Reyes, Carmen Eloisa

Coordinator of the Area of Granting and Maintenance of Inventions

Foto de Reyes, Carmen Eloisa

Utility Models in Mexico

04/21/2022

Utility Models in Mexico

On November 5th, 2020, the Industrial Property Law (LPP) was derogated and the Federal Law for the Protection of Industrial Property (LFPPI) entry into force, where one of the most significant differences is the modification in the Utility Model’s life term, which passed from 10 to 15 years.

The Utility Models are objects, utensils, devices, or tools that, as a result a modification in their layout, configuration, model, or structure of shape, has a different function in respect to the parts which integrate them, or has an advantage in their utility.

Likewise, a Utility Model is defined as improvements that give a new functionality to utensils, devices, tools, or machinery that ease the daily life. Is important to mention and to highlight that the right obtained by a Utility Model titleholder is comparable to a Patent right, but with a shorter life term and without the requirement to comply with the inventive activity requirement, which is exclusive for patents.

A Utility Model could be registered in the following technological areas:

  • Articles of use and consumption
  • Diverse industrial techniques
  • Chemistry and metallurgy
  • Textile and paper
  • Fixed constructions
  • Mechanics – Lighting-heating – armament blasting
  • Physics
  • Electricity

According to historical data from the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), the most requested utility models are those for “articles of use and consumption” and “diverse industrial techniques”. An interesting finding in this data, is that the Utility Models figure is having a historical growth. Even, the year 2021 had the highest number of Utility Models registers since 1993, this information is presented in the following graph. Therefore, we could say that the life term modification of this figure hoes hand in hand with its growth.

Graph I. Utility Models registered. Source:

“IMPI en cifras 4T 2021”. Fuente: IMPI en cifras 4T 2021.

 

Referring to the life term modification in Utility Models, the Article 62 of LFPPI states that this figure is valid for fifteen non-extendible years, counted from their filing date, and their validity is subject to each annuity fees payment.

The new law (LFPPI) foresees some transitory articles concerning the Utility Model’s life term, the EIGHTH transitory article provides the possibility to those Utility Models granted before November 5 th , 2020, to extend their protection life term from 10 to 15 years by filing the payment corresponding to 11 th to 15 th annuities within six months prior to the end of their original expiration date (10 years after their filing date).

On the other hand, the NINTH transitory article states that the Utility Model applications which were in prosecution during the entry into force of this law, would continue its prosecution under the old law (LPP).

Is important to point out that the extension of life term for those Utility Models which fit in the NINTH transitory article is not explicit in the LFPPI. Nevertheless, the interpretation of the IMPI’s authorities, so far, is that these cases may also have the extension if the requirement of the 11 th to 15 th annuities payment is effectuated within the six months prior to the end of its original expiration date.

The technological growth and development over the years as well as the growth of this figure during 2021 and the entry into force of the LFPPI generate good expectations for the following years. It will be interesting to see and analyze the data of this figure at the end of this year given these circumstances.

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