The Mexican trademark registration system has experienced significant changes lately with the purpose of adjusting it and harmonize it with international trends or practices.

After the Madrid Protocol’s entry into force in Mexico, it became necessary to implement an opposition system to strengthen the registration system and to improve competitiveness, as well as dynamism and culture of IP rights protection in our country, without greatly affecting the privileged length of the registration procedure provided for by the Mexican law.

On December 14, 2015, the Senate unanimously approved the draft amendment to the Industrial Property Law (IPL) within which said opposition system was included and whose implementation is anticipated within the first half of 2016.

We consider that the opposition system will strive for greater interaction between applicants, opponents and examiners for better, more-informed and more accurate decisions provided that examiners will have access to valuable information for the assessment of the whole picture during the corresponding examination.

In addition, the system shall increase the legal certainty since there will be a greater active participation by third parties exposing irregistrability reasons of certain trademarks which will be evaluated by the examiners (even though they will not be binding) and will help decrease the number of incorrect determinations and, consequently, the number of cancellation actions based on registrations mistakenly or inadvertently granted by the Institute.

Finally, it cannot be ignored the fact that the implementation of the opposition system will affect the length of the trademark prosecution. Nonetheless, such impact is minimal which will allow the trademark registration system in Mexico to continue being a swift system but much more efficient.

In short, the opposition system will toughen the registration procedure in Mexico, will create a more interactive environment and will bring fairer decisions in the benefit of both trademark owners and consumers.