By: Jaime Israel Davila Gomez, Attorney.
The gastronomy industry is often used as an easy-to-understand example of the different simultaneous protections that Intellectual Property can grant to businesses. The direct benefit of these protections is to avoid legal issues that affect the development of the business or company.
In the first place, we have that the names and designs of restaurants and other gastronomic businesses are susceptible to being registered as a trademark, allowing its owner to be the only person in the country that can provide restaurant services with that brand or a very similar one.
Regarding this particular point, it should be noted that since 2018 new types of brands have been incorporated into Mexico that have been little explored by the bulk of gastronomic entrepreneurs.
These types of marks are holographic, sound, olfactory, and commercial images.
In relation to the commercial image, the potential is for business models that are based on themed restaurants or with peculiar aspects and that could be attractive to consumers. This potential derives from the exclusive ability to replicate the commercial image throughout the Mexican Republic.
Another important figure for the industry that we are talking about is the industrial secret, which allows, with the appropriate legal structure, to protect and maintain the confidentiality of valuable information for restaurants, such as preparation methods or recipes of certain dishes.
Regarding copyright, it is important to have licenses, transfers of rights, authorizations, and other legal documents that allow peace of mind regarding the use of photographs, videos, songs, murals, images of models and/or influencers in the advertising campaigns and social media of gastronomic projects and thus avoid legal claims by the holders of those rights.