Sunday, 13 February 2011

Pharma patents in Mexico: an assessment of the current position

A review of the current state of Mexico's patent law, following the decree of 18 June 2010, assesses this major change in the Industrial Property Law 1994. It covers (i) amendments to the definition of 'industrial applicability'; (ii) the partial priority rules; (iii) a new system for oppositions to patent applications during prosecution; (iv) monitoring of counterfeiting and performance of inspections by the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property and (v) new infringement claims in order to protect trade dress more effectively and prevent abuses of patent rights, particularly in the light of the interests of the pharmaceutical industry, which the changes are said to benefit.

The authors of this review conclude that it will not be until the first cases pass through the courts that the precise effect of the various changes will be seen. The changes were designed to keep both sides of the pharmaceutical industry satisfied, strengthening the hand of both patent holders and their opponents and eliminating delays.  They warn, however, that if the amendments
"... merely created a system that is unfair to both sides, they may have drawn the battle lines for disputes that will be detrimental to the Mexican patent system and Mexican business at an international level".
Source: "Reform for pharmaceutical patents: fair balance or fresh disputes?", prepared for International Law Office by Héctor Elias Chagoya and Juan Carlos Amaro of Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC, Mexico (an earlier version of this piece was published in IP Value 2011 - An international guide for the boardroom, by IAM magazine).

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