By: Jaime Dávila Gomez, Attorney
In Mexico, it is not mandatory to register a trademark in order to use it in the market; however carrying out the registration involves a number of advantages for its owner. The first advantage is that the trademark registration implies acquiring the right to exclusive use, that is, the power to prohibit other traders from using trademarks that are the same or similar to our trademarks because they apply use of similar products or services throughout the Mexican territory; this exclusivity is guaranteed for at least 10 years, which is the validity of the trademarks, period that can be renewed indefinitely.
In relation to rights, a trademark gives the owner the option to grant licenses to third parties, in exchange for economic consideration (royalties), so that they can sell products or provide services using their trademark and maintain uniformity in said products or services. Among these contracts is the Franchise, which is a license that also involves the transmission of so-called know-how, or knowledge acquired through experience in relation to a specific business.
As a last legal advantage, a trademark is an important instrument when trying to inhibit unfair practices by our competitors, as well as to seek compensation for damages resulting from such unfair competition.
A trademark, moreover, is indicative of the formality that the company has when selling its products or providing its services with a sign that meets all the requirements of law to function as a trademark. It also works to distinguish the products or services offered in the market by different companies, linking those products or services with different characteristics, both negative and positive (quality, price, innovation).
Finally, a registered trademark works as an intangible asset that acquires value over time, being at times the most valuable asset of a company and that reflects its prestige.