Saturday, 20 December 2008

Mexico: trial by patent office

In "Patent Litigation In Mexico" (published on Mondaq), Carlos Perez De La Sierra, of law firm Calderón & De La Sierra, summarises the characteristics that distinguish Mexican patent litigation from that of better-established forums. In particular,
" ... all claims for infringement are to be tried with the Mexican Patent Office, which renders the cases to be administrative processes rather than judicial instances. Decisions rendered by the Mexican Patent Office will only rule on whether the infringement took place or not and, in a declarative type of decision, the defendant will be ordered to immediately stop the infringing activity and will also be fined. Fines for patent infringement cases can go as high as US $85,000.00, although the Mexican Patent Office has hardly ever applied the maximum penalty".
One might wonder whether trial of inter partes disputes relating to infringement as administrative processesm with penalties that appear derisory in relation to actual damage, are TRIPs-compatible.

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