The Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (IMPI, for its acronym in Spanish) has always been very active inentering into international agreements for the increased protection of intellectual property rights. Recently, IMPIexecuted an agreement with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). The agreement aims toincrease the growth of innovation and creativity of Mexico and Great Britain, while allowing both countries toshare better practices when enforcing intellectual property rights. The goal of this agreement is to support smalland mid-size industries in both countries, which contribute to economic development by means of the innovationof new technology. Moreover, in the area of copyright and particularly software, IMPI entered into agreementswith the Business Software Alliance Mexico (BSA) and the Mexican Institute of Public Accountants (IMPC, forits acronym in Spanish) in order to undertake a strategy to promote the legal use of software in companiesoperating in Mexico under a campaign titled, “What’s in your system?” (¿Qué traes en tu sistema?). The purposeof this agreement is for the parties involved to jointly carry out legal actions against the use, sale and distributionof bootleg software, as well as the widespread dissemination of information regarding the legal, financial and taxrisks related to the illegal use of software. Mexico has notably stepped up efforts to promote the legal use ofsoftware and thus the IMPI has been more engaged in the task of making regular visits to various companies inorder to verify the licensed use of software, thereby promoting its legal use. A company that is found not to havethe requisite software licenses may be prosecuted with extremely serious economic consequences. The illegal useof software is certainly widespread in many countries. Mexico, however, is making major efforts to eradicatesuch improper usage. Consequently, it is important that companies working in Mexico carefully review theirlicensing and, if necessary, make proper arrangements to obtain corresponding authorizations from softwareowners.
There are various forms of executing construction agreements, with the most common being: (i) the constructionagreement for management of work, in which the owner of the work entrusts the management of the construction to a contractor who provides services in exchange for a fixed payment. However, at all times, the individual whocontracts with suppliers is the owner of the work, with the support and management of the managing contractor;(ii) the fixed price construction agreement, in which the contractor agrees to carry out the construction for a fixedprice and is bound to comply with the specifications agreed to by the parties, with all the materials, labor andother direct and indirect costs included in the fixed price; and (iii) the fixed price construction agreement by unitpricing, in which a fixed price is established per construction unit, which includes the cost of materials, labor, andother direct and indirect costs. In this latter type of construction agreement, the consideration provided to thecontractor is calculated by applying the agreed unit prices to the construction volumes of the work. Success inthe negotiation and administration of a construction agreement consists of correctly establishing the plans,specifications, quality of materials and other particularities in a detailed manner. Further, it is also important todocument all progress of the work, order modifications with the corresponding specifications (in writing), as wellas obtain bonds from the contractor for (a) proper application of the cash advance; (b) performance; (c) hiddendefects; and (d) contingent liabilities. This last point is particularly relevant in the event that liability is imputedto the owner due to non-performance of any of the employer’s obligations due by the contractor to its workersand the Mexican Social Security Institute. The lack of adequate provisions in a construction agreement, the lackof bonds with proper language and missing documentation regarding the progress of the work tend to be the mostcommon causes that complicate a claim for performance or rescission of construction agreements.
The First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Mexico (SCJNC, for its acronym in Spanish) recently issued casedecision 1a./J. 69/2011 titled “Exception of Payment or Consideration. It is proper to oppose such in a summarycommercial action based on a credit instrument which has not been circulated, even when the respective paymentwas not annotated on the instrument itself, being that such constitutes a personal exception against the claimant.”Such case decision was issued pursuant to contradictory court opinions and, in its holding, the Supreme Courtdetermined that payments made on account of or for the entirety of the debt, which were not annotated on thedocument that is the subject matter of the claim, shall be considered a personal exception in a summarycommercial action in accordance with the General Law of Negotiable Instruments and Credit Operations,notwithstanding the fact that this law establishes a discharge or partial payment exception as evidenced by thetext of such document. The above is subject to the fact that that are instances in which partial payments are notannotated in the text of the document as a result of various circumstances. This does not mean that suchpayments lack value or should not be taken into account because they were not annotated on the correspondinginstrument, as payment is a defense which the respondent may raise against the claimant, the same which may bededuced from the facts that may extinguish or prevent the payment obligation.