before this amendment, response times for the agency were longer, and the new reforms seek to speed up the process in cases in which parties are notalready obligated by law to present and environmental impact statement.
Recently, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) published in the Judicial Weekly of the Federation casedecision I.5o.C.J/10 captioned “Invoices. Evidence of a commercial act, receipt of the merchandise by the purchaserand services that are the subject of a commercial transaction.” In such case decision, the SCJN held that the MexicanCommercial Code (Código de Comercio) does not contain any provision whatsoever regarding the evidentiary valueof invoices. Through experience in commercial customs and practices, this class of documents has been given theplace of serving as a basis for deeming that merchandise or merchandise involved in a commercial transaction,including when such has not been duly objected to, considering that the acquisition of merchandise ordinarily isaccompanied by invoices or receipts documenting such transaction, which are delivered to the acquiring party toprove receipt and, as the case may be, payment for the merchandise. The SCJN also concluded that the abovereasoning “is supported even more if one takes into account that in accordance with Mexican tax law, the invoicesmeet tax law requirements, and thus serve as evidence of the purchase and sale of the goods and services of acommercial transaction.”