This year 2011 the Patent's System in Mexico has been mainly characterized by two major events: a) the designation of a new General Director of the "Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial" (IMPI in Spanish); and, b) the entrance of the IMPI to the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program (PPH).

Firstly, on April 15, 2011 Rodrigo Roque Díaz was designated as the new General Director of the IMPI, succeeding Jorge Amigo, who had successfully directed the Institute for 18 years.

Rodrigo Roque Díaz has come with the command to refresh and strengthen the legal aspects of the IMPI, with the purpose of maintaining the Mexican Patent Office as a fundamental organization for the development and competitiveness of our country and as one of the best patent offices in Latin America.

Under these new circumstances, Dr. Rodrigo Roque has adopted his first decisions and carried out some changes in the organic structure of the IMPI. On June 17, 2011, he appointed three new leaders in the following fundamental areas looking for a better operation and functionality of the Institute.

  • Mr. Eliseo Montiel Cuevas as the new Divisional Director of the Trademarks Area;
  • Mr. Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez Tortosa as the new Divisional Director of the Intellectual Protection Area; and,
  • Mr. Rodrigo Turrent Nuñez as the new Divisional Director of the International Affairs Area.

These three new Divisional Directors are lawyers, who have a solid background in public administration, as they have worked for several years in different agencies for the Mexican Government. Particularly, they have been involved in different areas and positions into the "Procuraduría Fiscal de la Federación" (the office of the Fiscal Procurator of the Treasury Department) and in the "Procuraduría General de la República" (the Attorney General's Office), during their professional development into the public sector.

Secondly, and following the international trends in the patent's world, the IMPI has entered to the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program (PPH).

The PPH, that is already spreading worldwide, is a practice which can expedite the patent examination process for corresponding applications filed in participating countries by using the search and the examination results obtained by the signatory offices.

The PPH was launched in 2006 as a pilot program between the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

Currently, 19 Patent Offices have enrolled this program, namely: USPTO; JPO; IMPI; European Patent Office; UK Intellectual Property Office; German Patent and Trademark Office; Korean Intellectual Property Office; Swedish Patent and Registration Office; Canadian Intellectual Property Office; Danish Patent and Trademark Office; IP Australia; Intellectual Property Office of Singapore; Russian Patent Office; Hungarian Patent Office; Austrian Patent Office; Spanish Patent and Trademark Office; National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland; Nordic Patent Institute; and, Portuguese National Institute of Industrial Property.

Nowadays, the IMPI has launched the following bilateral PPHs:

  • On March 1, 2011 it launched the PPH with the USPTO.
  • On July 1, 2011 it launched the PPH with the JPO.

As well, on June 9, 2011 the IMPI signed a Memorandum of Understanding about the Patent Prosecution Highway (MoU PPH) with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office or Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas (OEPM by its Spanish acronyms), which will be in force on October 1, 2011.

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