Monday, December 18 2023   \  Published by Clarke Modet .

Mexico’s outstanding IP obligations under USMCA: a status update

Mexico’s outstanding IP obligations under USMCA: a status update

After three years after the entry into force of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Mexico has taken positive steps toward complying with its Intellectual Property (IP) commitments. For instance, in 2020, a package of legal reforms was passed by the Federal Congress, including a new Industrial Property Law and amendments to the Copyright Law and Criminal Code, with both substantive and procedural provisions strengthening IP rights in the fields of patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, and enforcement. However, further efforts are needed for a full and timely alignment. Here, we list outstanding obligations on plant breeder’s rights and pharmaceutical exclusivities that should be effectively implemented in the following years.

1. Accession to UPOV 1991. Mexico has committed to ratifying or acceding to UPOV 1991, which will enhance the protection of plant breeders’ protection by July 1, 2024, at the latest. While prior attempts to update the current Federal Law of Plant Varieties have not matured due to political resistance, the 2024 deadline should provide additional pressure to expedite parliamentary discussions and bring Mexico’s system in line with international standards.

2. Patent Term Extension. USMCA mandates the availability of Patent Term Extension (PTE) for patents covering a pharmaceutical product to compensate for unreasonable curtailment due to the marketing approval process. Creating detailed PTE regulations at the domestic level will require an amendment to Federal laws and close cooperation between the regulatory and patent authorities. The associated transition period ends on January 1, 2025, so full implementation should occur before said date. There has been no legislative activity so far in this respect. Read more

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