The protection of intellectual property in Mexico encompasses five different items.  They are:

  • The Patent – Any person that creates an invention, an industrial design or the model of an invention has the right to exploit it.  The only way to guarantee their exclusive use, however, is to obtain a patent.  Patents that protect intellectual property in Mexico are authorized by the country’s Patent and Trademark Office.  Under the law for the protection of intellectual property in Mexico, patents are granted for a determined period.  When the patent expires, competing parties can begin the commercialization of similar products.
  • The Registry – The registry works in the same way as the patent but under intellectual property protection rules in Mexico, it is applied directly to utility models or industrial designs.  The registration can also refer to the registration process before the Mexican Intellectual Property Institute.  This organization is the only one in Mexico that can regulate anything related to intellectual property in all of its forms.
  • The Invention – The law for the protection of intellectual property in Mexico does not provide a strict definition of this term.  It does, however, spell out those things that are not considered to be inventions.  Among them are:
  1. Theoretical or scientific principles;
  2. Things that exist in nature;
  3. Any plan or business method;
  4. Software:
  5. Forms of presentation information;
  6. Artistic or literary creations;
  7. Medical treatment of any kind.
  • The Utility Model – The law for the protection of intellectual property in Mexico defines a utility model as an object, tool, device or utensil that arises as a result of the modification of an existing one.   This is applicable when the item can be used for more purposes than the original.  The registrations that can be obtained for utility models is for a period of that is limited to ten years. There is no extension option available.
  • The Industrial Design – Any element that is newly created, that significantly improves the way of doing any activity is an industrial design.  Industrial designs can be of two types.  They are:
  1. Industrial drawings that greatly improve the design of any item;
  2. Industrial models that are scale and three-dimensional models that accurately represent new items.

Steps to take for the protection of intellectual property in Mexico

  • Inform the Mexican Intellectual Property Institute (IMPI) of the intention to obtain registration through a patent application.  This can be done personally or by an accredited legal representative.  A patent submission must be presented for each discovery or creation.
  • Add documents that explain the creation of the patent in detail.  This can include the physical or chemical elements that compose it, the details of its operation, and any particular characteristic that is indispensable in its creation, development, or use.
  • Include all the drawings, diagrams, and descriptions with the granting of a patent.
  • Include any other document or requirement that the IMPI may request to proceed with granting of a patent.
  • Wait six months until the result of the study that is carried out by the IMPI is known.

After each step in the process for obtaining intellectual property protection in Mexico, the issuance of the license by the IMPI will contain information regarding all rights and obligations that must be covered by the creator or inventor.  The creator or inventor of a licensed item must also report if a patent for the product has been requested in another country.  The date on which the first patent application request was made should be reported.  The patent application for the protection of intellectual property in Mexico should not require more rights than those established in the first country in which the patent was applied for.  Finally, patent applications in Mexico that claim certain extra rights must wait to be considered, although they will not be given priority over any other process.