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Brands Coexistence

By: Lic. Jaime Israel Dávila Galván; Attorney.

As of last year, the Industrial Property Law was created to allow owners of similar or comparable brands to obtain the respective records. Now, if during the trademark registration process the authority considers that there is a similar brand in a degree of confusion, the applicant can initiate the necessary steps to obtain an authorization from the owner of the brand, so that in this way the IMPI grant the requested brand authorization. Such authorization has the only requirement, so far, to be in writing and expressly indicated that it is granted.

This modification in the system would allow what is commonly called coexistence of brands and is quite useful because many brands were denied based on the similarity in degree of confusion when in the day-to-day life of Mexican commerce and for various reasons it was not really of brands that competed directly or that were so easily confused with consumers, denying protection to many distinctive signs and legal certainty to hundreds of companies.

This last point takes on special relevance, since in the current trade the channels and means of distribution are so different for both products and services, just as the same products or services are so different or specialized that many brands, although they were very similar, could not be confused by virtue of what has already been mentioned.

In spite of this modification, and as by law, the IMPI has a duty to protect the consumer, even with the authorization of the owner of the brand that represents an obstacle, it could be the case that the registration was definitively denied. Another thing to note is that today there is no regulation regarding authorization that can be presented in these cases, which generates a bit of uncertainty as to what that permit should contain.

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