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Mexico tightens up consent letter practice

IMPI, the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property, has amended its practice with regard to letters of consent, which confirm that the owner of an earlier registered trade mark does not object to the registration and use of an identical or similar mark by a third party. Since there is no express legislation on this practice, IMPI had discretion to determine the parameters of its acceptability. Taking a more restrictive view than formerly, IMPI will now admit a letter of consent only where the trade marks are similar (not identical) and cover different or similar (again, not identical) goods and/or services.

This change seeks to avoid trade mark dilution and to protect the consumer's ability to distinguish goods and services as coming from different sources. Refusal to accept a consent letter is subject to judicial appeal.

Source: Sergio Olivares, Olivares & Cia, Mexico City, writing in World Trademark Review.

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