Recently, the Attorney General´s Office ("FGR" in Spanish) appointed a new Head of the Specialized Unit for the Investigation of Crimes against Copyright and Industrial Property ("UEIDDAPI" in Spanish). This is the federal criminal authority in charge of prosecuting and sanctioning crimes in the field of Intellectual Property.
As members of certain associations and chambers, various partners and associates of OLIVARES have attended meetings with this authority, during which we have been informed that various changes have been made to the standards and practices in relation to combating counterfeits and piracy.
We consider it especially important to communicate these changes of standards and practices, specifically in relation to the execution of raids to identify and seize counterfeit or pirated products in Mexico.
This authority will aim to focus on prosecuting large producers, manufacturers, importers or distributors of counterfeit/pirated products, instead of small vendors who sell them to the final consumer. It will focus its efforts on prosecuting offenders rather than on preventing the goods from entering the Mexican market.
With this strategy, UEIDAPPI expects to exploit its human resources and supplies more effectively. Therefore, it has urged holders of rights and their representatives to present claims against large manufacturing and/or distribution and/or importation centers of counterfeit products, duly sustained with the information obtained from investigations and intelligence work aimed to find the physical person who committed the violation.
As a result, it is very probable that UEIDDAPI will grant priority to the complaints against large manufacturing and/or distribution centers of counterfeit products, instead of typical complaints against points-of-sale to final consumers.
It should be noted that the UEIDDAPI is not the only facility through which one can stop and sanction activities that infringe Intellectual Property rights. Other available actions exist, for example through Mexican Customs, the Mexican Patent and Trademark Office ("IMPI"), local criminal authorities and the regulatory agencies COFEPRIS (Health Authority) and PROFECO (Consumer's Bureau), through which, by complying with the requirements of the particular case, the same outcome of preventing counterfeit/pirated products from entering the market can be achieved.
In conclusion, an integral strategy is required now more than ever, that combines the aspects of investigation, intelligence, logistics and cost-benefit analyses when taking decisions and actions to combat counterfeiting and piracy.
Our Anti-Piracy/Counterfeiting team will continue to follow the developments of these types of cases and standards to ensure our clients are duly informed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.