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Patents, Utility Models, Industrial Designs and Integrated Circuit Layout Designs
The Industrial Property Law of 1991 creates a system of protection for:
In addition, Mexico is a party to various international treaties, including the Paris Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which are generally considered to be self-enforcing, and may create rights in addition to those conferred by domestic law.
Eligibility for patent protection
To be patented, an invention must be:
The law defines an "invention" as any human creation that allows matter or energy existing in nature to be transformed for utilization by man in the satisfaction of his specific needs.
The requirement of “novelty” is absolute. That is, the process or product must represent a wholly new way of transforming matter or energy existing in nature. The invention must not be part of the state of the art in Mexico or abroad. (Exception: there is a grace period of 12 months preceding the filing date of the patent application in which the invention may be divulged or commercially exploited by the inventor).
An invention is “obvious” and not subject to patent protection if it may be deduced from the state of the art by an expert.
An invention is “capable of industrial application” if it has a practical use or may be produced or utilized in any area of economic activity, for the purposes described in the application.
The following may not be patented:
Eligibility for utility model registration
Utility model registrations cover objects, utensils, apparatus or tools which, as result of modifications in their arrangement, configuration, structure or form, perform a different function from their component parts or confer advantages with respect to their use.
Utility models must meet the patent requirements of novelty and utility. However, the utility model can be obvious or evident for a skilled person in the art, i.e. it can lack of inventive step. In other words, utility model registrations protect inventions that are useful but can be deduced from the knowledge of the art.
Industrial processes, chemical and biological inventions are not subject to protection as utility models.