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June 16, 2016
CONCAMIN to Give International Seminar on Opposition System for Trademarks and Distinctive Signs

By: Mónica Rodríguez

On June 15, 2016 the International Seminar on Opposition Systems for Trademarks and Distinctive Signs took place in Mexico City, organized by the Industrial and Intellectual Property Commission of the Confederation of Industrial Chambers of the United Mexican States (CONCAMIN by its Spanish acronym) presided by Roberto Arochi, founding partner of Arochi & Lindner.

More than 270 attendees participated in the event organized for the purpose of providing information to industrial and business leaders in Mexico about the most important aspects of the new Opposition System, including the Industrial Property Law. 

At the opening event, Juan Casados Arregoitia, General Director of CONCAMIN, noted that this system will achieve great headway in preventing the issuance of trademark registrations which could pose possible infringement on previously assigned interests.  “These reforms are very important when considering the role distinctive signs (marks, notices, or trade names) play in the economy and global production. The calibration of national procedures with international standards is without a doubt a favorable exercise in retaining grater investments in our country, fomenting foreign trade and increasing productivity and competiveness of the Mexican economy,” Casados Arregoitia noted. 

Miguel Ángel Margaín González, General Director of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI by its Spanish acronym) likewise stressed that industrial property is the currency of innovation on the international level. The official acknowledged CONCAMIN for organizing the event. He also emphasized that in view of the experience of other nations, there is a considerable need for speedy implementation of the new opposition system, as there are more than a million trademark registrations in Mexico, ranking the country between seventh and ninth place in the list of nations with the most registrations in the world.   

Roberto Arochi, President of the Industrial and Intellectual Property Commission of CONCAMIN, noted that the Opposition System should not simply be viewed as yet another administrative procedure, but is rather “a best practice for avoiding fraud, extortion, and registrations that should not be issued by IMPI; instead, the new system serves as a method of reinforcing the authority’s power.” Arochi added that CONCAMIN will heighten awareness among different productive sectors and regions of the country that this system goes beyond simply filing an application for registration, but also includes a strengthened registration process, preventing other registrations from affecting an enterprise, an industry, or individual.  

The seminar program was comprehensive and the panel included national and international field experts. Christine Haight Farley, Professor of Law at the American University in Washington (USA) gave a brilliant lecture introducing the opposition system in the United States and spoke about how it relates to public policy. 

Karina Haidar Müller, partner at Müller Mazzonetto (Brazil); Horacio Rangel, partner at Rangel & Rangel (Mexico) and Lorenzo Litta, partner at SIB Società Italiana Brevetti & Of Counsel SIB Legal (Italy) discussed the advantages and challenges facing other jurisdictions.  In addition, Albert Zervas, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Judge at the Patents and Trademark Office of the United States, and Oliver Spieker, partner at Görg, offered a real-life analysis of the opposition systems in the United States and Germany.

Omar Guerrero Rodríguez, the partner responsible for the practice area in competition law at Hogan Lovells (Mexico), spoke about the risks and possible consequences of abusing the use of the trademark opposition system under competition law.

The moment everyone was waiting for was the panel presentation given by the authority of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI).  The General Director, Miguel Ángel Margáin; the Departmental Director of Marks, Eliseo Montiel and the Departmental Director of Intellectual Property Protection, Irely Aquique explained how the opposition system will work in Mexico and answered several participants’ questions. Finally, Francisco Pérez, Director of Latin American Sales at Thomson Reuters, spoke about effective tools the opposition system provides.   

The new opposition system represents an effort to continue strengthening intellectual and industrial property practice in Mexico as it relates to all relevant sectors. Along these lines, the seminar set an undeniable precedent in bringing together Mexican and international authorities (IMI and USPTO) and field experts, as well as representatives from industry, trade, and business associations – the Mexican Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AMPPI) and the National Association of Corporate Attorneys (ANADE) – in order to present and exchange opinions, as well as to mark a milestone for the improvement of practices in the system. Only by protecting creativity and innovation in Mexico can we continue to encourage private investment in Mexico, which will in turn have a direct impact on economic development and competitiveness.  

If you need any further information or clarification on the above information, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

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