Conducting clearance or availability searches represents a worldwide priority activity since several years ago, when we talk about protecting distinctive signs in any desired jurisdiction.
Although it is not compulsory to conduct this type of searches in Mexico, it is always suggestible to consider making them when launching a new trademark in commerce comes as a project. This allows reducing the risk in committing undesired activities that may represent an infringement behavior in terms of the Mexican Law of Industrial Property.
So, how can you prevent a potential conflict before your clients invest in advertising, marketing, product package and related activities for a trademark, which desired to be registered and used in the market?: The answer is to conduct availability searches in connection with the particular goods or services that the trademark intends to cover, and to include, as well, a formal opinion from an expert in the field. This minimum caution and foresight can save complicated troubles and high expenses.
Trademark availability searches in Mexico provide results of anticipatory references that are already registered, as well as applications that are pending but that may represent a potential bar during the registration proceeding. These searches disclose results of those references appearing within the Trademark Office, as a federal Authority. It is important to note that there are no local Trademark Offices in Mexico, as it may operate in other countries.
Recalling that the registration of a mark in our country provides a global protection in a national level, a trademark search will examine the data base of the Mexican Trademark Office, as a way for searching the existence of trademarks within Mexican territory.
When your clients businesses' target is to expand commercial activities abroad to position a service or product bearing a trademark in other countries, the necessity of conducting clearance searches in the involved countries comes to the road as a vital resource.
Nowadays, technology intends to satisfy current necessities in the field of worldwide trademark searches. As from July 01, 2013, and under the cooperation framework between the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), Mexico became the first Latin American country to include the trademark data base of the IMPI in the TMview project developed by the OHIM.
TMview is an online consultation tool allowing searching trademarks of every official participating trademark offices at national, international, and European Union (EU) level. With the gradual integration of new offices or organizations, TMview aims to be the platform for data from all 27 EU Member States in addition to the information available from OHIM and WIPO.*
Currently, there are 25 offices participating: Austria, Bulgaria, Benelux, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, WIPO and OHIM. These offices provide access to almost 10 million trademarks in total.*
TMview can be used to*:
- Carry out 24/7 trademark searches in 22 languages of the EU.
- Gain first-hand, daily updated information from the official registers.
- Access millions of trademark applications and registrations.
- Check for the availability of a trademark name.
- Discover what the competitors are protecting.
- View the details for a trademark such as its legal status, graphic representation, list of goods and services, etc.
- View the trademarks details in the office of origin.
- Print or export trademark information to PDF, Excel & XML.
- Provide information to and be a working tool for trademark examiners.
The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, and the particular offices and/or organizations will be responsible of the accuracy of the data contained in TMview. In principle, TMview reflects the trademark registers of the participating offices at the moment of consultation.
Indeed, this search tool will offer the opportunity to view a quick scenario on the availability of a trademark in Mexico. However, in all circumstances we still recommend seeking professional advice from an expert in the IP field in our country, to provide a formal opinion that will help taking a decision within the Mexican market, according to local precedents, practice, and current criteria of the Mexican Authorities.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.