Updates on the patent maintenance system in Mexico
For a long time, the Mexican Industrial Property Law remained static. However, in the last years, the law has been amended, having an impact on the lifespan of design registrations. Furthermore, due to the recent international commitments of our country, a new law has been approved further modifying the patent maintenance system.
On 2018, the amendments to the law modified the length of protection for design registrations. Before the amendments, design registrations were protected for 15 years. The amendments modified this by providing a first period of protection of five years which could be renewed four times, giving a total length of protection of 25 years. The amendments also applied to pending design registration applications and registrations already granted.
The new Law for Industrial Property Protection, which will come in force in the final months of 2020 maintains the aforementioned amendments and also provides an increment in the time of protection for utility models, which has changed from a previous 10-year lifetime to a new 15-year period of protection.
Finally, the new law follows the recent international commitments made by our country, and includes the possibility of a complementary certificate which aims to adjust the time of protection of a granted patent when the Mexican Patent Office determines that there was unreasonable delay in the prosecution of the patent. The regulation for the new law is still awaiting publishing, and the details for the granting of complementary certificates is a completely new practice in our country, therefore, further details on this matter will be clarified in the following months.
In conclusion, we consider that the changes concerning the period of protection for inventions in our country are very positive and will be an advantage for our patent system and ultimately for the owners of patents in our country.