Victor M Adames May 16 2022 How to protect denominations of origin BCB | Intellectual Property - Mexico Victor M Adames Intellectual Property IntroductionDenominations of originHow to obtain denominations of originProtection granted by denominations of originCommentIntroductionMexico is recognised worldwide for its food, culture, products and natural resources, and has one of the most diverse territories in the world. However, as of today, Mexico has only 18 denominations of origin:tequila;mezcal;olinalá;raicilla;charanda;yahualica;bacanora;talavera;sotol;pluma;Grijalva cacao;Chiapas coffee;amber from Chiapas;Ataulfo mango from Soconusco de Chiapas;Habanero chili from the Yucatan peninsula;Veracruz coffee;rice from the state of Morelos; andvanilla from Papantla.The above products are 100% Mexican. They promote local development, generate sources of employment, help communities and can compete internationally.Denominations of originDenominations of origin are regulated both Mexican legislation, through the Federal Law for the Protection of Industrial Property (the Industrial Property Law), and in various international treaties to which Mexico is a party, including:the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Denominations of Origin and their International Registration; andthe Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights.A "denomination of origin" is understood as a product linked to the geographical area in which it originates, provided that its quality, characteristics and reputation are exclusively or essentially due to the geographical origin of the raw materials, the production processes, and the natural and cultural factors that affect it. Once a denomination of origin has been granted, it must have a specific official Mexican standard.How to obtain denominations of originProtection can be obtained through an administrative procedure before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (MIIP), which is the authority in Mexico in charge of IP matters. Among other functions, the MIIP analyses applications for the protection of a denomination of origin and grants or denies such applications, as applicable.The procedure to grant a denomination of origin may be initiated ex officio by the MIIP or at the request of any party that demonstrates a legal interest in doing so. The Industrial Property Law states that the following parties would have a legal interest in requesting protection for a denomination of origin:natural or legal persons directly engaged in the extraction, production or processing of the product or products intended to be protected by a denomination of origin;chambers or associations of manufacturers or producers;agencies or entities of the federal government and of the governments of the entities of the federation;governments of the entities of the federation in whose territory or geographic zone the product to be protected is extracted, produced or elaborated; orthe chambers of Congress, as long as the proposal has been approved by two-thirds of the members present.Protection granted by denominations of originThe conditions of the protection granted by a denomination of origin are as follows:The term of protection of a denomination of origin is determined by the conditions and requirements that gave rise to it. As long as these conditions are not modified, the term of protection will continue indefinitely.Since the Mexican state is the owner of denominations of origin, they may only be used with the authorisation issued by the MIIP.The term of the authorisation of use is 10 years from the date of filing of the application, and this is renewable for equal periods.The owner of a denomination of origin is obliged to use it as it appears protected in the declaration. Failure to use it in the established manner will result in the cancellation of the authorisation.The validity of a declaration of protection of a denomination of origin will be determined by the subsistence of the conditions that motivated it, and will only cease to have effect by another declaration of the MIIP.CommentIn Mexico, although there are currently 18 recognised and protected denominations of origin, this is few considering the country's natural resources.It is important to remember that obtaining the protection of a denomination of origin always benefits the individuals or companies of the relevant geographical region that are engaged in the extraction, production or processing of the product covered by it. Products that are distinguished under a denomination of origin identify the product with that of its region, creating a cultural impact that enriches the perception of the product before the consumer public. The consumer will thus link the product with a Mexican region, the cultural identity of that place, and its traditions, uses and/or customs.For further information on this topic please contact Víctor Adames at Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC by telephone (+52 55 5263 8730) or email ([email protected]). The Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC website can be accessed at www.bcb.com.mx.