The Federal Law of Protection for Industrial Property recently came into force and introduced provisions explicitly concerning double patenting for the first time in Mexico. Issuing double patenting objections is a common practice for the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, when examiners consider that the invention to be protected in a divisional application is already covered or protected by the parent case. This article examines the double patenting objection under the new law.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced the need for an efficient and safe system for the electronic prosecution of patent applications and has forced the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property to make such a system available for applications originally filed in paper format. However, as this article shows, the path to this outcome has not been straightforward.
The Industrial Property Law is currently under revision in the Senate. Two legal initiatives proposed by different senators will have to be studied, but one of them is more likely to prevail because it has the support of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property and aims to substitute the current law in its entirety. One of the proposal's most significant objectives relates to updating the eligibility criteria of biotechnology-related inventions.
In order to recover damages following a violation of their rights, industrial property owners must first file an administrative infringement action before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property in order to obtain a declaration of infringement and then undergo a civil court trial. This process can take up to five years and rights holders often choose not to claim compensation. As such, a recent proposal aims to reform the process for recovering damages caused by a violation of industrial property rights.
The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property's examination criteria was previously consistent enough to provide patent applicants with legal certainty about the eligibility of plant-related inventions. However, recent changes to the criteria for these kinds of invention have resulted in uncertainty which may affect even the validity of already granted patents.