Managing Intellectual Property, May 2011
The enforcement of registeres trade marks in Mexico is constantly evolving. No more than three years ago Mexican Customs set up a department to alert IP owners of shipments of potential counterfeits. Now, in 2011, the Customs Authority is finalizing the first steps to run a project with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) that merges the database of registered trade marks with that of Customs to create an intelligence tool to be used by customs officials in the review of goods imported into the country or in transit to other countries in the Americas.
The new Registered Trademark Customs Wacth List requires trade mark owners to make a one-off filing that, at the moment, is free of charge. The filing is a formal written petition that may be done on the owner’s behalf of by a legal representative at Customs, a copy of the registered trade mark certificate and relevant information regarding authorized importers, preferred crossing ports and preferred custom-broker agencies. If the IP owner is able to provide more specific information like authorized manufacturers, country of origin or import methods, the database will be even more useful.
IP owners will be provided with a unique ID number to be used by authorized importers in official import manifestos. If the number provided matches with the importer and the given information, the goods will be automatically cleared in regard to IP matters. If not, the goods will be suspended and reported to the IP owner or its representatives to confirm their authenticity.
Unfortunately the Watch List is in a testing period, but soon it will hopefully ease the import process for legitimate goods and enhance the seizure of counterfeits.