Patents of Invention

– Industrial Property Law of June 27, 1991.
– Amendments of August 2, 1994, October 25, 1996, December 26, 1997, May 17, 1999, January 26, 2004, June 16, 2005, January 25, 2006, May 6, 2009, January 6, 2010, June 18, 2010, June 28, 2010, January 27, 2012, April 9, 2012, June 1, 2016, April 27, 2018, and August 10, 2018.
– Regulation on the Industrial Property Law published on November 23, 1994.
– Amendments of September 10, 2002, September 19, 2003, January 6, 2010, June 18, 2010, June 10, 2011, and December 12, 2016.
– Federal Law for Administrative Procedure of August 4, 1994, last amendment of May 18, 2018.
– Federal Amparo Law, last amendment of June 7, 2021.
– Federal Law for the Protection of Industrial Property, in force since November 5, 2020.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since June 14, 1975.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since July 25, 1994, effective January 1, 1995.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since August 14, 1995.
– Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, since March 21, 2001.
– Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification, since October 26, 2001.


Note: during an undefined transitional period, both the Industrial Property Law (IPL) of June 27, 1991, as amended, and the Federal Law for the Protection of Industrial Property (FLPIP) of November 5, 2020, will apply to patent applications and patents (to some extent) depending on their date of filing. The summary provided below corresponds to the provisions of the FLPIP, applicable to patents filed on or after November 5, 2020.

Applicant: the applicant may be the inventor(s) and/or their assignee(s). If the application is filed by the assignees, the corresponding assignment document should be filed. 

Foreigners: may file applications appointing a local representative, preferably a patent attorney. 

Protection of foreigners: the Mexican Constitution establishes equal protection for Mexican nationals and for foreigners, this is also valid in connection with patents.

Concept of patentable invention: the FLPIP establishes that an invention in any field of technology is patentable if it is novel, the result of inventive activity and apt for industrial application. An invention is considered any human creation that makes it possible to transform matter or energy existing in nature for advantageous use of humankind to satisfy human concrete necessities.

Matter not considered as an invention: discoveries, scientific theories or their principles; mathematical methods; literary or artistic works or any other aesthetic creation; schemes, plans, rules and methods for the exercise of intellectual activities, for games or for economical-commercial activities or to conduct business; computer programs; forms for presenting information; biological and genetic material, as found in nature; the juxtaposition of known inventions or mixtures of known products, except when their combination or fusion is made in such a way that they cannot function separately or their characteristic qualities or functions are modified to obtain an industrial result that is not obvious for a skilled person; all these matters are not considered inventions when claimed as such.

Exceptions to patentability: inventions which commercial exploitation is contrary to the public order, or is illegal, including those inventions which commercial exploitation should be prohibited to safeguard the health and life of humans, animals or plants, or to avoid serious damage to the environment, particularly, processes for cloning humans and products therefrom, procedures to modify the germline genetic identity of a human being and products therefrom when these processes imply the possibility of developing a human being, the use of human embryos for industrial and commercial purposes, or procedures for modifying the genetic identity of animals that entail suffering without substantial medical or veterinary utility as well as animals resulting therefrom; vegetal varieties and animal breeds excepting microorganisms, essentially biological methods for obtaining vegetal varieties and animal breeds and its products excepting microbiological methods and products obtained thereof; methods for surgical or therapeutic treatment of humans or animals and diagnostic methods applied to them; the human body in the different stages of its constitution and development, as well as the simple discovery of one of its elements, including the total or partial sequence of a gene; it is clarified that biological material isolated from its natural environment and obtained by means of a technical procedure may be the object of a patentable invention, even when said matter previously existed in nature, and it is required that the industrial application of a total or partial sequence of a nucleic acid or protein must be expressly disclosed in the patent application.

Novelty: international.

Novelty grace period: the disclosure of an invention shall not affect novelty, when within twelve months prior to the date of filing the application (or priority date, if any), the inventor or his assignee has made the invention known, directly or indirectly, or, where appropriate, when a third party obtained the disclosed information from the inventor or his assignee directly or indirectly; but if the invention has been published by a domestic or foreign Patent Office, it shall no longer be considered as new, unless the publication was made by error by the Office or the application was filed by an unauthorized party who obtained the information from the inventor or his assignee directly or indirectly.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, signed by the applicant and two witnesses, with their names and full addresses typed under their signatures; no certification nor Apostille necessary;
2. Specification drafted in Spanish language;
3. Formal drawings;
4. The certified copy of the priority document must be filed along with a Spanish translation thereof;
5. If the applicant is an assignee, an assignment agreement must be filed; this document must be signed by the inventor and by two witnesses with their names and full addresses typed under their signatures. Notarization and legalization are required when the document is executed abroad and a copy is used instead of the original document.

Term for filing missing documents: for the certified copy of the priority document, three months after filing. For all other documents, two months from the official request (extendible for two additional months at a cost).

Electronic filing: available since April 2016.

Complete electronic prosecution: available since April 2017.

