The last August 10th, 2017, it was published in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF for its Spanish initials) the “Notice by which it´s given to know and it submits to consult the geographical denominations that the European Union seeks to protect in the Mexican territory in the framework of the negotiations of modernization of the Economic Partnership Agreement, political coordination and cooperation agreement between Mexico, on one side, and the European community and its members, on another.
Since this agreement of economic association, which is part of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the European Union (Mexico-EU FTA), the past May 24th, 2016, communication was kept between Mexico´s Secretary of External Affairs and the Union´s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the Security Policy to begin negotiations of modernization in three key aspects within the agreement, which are: political, cooperation and commercial.
The Intellectual Property chapter, which is part of the Commercial subject, has been one that is being negotiated, since the European Union and Mexico seek the mutual recognition and protection of their geographic indications.
In the past publication of the Official Journal of the Federation of August 10th, about 340 names are contemplated in a request by 19 countries from the European Union. The goal of the publication is that individuals, as well as legal entities, manifest their objection to such recognition or protection in the understanding that it could affect rights previously acquired.
In Mexico, the only legal provisions that we counted on in the matter of Geographic Indications were the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (ADPIC for its Spanish initials), which, in its 22nd article define them as:
Article 22.- “…indications that identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, when a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the good or service is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.”
Last year we had a major advance in our legislation in this area, due to the fact that the Chamber of deputies approved a minute from the Senate in which it reforms and adds the Industrial Property Law, modifying in its total the fifth title of such law and, also, 31 new articles are added to it.
The commission in charge of approving the mentioned reforms and additions held that:
“The new approach in the matter will be an economic trigger to national products that, in their case, meet the necessary requests to be protected as Geographic Indications, with positive repercussions in the national, and international, market.”
With what´s been previously said our legislation gains strength in the Designations of Origin, and the Geographic Indications are included in our normative framework, allowing different products, primarily from the food industry such as wines, beers, cheeses, meats, among others, not only a protection emanating from their origins, but also from its reputation.
The fact that Geographic Indications are included within the Mexican legislation will allow products that count with certain quality, reputation or characteristic, attributable to their origins to be protected, something that didn’t happen when there were only Designations of Origin, promoting an aggregated value to the wealth associates of our country.
Gloria Ponce de León & Hernández.