The energy reform, its regulatory structure in Mexico and its impact towards intellectual property and transfer of technology

On August 12, 2014, Mexico’s President, Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto enacted several secondary or implementing legislations governing the energy constitutional reform, which will allow the opening of the oil, gas and power sector’s industries to foreign and private investment, leaving behind 76 years of state monopoly (PEMEX & CFE).

This new regulatory structure, which along with the energy reform is the most significant economic development since the NAFTA’s adoption, will certainly have a positive influence on Mexico’s economic growth by allowing competition in the country’s largest sectors, which implies the development, implementation and transfer of new technologies.

These new technologies will definitively have an impact on the amount of patents and related intellectual property rights filed in our country. Currently, the approximate number of patent applications filed in Mexico oscillates between 13,000 and 15,000 per year, most of them filed by foreign companies and one of the largest amount of patents filed by nationals belong to the Mexican Petroleum Institute (PEMEX’s R&D arm). The reform along with its regulatory structure will positively increase patent filing in Mexico considerably, not only for foreigners.

Also, it is important to highlight that one of the most important purposes of the energy reform is to provide Mexico with the required technology and experience to exploit its natural resources, which will translate into a reactivation of technology-transfer not only with the Mexican Petroleum Institute but with other relevant sectors.

Therefore, the reform will give a rise to intellectual property, which is one of the essential elements of influence in driving technology development and innovation that reflects in the modernization of enterprises and the competitiveness of a country’s economy.

Lastly, Mexico is also working on the required changes to Intellectual Property Laws and Regulations to properly fulfill the modernization of Mexico intended with this reform and others already implemented.