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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Sep 10, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 14/20)
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New Federal Law for Industrial Property

On November 5, 2020, a new Federal Law for the Protection of Industrial Property (FLPIP) will come into force in Mexico. The new law follows the implementation of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) on July 1, 2020. The FLPIP will replace Mexico’s Industry Property Law and aims to align Mexican legislation with the USMCA.

Some of the relevant changes are the following:
- Validity of trademarks, slogans and trade names will be counted from the registration date. This will apply for registrations granted after November 5, 2020.
- Declaration that the goods/services are non-deceptive and are free of bad faith when filing and renewing a trademark will be mandatory.
- Declaration of use will only apply in connection with trademarks granted after August 10, 2018. If a declaration of use is not filed, the registration is automatically cancelled. Also, goods/services not included in a use declaration will be automatically cancelled.
- The new law states that not only identical signs but confusingly similar signs to geographical indications and appellations of origin will be objected.
- The definition of bad faith has been narrowed. Now, bad faith is understood as “having applied for the registration of a sign for the purpose of obtaining an undue benefit or advantage to the detriment of its legitimate owner.”
- Letters of consent will be acceptable not only in connection with confusingly similar trademarks but in relation with identical as well.
- After the examination of a trademark, the examiner will issue only one office action comprising formal requirements, citing substantive objections, and informing of any opposition filed against the application. Before it was two office Actions.
- The term to respond to an opposition will be two months instead of one. Such term may be extended.
- The recordal of a license agreement is no longer mandatory. Voluntary recordals are available. Owners still need to prove the licensor-licensee relationship in non-use cancellation actions.
- It becomes easier to have a trademark declared famous or well-known. The trademark needs to gain a "global diffusion or recognition".
- Certification trademarks will be registrable.

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