Electronic signatures: are accepted for filing applications, writs, payments and responses to official actions, however, for power of attorney or assignment documents wet signatures are recommended as no specific provisions exist for the acceptance of electronically signed documents of this type. Scanned copies of documents are accepted when using the electronic filing system. The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property is entitled to request the original document at a later date. For paper filings, scanned copies cannot replace the originals.

For a change of name:
1. A document attesting to the change of name, in original or a notarized and legalized copy (a scanned copy is accepted for recordal filed online);
2. Power of attorney in the new name, simply signed (a scanned copy is accepted for recordal filed online).

For a change of address: no document is required.

PCT applications: time limit for entering national phase under both chapters I and II: 30 months.


Examination: after a formal examination, the application is published opening a two-month period for third-party observations, after which the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property proceeds to perform a substantive examination to determine the patentability of the application. It is unnecessary to file a request for examination as substantive examination is performed automatically in all applications wherein formalities are accredited. Upon carrying out the substantive examination the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property may request the aid of specialized national bodies and institutions and may accept or require the examination performed by foreign examining offices. If during the examination it is found that the application lacks novelty, inventive step, or industrial applicability, the applicant is required in writing to give pertinent explanations, make amendments or file additional information.

Accelerated examination: before substantive examination begins applicants can request to participate in any of the PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) programs signed with Offices from the following countries: U.S.A., JP, KR, SP, CA, CN, SG, EPO, CO, PE, CL, PT, AT, and PCT-PPH.

Third party observations: any party may file within a two-month period after the publication of the application information or documentation showing that the invention lacks novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability or that the invention falls within the exceptions of patentability or that the subject matter must not be considered an invention.

Amendments of the claims: permitted before issuance of the notice of allowance if they are supported by the specification and/or drawings with payment of a fee

Divisions: generally permitted before paying the grant fees of the first application or before the issuance of a final negative resolution (i.e. final rejection, withdrawal, or abandonment notice) of said parent application. The FLPIP contemplates two veins for filing a divisional application, namely (1) the division of an application required during examination due to lack of unity of invention; and (2) the applicant's voluntary submission of a divisional application. In the case of lack of unity identified during examination, the FLPIP establishes that the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property will examine only the invention that is recited first in the claim set and will require the applicant to submit divisional applications for the remaining subject matter, if applicable. On the other hand, the FLPIP provides that voluntary divisional applications will be acceptable only when the parent case is pending; moreover, a divisional application cannot be subsequently divided but only at the Institute's request, independently of the status of the first parent application; importantly, it is not possible to reinsert in the parent case or in a divisional application matter left out due to a division; a divisional application must claim matter different from that of the parent case and in any other divisional application, if any; not complying with these provisions may cause a divisional application to lose its legal filing date (i.e. that of the original parent application).

Reconsideration: against the denial by the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property to grant a patent, administrative reconsideration may be requested before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property itself, within fifteen days counted from the date of the denial; should this decision be confirmed, an appeal can be lodged before the Special Branch for Intellectual Property Issues of the Federal Tribunal for Administrative Justice thirty days after the resolution of the administrative reconsideration is handed down; alternatively, this second option can be used directly without the need to go first to the reconsideration procedure.


When the grant of a patent proceeds, the applicant is informed in writing. A term of two months (extendible for two additional months) is allowed for the payment of fees corresponding to publication and issuance of the Letters Patent Deed. The Letters Patent Deed is issued in electronic format only.

Publication: once the patent has been granted it is published by the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property in the Official Gazette.

The rights conferred by the patent will be determined by the approved claims. The description and the drawings or, if any, the sequence listing and the deposit of biological material will serve to interpret the claims. 

Duration: twenty years counted from the application date, the validity being subject to payment of annuities.

Annuities: the first five annuities must be paid together with the issuance fees; afterwards, annuities become due every five years.

Annuity grace period: within six months from the due date; after said period there is the possibility to re-install the patent by paying a fine.

Supplementary Certificates: the FLPIP provides for a patent term adjustment via the figure of a supplementary certificate. This figure enables to compensate patent owners for unreasonable delays directly attributable to the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property during the prosecution of a patent. A certificate is available for a patent which prosecution span from filing to allowance lasted more than five years. The adjustment is to be calculated only based on the unreasonable delay due to the Institute's actions/inactivity and the effective compensated time is to be half the number of days corresponding to such delay up to a maximum of five years. The supplementary certificate must be requested by the applicant when paying grant fees and is subject to the payment of a fee to be paid within a term of one month after required. The rights provided by the certificate are the same as those corresponding to a granted patent and are to be effective immediately after the expiration of the regular twenty-year patent term, provided the patent is in force.

Working: the exploitation or working of the patent consists in the manufacture, selling or importation of the patented product in Mexico.

Compulsory licenses: after three years counted from the date the patent was granted or four years counted from the filing date, whichever occurs later, anyone may request the grant of a compulsory license for an idle patent, unless there are technical or economic reasons for non-working.

