On 13th March 2018, some amendments to certain chapters of the Industrial Property Law concerning patents, designs and utility models were published in Mexico. These amendments will come into force on 27th April 2018.

 

Inter alia, the amendments will:

 

  • Define ambiguous terms in the IP Law, including with respect to the requirement for novelty for industrial designs. Currently, the law does not define the terms "independent creation" or "significantly" as stated in the following provision: "Designs that are of independent creation and which differ significantly from known designs or combinations of known features of designs shall be considered as novel...[...]." This ambiguity is therefore addressed in the amended law.

 

  • Require a statement of the product to which the design will be applied.

 

  • Modify the term of protection for designs. Under the current law, designs expire after 15 years from the filing date. Under the amended law, designs will be registered for an initial term of 5 years, with five possible renewal periods, i.e. to a maximum term of 25 years.

 

- Industrial designs granted before the entry into force of the amendments can now take advantage of the longer term provided for under the amended Act, and so be renewed for two periods of 5 years after the expiration of the original 15 year period. A renewal petition is due within the last 6 months of the 15-year protection term that was originally granted.

- Industrial designs that are still under prosecution at the time of entry into force of the amended Act on 27th April 2018 will benefit from the 25-year term if a petition is filed between 27th April 2018 and 11th June 2018.

 

  • Provide that design and utility model applications will be published after formal examination is complete. Currently, designs and utility models are only published once granted.

 

  • Provide that, for all patents, designs, and utility models, divisional applications will be published after the formal examination is complete; currently they are not published until granted.

 

  • Provide that, once a patent, utility model or industrial design application is published, it will be open to public inspection. Under the current law, such applications can be consulted only by the applicant, the applicant's representative or other authorized persons until they have been granted.

 

  • Reduce the term provided for third parties to submit "prior art submissions" after publication of an application from 6 months to 2 months.

 

For any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.