A patent is an exclusive right granted for something new, a product or a process that provides new ways of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
Patents can be given for inventions in any technology field, from an everyday kitchen utensil to a nanotechnology chip. An invention can be a product – such as a chemical compound, or a process, for example, a process for producing a specific chemical compound. Many products contain several inventions. For example, the computer can involve hundreds of inventions operating together. Patented inventions have been present in every aspect of human life, from electric lighting (patents held by Edison and Swan) and plastic (patents held by Baekeland) to ballpoint pens (patents held by Biro) and microprocessors (patents held by Intel for example,).
But why do we need to register these inventions? Why hold a patent? Well, patents provide incentives and protection by granting recognition to the inventors for their creativity and the possibility of material reward for their discoveries. At the same time, the required disclosure of patents and patent applications promotes the mutually-beneficial spread of new knowledge and accelerates innovation activities.
Once knowledge is openly available, it can be used simultaneously by an unlimited number of persons. While this is, without a doubt, fair for public information, it causes difficulties commercializing technical knowledge. In the absence of the protection of such knowledge, anyone could easily use this information enclosed in inventions without any recognition of the creativity of the inventor or contribution to the investments made by the inventor. Consequently, inventors would be discouraged from bringing new inventions to the market and keeping them secret. A patent system intends to correct such under-provision of innovative activities by providing innovators with limited exclusive rights, giving them the possibility to receive appropriate returns on their innovative activities.
In general insight, the public disclosure of the patent’s technical knowledge and the patent’s exclusive right granted provide incentives for competitors to search for alternative solutions and designs around the first invention. These incentives and the announcement of knowledge about new inventions encourage further innovation, which assures that the quality of human life and the well-being of society is continuously improved.
Filing requirements in Mexico
Spanish is the sole language accepted for patent registration in Mexico. A patent application may be submitted in any other language. The applicant will be given two months to provide a Spanish translation once the Patent Official issues an office action requiring it.
A patent application in Mexico must include the following information to acquire the date of filing:
- signed application;
- technical documents (background of the invention, description, summary, claims) in any language;
- payment of official fees.
If priority is sought, a certified copy of the priority document must be submitted to the Mexican Patent Office within three months of the application’s filing date.
An original Power of Attorney must be included with the application if submitted on paper. The POA must be scanned for the applications submitted electronically to be accepted. If the Patent Office issues an office action requiring such a document, late submission of this document is permitted within two months after the filing date. The individual granting the POA must sign it along with two witnesses. This document does not need to be certified or legalized.
Novelty grace period
The novelty grace period in Mexico is 12 months before the filing date in Mexico or before the priority date if the inventor, the heir to his rights, or any other party who learned of the invention from the inventor or heir has publicized it through any medium of communication, such as by exhibiting it at a national or international exhibition.
In Mexico, a patent is valid for 20 years after filing. Within two months after receiving the Notice of Allowance, the grant fee and annuity for the first five years are due. The subsequent annuities must be paid each five years before the anniversary of the filing date’s expiration. One accumulated payment method is an option for annuities. The annuities may be paid late if a surcharge is paid during a grace period of six months following the due date.
In Mexico, utility model protection is attainable. The standards for utility models are less strict than those for patents; they must still be unique and useful to the industry, but an inventive step is not required. Applications are formal and substantively reviewed. A utility model’s validity term in Mexico is 15 years from the filing date and is non-extendable as of November 5, 2020. By paying the necessary annuity within six months of the 10-year validity period’s expiration, utility models registered before the stated date may have their validity term extended by an extra five years. A utility model application may also be created from a patent application. The conversion request may be made up to three months after the filing date or three months after the Patent Office requests the conversion.
Also, contact for trademark registration in Mexico.