Reasons accepted for non-working: the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property accepts the filing of declarations stating that a patent has not been worked up to the date of the declaration or within the first three years that the patent was in force if legitimate reasons for inaction are set forth. Albeit the Mexican legislation provides no examples of such legitimate reasons, such declarations can include the following: (a) that recently a working license for the patent has been granted; (b) that up to the date of the declaration, it has been impossible to realize the industrial exploitation of the patent, due to one of the following reasons: (1) insufficient market; (2) unprofitable exploitation; (3) lack of raw materials; (4) insufficient financing; (5) any other similar reason with logical and suitable basis. The attorney of the patent owner can prepare the corresponding declaration. Excuses for non-use are not mandatory.

Marking of patented products: the patent owner can mention that there is a patent or patent application pending for its product or process only in the event the invention is actually protected or intended to be protected. In order to exert civil or criminal actions derived from the infringement of intellectual property rights as well as to enforce preliminary measures, the right holder shall make of public knowledge that the relevant products or services are protected by intellectual property rights. One suitable way to make such public knowledge available is patent marking. Marking should be applied to the products or the packaging of the protected products. Marked products within this context can be the products directly protected or products obtained from a patented process.

Assignment: it is possible to assign granted patents. 

Licensing of application or patents is permitted, and their recording is optional.

Restoration: once a patent expires considering the grace period and the period for re-installment, it cannot be revived.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Rights of prior user: the previous user of a patented invention within the Mexican Republic is entitled to continue working his invention, provided he demonstrated the use of said invention prior to the filing or priority date of said patent.

Opposition: Mexican Law does not provide the right to oppose granted patents; however, these can be invalidated through an administrative procedure whenever all pertinent proofs are offered.

Expropriation: patents can be the subject of public utility licenses (this has not happened so far); however, the owner of the patent shall be heard during the process and must be compensated economically by the government.

Invalidation: a patent can be partially or totally invalidated upon request of any party holding legal interest through an invalidation action and the decision can be appealed. Invalidation action can be started at any time after the patent has been published in the Official Gazette.

Reasons for invalidation: (a) the patent was granted for a non-invention, for an unpatentable invention, or for matter lacking novelty, inventive step or industrial applicability; (b) the patent does not disclose the invention in a sufficient, clear and complete manner to be carried out by a skilled person; (c) the claims go beyond the disclosure of the specification as initially filed; (d) in the case of a patent corresponding to a divisional application, when said application did not comply with the applicable requirements (see point 4 above); (e) when as a result of a post-grant amendment, the scope of the invention was broadened; (f) when a priority right was unduly recognized and this resulted in an erroneous positive examination of novelty or inventive step; (g) in the case of double patenting; (h) when the patent was granted to someone who did not have the right to obtain it.

Infringement: a patent is being infringed when the patented product is manufactured or when the patented process is used, sold, put up for sale or manufactured by a third party without the authorization or corresponding license from the owner. It also transpires when the patented process is carried out without permission or when the products obtained thereof are used, sold or put up to sale. Importation of the patented product or the product obtained by a patented process without authorization infringes the relevant patent.

Penalties: Mexican Law establishes that administrative infringements to the Law and other related provisions shall be punished as follows: (1) a fine of up to the amount of U.S.$ 1,482,000; (2) an additional fine of up to the amount of U.S.$ 5,928 for each day that the infringement persists; (3) temporary closure for up to ninety days; (4) permanent closure. In the event of a second or subsequent offense the fines previously imposed shall be doubled, but the amount thereof shall not exceed three times the applicable maximum set. The patent owner is also entitled to claim damages before either the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property after infringement has been previously declared by said Institute, or directly before a Civil Court without the need of the infringement declaration.

Enforcement: it is possible to start administrative proceedings before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property. The plaintiff at the time of submitting the complaint must accompany all the evidence that supports its actions. Evidence will not be accepted afterwards unless it constitutes newly arisen evidence dated after the complaint. Therefore, usually the only stages that occur after the answer to the complaint has been filed are the filing of the testimony of expert witnesses (in writing), or inspections visits, if any. Provisional measures are available in Mexico that include from the seizure of merchandise or materials to produce infringing products, to the issuance of restrictive orders; they are in force until a decision is rendered by the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property. The requisites are to prove ownership of the industrial property right and any of the following conditions: a breach of said right, an imminent breach of said right, possibility of experiencing irreversible damage or well-founded suspicion that evidence of said breach could be destroyed, hidden, lost or altered. It is also a requisite to grant a bond to guarantee the defendant against the possible damages caused by the application of the provisional measures, prove that the fact that the product is protected by a patent has been made public, and provide the information necessary to identify the goods, services or physical facilities in which the infringement takes place, including digital platforms. After executing the measures, the defendant has the right to lift the same by submitting a counter bond.

Pharmaceutical Patent Protection

The Health Ministry must verify that all authorizations given to individuals or laboratories to sell pharmaceutical products in the country respects industrial property rights derived from pharmaceutical patents. The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property biannually publishes a Gazette which includes patents covering pharmaceutical products for patent linkage purposes. Patents qualifying for listing include active ingredient patents, formulation patents and second use patents, the latter through court orders.