On March 6, 2020, the Director General of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) deposited the instrument of accession to the (1999) Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, making Mexico the first Spanish-speaking Latin American country to do so. At the same time, the Senate is evaluating the draft of a new Mexican industrial property (IP) law.    

The new IP law will update and refresh the current legislation after almost 30 years from its first publication, specifically in relation to industrial designs. It will complement the April 2018 reform whereby the Mexican industrial design practice was modified to meet the Hague Agreement requirements. The new draft bill under consideration covers the entire Mexican IP system, including some new changes in the industrial design chapter related to the implementation of the Hague Agreement and maintaining the 2018 amendments. 

In line with this international treaty, the Mexican instrument of accession contains a number of declarations to inform users about the peculiarities of the Mexican design system. The World Intellectual Property Organization, which manages the treaty, has published the following declarations by the Mexican government: 

  • Article 7(2). Individual designation fee; 
  • Article 11(1)(b). No deferment of publication; 
  • Article 13(1). Special requirements concerning unity of design; 
  • Article 16(2). No effect of change in ownership until specified statements or documents are received by the IMPI; 
  • Article 17(3)(c). Duration of protection;
  • Rule 8(1)(a)(i). Special requirements concerning the applicant; 
  • Rule 12(3). Individual designation fee payable in two parts; 
  • Rule 18(1)(b). Twelve-month refusal period; and
  • Rule 18(1)(c)(i). Date of effect of the international registration.

Under the current law, the requirement of unity of design in a design application is evaluated based on the (utility) patent directives. In this regard, Article 72 of the draft IP law proposes that the industrial design application shall refer to a single design or a group of designs related to each other, in such a way as to conform a single design concept. Multiple designs in one application will have a single design concept if they (1) can be identified under the same name in the application; (2) present in common the same new features; and (3) produce the same general impression, even if the industrial designs differ, between each other, in irrelevant details.

Other requirements related to designs can be found in the following articles of the draft bill: 

  • Article 66. Inclusion of the concept "artisanal" to the industrial design definition;
  • Article 70. Contents of the description;
  • Article 71. Rules for the drawings; and
  • Article 74. Non-mandatory submission of priority applications.

Originally published by International Trademark Assosciation (INTA) on the 1st of May, 2020

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