Apellations of origin

An appellation of origin is the name of a geographic region of the country that is used to designate a product originating there, the quality and characteristics of which are due exclusively to the geographical environment, including both natural and human factors.

 

Registration of appellations of origin 

An application for declaration of an appellation of origin in Mexico may be filed before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), by:

  • Any natural or legal person involved in the extraction, production or manufacture of a product;
  • A chamber or association of manufacturers or producers;
  • A Mexican federal government agency;
  • The government of any Mexican state.

The application must identify any official standards promulgated by the Ministry of Economy that apply to the product.

 

Ownership 

Appellations of origin are owned by the Mexican government.

 

Use 

An appellation of origin may only be used by authorization of IMPI. Authorization may be granted to any natural or legal person that is specified in the declaration of protection, or:

  • Directly engaged in the extraction, production or manufacture of the products protected by the appellation of origin;
  • Engaged in such activity within the territory specified in the declaration of protection; and
  • In compliance with any official standards set by the Ministry of the Economy for the products involved.

An authorisation to use an appellation of origin remains in effect for 10 years following the application date, and may be renewed for equal periods.

The authorisation may be transferred, if the transfer is recorded at IMPI and proof is given that the new user meets the conditions of the authorisation.

A person authorised to use an appellation of origin may allow other persons who use his or her marks, to use the appellation of origin, as long as:

  • They agree to comply with official standards applicable to the product;
  • The agreement is sanctioned by the IMPI.

An authorisation to use an appellation of origin may be revoked if:

  • It was granted against the provisions of the Industrial Property Law;
  • It has been granted on the basis of false information or documents;
  • The authorised user (or persons authorised by the authorised user) uses the appellation of origin in a manner different from that specified in the declaration of protection.

Administrative declarations of revocation may be made ex officio by the IMPI, at the request of a third party or the Federal Attorney General’s Office.

 

Term of protection 

Once it is granted, an appellation of origin remains in force indefinitely. An appellation of origin ceases to be effective only if IMPI issues a declaration of revocation.