In April 2012, the Mexican Senate approved Mexico’s accession to the Madrid Agreement for the InternationalRegistration of Trademarks, known as the Madrid Protocol. While this may be seen as a step toward improvedharmonization of our international trademark system, the inclusion of Mexico in this agreement also hasdisadvantages, given being that our current legislation is not compatible with the laws of most of the countriesthat form part of this agreement. Examples of this include: that the trademark registration process in Mexico doesnot provide for what is known as a “period for opposition” that most participating countries have; that in Mexicoeach trademark application may request the protection of products or services in one class (in accordance with theNiza classification system) while a “multi-class” application is acceptable in other countries (this allowsrequesting protection in three distinct classes in one application), etc. In addition to the foregoing, the adoption ofthis Madrid Protocol will create a significant increase in processing time that will likely and immediately result inthe possible confusion with trademarks already registered under this agreement and trademarks registered inMexico and, in accordance with the experience of other countries, it is possible that many “idle” trademarks willbe registered in Mexico, representing an obstacle for trademarks easily confused with such. While approval bythe World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is pending, which is a requirement in order for thisagreement to take effect in Mexico, subject to such approval, necessary adjustments to Mexican laws will beneeded in order for such to be in harmony with the Madrid Protocol. The Mexican Institute of IntellectualProperty is carrying out various meetings and consultations with intellectual property specialists in order todetermine the proper amendments to the Mexican laws. The effect of any such changes will need to be carefullyreviewed. While the adoption of the Madrid Protocol may have disadvantages for the trademark registrationsystem in Mexico, it is important to note that the Madrid Protocol applies in the majority of the developed nationsof the world.
Due to the importance a salary has in the workplace, the purpose of this article is to discuss the characteristicsthat a salary should have and the forms in which it may be stipulated. The Federal Labor Law defines a salary ascompensation that an employer must pay to an employee for work performed. Salary has the followingcharacteristics: (i) it should be remunerative, meaning a salary should be proportional to the quantity and qualityof work performed by the employee; (ii) it should be the same for all employees carrying out the same position,work schedule and at the same level of efficiency; (iii) its payment term may not be greater than one week forblue-collar work employees (los obreros) and fifteen days for all other employees; (iv) it should be paid in cashand in legal currency of Mexico (pesos), with payment in goods, vouchers, tokens or any other means that isintended to replace money not being permissible, although payment by means of bank deposit is permissible forsafety reasons, with the approval of the employee. When it is agreed that an employee will receive payment of the salary in a foreign currency, this payment should be made to the employee in the national currency of Mexicoat the exchange rate in pesos that is published in the Official Journal of the Federation on the date that suchpayment is made; (v) it should be sufficient to ensure a decent standard of living for the employee and his/herfamily; (vi) it should not be subject to any offset or deductions; (vii) it should be paid at the place whereemployees provide their services; and (viii) it should be paid on a business day, during work hours orimmediately after. The Federal Labor Law establishes that a salary may be stipulated in the following manners:(a) Per unit of time.- This type of salary is calculated based on the time worked by the employee, notwithstandingthe result obtained from such work. An example would be that of a secretary that is paid a certain salary for eightdaily hours of work; (b) Per unit of work.- This type of salary, also known as “by the piece” (“a destajo”) iscalculated based on work product, meaning the employee’s production. An example of this is a blue-collaremployee responsible for adhering soles to shoes, and therefore his/her salary depends on the number of solesthat he or she adheres per day; (c) By commission.- This type of salary is usually established based on apercentage of the sale price or by means of a fixed rate per unit sold. On many occasions, in addition tocommissions received by the employee, he/she receives a base salary (minimum salary) in order to ensure thathe/she has a minimum amount of money in the event that he/she is unable to sell the projected amount. Anexample of this would be an automobile salesman; and (d) Lump Sum.- This type of salary is established in caseswhere the services of an individual are used for the performance or construction of works with payment of a totalfixed amount for such works. Given the above, it is important to define the payment structure for each employeeas of the date of hire, and to obtain a letter approving payment via bank transfer in order to avoid any possiblefuture risk to the employer.
The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) recently approved court decision bycontradictory court opinion number 2a./J. 77/2012 (10a.) titled “Documentary evidence in a labor lawsuit consistsof the identification card or name tag. If not challenged or disaffirmed by the employer, such is valid to presumean employment relationship.” In such case decision, the Second Chamber determined that if the plaintiff exhibitsan identification card or name tag in the proceeding as documentary evidence to prove the employmentrelationship denied by the employer, without the latter objecting to or proving its objection as far as the contentand signature and upon its analysis, if the Board determines identification information that links the plaintiff in anemployment relationship with the employer, such evidence is proper to prove the provision of personal services,therefore presuming the existence of an employment relationship. Notwithstanding the above, the SecondChamber also determined that such evidence is rebuttable in accordance with that established in Article 21 of theFederal Labor Law. As a result, “the evidentiary value given to such is subject to the joint analysis of the Boardto determine, if applicable, whether evidentiary elements exist that rebut the previously indicated presumption.”This court precedent is still pending publication.