On June 1 2016, the proposed amendment to the Mexican Industrial Property Law (IPL) was published in the Federal Government Gazette, containing several modifications relating to the inclusion of provisions on opposition rights to third parties within trade mark application procedures before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI).
These dispositions will be binding 90 natural days after publication; that is to say, this new system comes into effect as of August 30 2016.
How will it develop? All new applications will be published for opposition purposes within the next 10 working days of the filing date to allow any third party who deems that a published application falls within the absolute or relative grounds of refusal stipulated in Articles 4 and 90 of the IP Law to submit a brief of opposition, within a non-extendable one-month term from the publication date.
The first advantage of the implementation of this new opposition system is the possibility of a third party with a legal interest to demonstrate through legal arguments accompanied by documentation why the trade mark application at stake should not be granted.
Afterwards, once the one month term for opposition expires, IMPI will publish within the next 10 working days all oppositions filed, and all owners of opposed applications will have a one-month term to sustain arguments against the grounds of opposition.
This system will not suspend the official examination that IMPI normally conducts, and it will be optional to IMPI to consider or not the opposition arguments.
The above, concludes in the second advantage of the opposition system, which is the fact that IMPI will have a third filter that will culminate in the granting of more solid trade mark rights. Even though IMPI has both a formalities and registrability examination prior to the grant of a trade mark, the opposition will improve the way IMPI sometimes overlooks the existence of prior senior trade marks.
This procedure is designed to be simple, quick and less expensive than an invalidation procedure before IMPI or the federal courts. This system will certainly aid IMPI to obtain more relevant information on each new application.
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