The Federal Law for the Protection of Industrial Property, which recently entered into force, makes changes to the existing law on matters such as inventions, trademarks, opposition issues, invalidation and infringement actions, counterfeit issues and trade secrets. This article discusses the most important changes concerning trade secrets.
An amendment to the Federal Labour Law was recently published in the Federal Official Gazette, regulating employment relationships under the modality of remote working. This article answers employers' and employees' questions on the reform, including with regard to the definition of 'remote working', employers' special obligations with respect to remote workers and the introduction of flexible working hours for remote workers.
The year 2020 was one of conflict for the Mexican power sector. This article summarises the government's main attempts to undermine the electricity market's competitiveness in favour of the Federal Commission of Electricity, the status of said actions, the new law reform initiative and expectations for the Mexican electricity market in 2021.
The new General Import and Export Duties Law recently entered into force, introducing a number of changes to tariff items. In addition, several accords and decrees have been modified in order to ensure that the non-tariff regulations and restrictions and preferential general import tax rates are applied to goods correctly.
In order to make the Decree for the Promotion of the Manufacturing, Maquiladora and Export Services Industry consistent with the new General Import and Export Duties Law and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a number of the decree's annexes have been modified, including with respect to Annex I and Annex II tariff items.
The General Health Law Regulations for the Control of Production, Investigation and Medicinal Use of Cannabis and its Pharmacological Derivatives recently entered into force, making it possible for individuals and legal entities to engage in activities regarding the production, research and manufacture of raw materials, pharmacological derivatives and medicines derived from cannabis. This represents an important development for these products in Mexico – not to mention new business opportunities.
In December 2020 the National Notes entered into force. The National Notes are the official interpretation instrument of the General Import and Export Tariff Code of the new General Import and Export Duties Law, the application of which is mandatory to determine the tariff classification of goods entering and leaving Mexico. As a result, the Explanatory Notes of the Harmonised System have been abrogated.
The new General Import and Export Duties Law (LIGIE) recently entered into force, updating the General Import and Export Tariff Code by removing more than 4,000 obsolete tariff items, consolidating the existing tariff items and introducing new tariff items for newly created goods. The new LIGIE also implements the Sixth Amendment to the Harmonised System established by the World Customs Organisation and introduces a commercial identification number.
The Tax Administration Service recently published the Third Resolution of Modifications to the Foreign Trade General Rules 2020. This article sets out the key changes in this respect, which concern suspension from the importer registries, requests to rectify a pedimento form, commercial information numbers and fines.
The Federal Law of Protection for Industrial Property recently came into force and introduced provisions explicitly concerning double patenting for the first time in Mexico. Issuing double patenting objections is a common practice for the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, when examiners consider that the invention to be protected in a divisional application is already covered or protected by the parent case. This article examines the double patenting objection under the new law.
The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) recently released a market study on the food and beverage sector (specifically, focusing on the 'modern channel' – that is, self-service stores). Through the study, COFECE noted that few self-service chains have a national presence, warned of regulatory barriers that harm competitive conditions and favour market concentration and issued recommendations to address these identified problems.
By signing an arbitration clause, the parties to the arbitration agreement freely and voluntarily grant an arbitrator or arbitration tribunal full and sufficient competence to resolve conflicts that might arise between said parties due to the execution of a commercial contract. The parties' choice of arbitrator is crucial because the validity and soundness of the final arbitration resolution will depend on their experience.
The Ministry of Health has published an accord which aims to provide a larger number of Mexicans with access to more and better medicines and other health supplies. Among other things, the accord establishes that the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks must make a decision on applications for marketing authorisations of foreign medicines and health supplies within five working days of the applicant's filing of the corresponding documentation.
Green Net Tax Profit Accounts (CUFINs) were established in 2016 as a double tax incentive. The effect of a Green CUFIN is deferral of income tax payment at the corporate level while the shareholders anticipate the benefits of their participation in the entity. This is a valuable incentive for power generation companies and its requirements can be easily complied with through an adequate corporate structure.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced the need for an efficient and safe system for the electronic prosecution of patent applications and has forced the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property to make such a system available for applications originally filed in paper format. However, as this article shows, the path to this outcome has not been straightforward.
The Ministry of Health recently published two projects on the National Regulatory Improvement Commission's online system for consultation. Each project proposes to introduce new goals and standards for air quality in Mexico through a five-year implementation plan that would see a gradual reduction of the concentration of particles and ozone in the environment.
Many renewable energy investors have challenged the National Energy Control Centre (CENACE) act before the constitutional courts through various amparo actions. Moreover, the Federal Economic Competition Commission has held that the CENACE act affects competition in the electricity industry by indirectly denying solar and wind power plants the possibility of beginning operations and favouring the dispatch of energy from conventional power plants.
Mexico has recently issued a wide range of regulations to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and protect public health. Notably, the Federal Health Ministry and the Mexican Social Security Institute have issued special restrictions and recommendations with regard to the return to work of individuals classified as part of vulnerable groups, who, due to pre-existing conditions or illnesses, are at a greater risk of complications or even death if they contract COVID-19.
The new federal government has taken many actions in an effort to prioritise the Federal Commission of Electricity, Mexico's state-owned power company, over other participants in the open electricity market implemented by the 2013 to 2014 energy reform. Now, despite multiple promises from the president that Mexico's energy legislation would not be reformed, his party has announced a legislative plan to embark on a new energy reform.
In 2016 Joshua Dean Nelson commenced arbitration against Mexico on behalf of Telefacil México, SA de CV and himself under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to Nelson, the Federal Telecommunications Institute had prevented him from participating in the telecoms market by issuing measures that he alleged violated Chapter 11 of NAFTA. However, the tribunal recently rejected the claims and held that Telefacil owed Mexico $2.05 million in arbitration costs.