The Senate has approved an amendment to the Industrial Property Law that will enforce up to ten years in prison for the storing, selling, exporting, and trading of some of Mexico’s most recognized and culturally celebrated items without authorization.
Penalties range from two to ten years in prison, and a fine of 100 and up to 20,000 days of minimum wage, up to $300,000 pesos.
Among the protected items that are protected as Mexican products with designation of origin are Tequila (Jalisco, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, Michoacan and Guanajuato), Olinalá (Guerrero), Mezcal (Guerrero, Oaxaca, Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi), Talavera (Puebla and Tlaxcala), Bacanora (Sonora), Café de Veracruz (Veracruz), Amber of Chiapas (Chiapas), Charanda (Michoacán), Sotol (Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango),Ataulfo Mango Chiapas Soconusco (Chiapas), and Café de Chiapas (Chiapas)
Countries have to protect their products with quality and features from specific geographical environment, including natural and human factors, in order to avoid unfair competition through imitation, counterfeiting or tampering.
Mexico’s Industrial Property Law “means appellation of origin, name of a geographical region of the country which serves to designate a product originating the same, and whose quality or characteristic are due exclusively to geographical environment, including in its natural and human factors “.
In Mexico, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) is the organization that protects Mexican products that among its powers, may issue declarations of protection to names source and authorize the use thereof, noting that the Mexican State is the holder of those designations.
The new amendment to the law was sponsored by the Tequila Regulatory Council in Mexico. The tequila industry employs over 60,000 people nationwide.
PROFECO will have the authority to impose fines on any business violating the law by selling unauthorized products protected by the amendment to article 223 of the Industrial Property Law.