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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Legal Update: Mexico and the Madrid Protocol

The International Trademark Association recently commended the Government of Mexico for moving to the final stage to join the Madrid Protocol, a treaty that simplifies trademark registration throughout the world.

Under the treaty, Mexican companies will be able to file an application for international registration with the Mexican Trademark office (IMPI) and designate any of the countries that belong to the Madrid System in order to start the registration process in those selected jurisdictions. Likewise, companies in Madrid Protocol countries can designate Mexico using their own trademark offices with the application for international registration passing through WIPO to IMPI.

Accession will greatly benefit Mexican companies as well as overseas trademark owners in developing their international marketing and protection strategies.

The next step will be for Mexico to deposit its instrument of accession with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which administers the treaty.  There is no specific date set, as regulatory, administrative and technical adjustments need to be made and an “opposition system” needs to be developed.  However, with this development, Mexico is clearly on its way to becoming one of the first Latin American countries to join other major trading partners in this global trademark filing and registration system.

As attorneys representing clients on both sides of the border in varied trademark issues, we welcome and applaud this step!

Mauricio Leon de la Barra is an international law attorney licensed to practice law in Mexico and California, and has more than 15 years of experience representing clients in business and real estate transactions and litigation.