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Mexico Opens Doors for Unconventional Trademarks

October 23, 2019

The Mexican Law of Industrial Properties was amended in the year 2018 and the Trademark law, especially underwent through some substantial amendments. Subsequently, the amendments came into force in August, 2018. The amendments inter alia incorporated relevant provisions to accept registration of unconventional marks as Trademarks. Thus, Mexico also joined the club of jurisdictions recognizing non-conventional trademarks.

With the development of Trademark law, other elements like shape, color, packaging and even smell and sound are gradually being recognized as a Trademark under the IP Laws of various jurisdictions. These are known as Unconventional or Non-Traditional Trademarks.

The Mexican Law of Industrial Properties has rendered a new definition to the term “trademarks” as “any sign perceptible by the senses and capable of being represented in such a way that it allows to determine the clear and precise object to be protected”. This new definition of the term trademarks will give way for the possibility of filing for an Unconventional Trademark in Mexico, which will include, scent, sound, holographic marks, trade dress, etc.

It would be pertinent to mention here that the Industrial Property Mexico Institute recently delivered its first non-traditional trademark registration, since the new amendment came into force in August, 2018. During an event, the Head of the Industrial Property Mexico Institute stated that, “Today Mexico is a nation that opens up to non-traditional trademarks by offering security to the owners of these rights, which provides greater attraction for investment and competitiveness, contributing to creativity and generating well-being through these new forms of protection. Therefore, currently products and services can be differentiated by their characteristics of smell, sound or commercial image, as has happened in other countries as Europe for some years and the United States for some decades. The economic benefits of opening up to the world of non-traditional brands are significant and place Mexico in the league of countries that give this protection.”

Registration certificates were awarded to four Applicants which applied to trademarks that resorts to the senses of smell, hearing and touch. These included:

  • Olfactory brand to Sureste Sustentable SA de CV for a bamboo-smelling paint.
  • Brand of commercial image to Germán Flores, designer, for a decorative pot of three pieces in the form of figurine.
  • Olfactory brand to Hasbro, Inc. for a toy modeling dough with the smell of a combination of sweet with a fragrance with vanilla dye, cherry and the natural smell of a dough based on wheat flour.
  • Sound mark, to Grupo Gran Café of the Parish of Veracruz SAPI de CV, of the sound that immediately evokes images and memories: a spoon that hits the glass of coffee three times.

Interestingly, it was also mentioned in the event by the head of IMPI, that since the amendments came into force in August, 2018, the IMPI has received around 400 applications for unconventional trademarks. This represents the increasing interest of brands in this new amendment.

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