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Trademarks and Related Rights
Trademarks, service marks, collective marks, advertising slogans and trade names are protected under the Industrial Property Law of 1991. In addition, Mexico is a party to various international treaties, including the Paris Convention, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the 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.
Types of marks
For registration purposes, marks are categorized as:
Benefits of registration
The owner of a trademark or service mark registration has the exclusive right to use the mark in Mexico for the goods or services identified in the registration. The registrant may not be sued for infringement until and unless the registration is cancelled. Trademark registration also confers the right to take legal action against infringers and counterfeiters.
The rights conferred by a collective mark or advertising slogan registration are essentially the same as those conferred by a trademark or service mark registration.
Trade names are protected in the geographic area where they are used, without the need for registration. However, registration creates a presumption that the trade name has been adopted and is being used in good faith.
Ownership and Priority
In general, trademark rights are created through registration rather than use.
Identification of goods or services
IMPI follows the 9th Edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services.
An application may only cover goods or services in a single class. However, registrations issued under the former Mexican classification system have been reclassified, and often cover goods in multiple international classes.
Although the law is silent and there is no binding case law on point, a registration that recites a class heading is generally assumed to cover all goods or services in the class. To be safe, the applicant may list any goods of specific interest after the class heading.
Identifications of goods or services taken from the 9th Edition of the Nice Classification Manual will be accepted by IMPI. Identifications not taken from the manual may be subject to negotiation with the examiner.
The identification may contain inclusive terms such as “including” or “especially.”