COVID-19 Situation in Mexico

On May 27, 2020, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (“IMPI”) extended the suspension of legal terms until the local authorities in each respective office deem the suspension to remain relevant. This decision comes without a certain reopening date, as it has been previously changed three times. The suspension was first issued on March 27, 2020, and was supposed to be lifted initially on April 19, 2020, however, the suspension was then extended to April 30 and then to May 30.

Notably, on May 13, 2020, the IMPI broadened the services offered with its online platform by allowing not only the filing of trademark applications, but also allowing for the filing of any other trademark related issues, including filing for renewals, licenses and franchises, and transfer of rights, among others. However, legal terms still remain suspended and will be extended until the IMPI resumes its activities.

No comments have been made about if those filings will be examined while the IMPI remains closed. This certainly will generate an overload of work that will delay any prosecution of trademark applications filed during this period for at least the same amount of time that the IMPI remains closed.

The pandemic has forced companies around the world to develop new products and technologies to meet the necessities of the people and consumers: changes have been made and new brand strategies have been implemented, and if there is no ability to prosecute of enforce a company’s existing or new intellectual property, this could create a legal disadvantage for companies against copycats and free riders. This may have a major impact on U.S. businesses as they become more invested in the Mexican economy or if they already have an existing business interest in Mexico.

This article was originally published by Marcasur. To view the article, click here.