by María Romero
It is well known that Mexico is one of the few countries which their Industrial Property Law (IPL) does not contain provisions concerning opposition rights in trademark application procedures. During the ordinary procedure that a trademark application goes through in Mexico, there is no stage that allows a third party -considering its rights affected by the granting of the trademark- the possibility to file legal arguments against such trademark.
In this regard, recently, a proposed amendment to the IPL was published in the Senate’s Official Gazette, containing modifications in relation with the inclusion of provisions on opposition rights to thirds within trademark application procedures. These modifications are yet to be approved by the Mexican Congress but it can be expected that they will be adopted in the next months.
The first advantage of the implementation of this new opposition system is the possibility of a third party with legal interest to demonstrate within the term of 10 days after the filing date to prove through legal arguments and evidence why the trademark application at stake should not be granted, this including relative and absolute grounds of refusal.
A second advantage is the fact that The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) will have a third filter which will conclude in the granting of more solid trademark rights. Even though IMPI has both a formalities and registrability examination prior to the grant of a trademark, the Opposition will improve the way IMPI sometimes overlooks the existence of prior-senior trademarks.
This procedure is aimed to be simple, quick and less expensive than an invalidation procedure before IMPI or the Federal Courts. This system will not suspend the application procedure, but it will aid IMPI to obtain more relevant information of each one of the new applications.