How to Search for Mexican Trademarks

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In Mexico's trademark system, the first person to register a trademark becomes the owner of the rights. If you plan to use a trademark in Mexico, register it as soon as possible. With the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, trademark registration in Mexico increased, mainly due to the higher numbers of U.S.- and Canadian-owned businesses in Mexico. The Mexican government takes trademark infringement seriously.

Visit the offices of the Instituto Mexicano de la Propriedad Industrial (the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property. The IMPI handles all trademarks in Mexico. Regional IMPI offices are in Mexico City, Gudalajara, León, Mérida, Puebla. While the IMPI does have an online trademark search option, they only offer it in Spanish; the page times out regularly, making it difficult to successfully complete an online purchase of the search.

Pay $112.99 Mexican pesos, approximately $10, as of 2010. The payment must be made at an HSBC bank, Scotiabank or at a BBV Bancomer branch. This is the fee for one search.

Read More: How to Trademark an Abandoned Trademark

Attach a letter addresses to the IMPI that indicating that you'd like a trademark search to be conducted. Include the trademark, the area of field of business, and any logos.

Pick up the search results. Average wait time is seven business days.

Warnings

  • Do not go ahead with your product or your company in Mexico without conducting a verifiable search. Mexico has extremely strict trademark laws, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  • Do not conduct the search without professional support, particularly if you don't speak Spanish.

Tips

  • If you do not live in Mexico, hire a lawyer that specializes in Mexican trademarks to conduct the search. Mexican Consulates in the U.S. will have lists of reputable lawyers.