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Scope of new specialised courts widened

By Erwin Cruz
Managing Intellectual Property, February 2011
In 2008, the Federal Court for Tax and Administrative Affairs (FCTAA) created a Specialized IP Court to decide all the cases related to IP rights, which started work in January 2009.
But whenever cases referred to arguments based on International IP Treaties, such as the Paris Convention or TRIPS, the files were sent to the High Bench of the FCTAA, as this Bench had exclusive jurisdiction in this regard.
This generated two separate problems: the magistrates of the High Bench mostly specialized in tax issues and decisions were delayed for months, due to the Bench’s backlog.
As a result the internal law of the FCTAA was amended last month, empowering Specialized Courts to decide cases based on International Treaties.
At this point the only Specialized Court at the FCTAA is the IP Court, but there are plans to open additional Specialized Courts, starting with one on antitrust issues.
Additionally, the Federal Contentious Administrative Proceedings Law (FCAPL) was amended to establish the “via sumaria” (summary venue). This reform should reduce the periods provided to parties, authorities, and the FCTAA to prosecute the nullity trial, by establishing shorter deadlines.
At this venue, once the Court admits the trial, it has to indicate the date to review and determine if the trial is ready for the issuance of the decision on the merits, which cannot exceed 60 days.
Lawsuits challenging administrative decisions going against precedents set forth by the Mexican Supreme Court concerning unconstitutional laws, or precedents from the High Bench of the FCTAA, can be studied under this new venue.
The summary venue cannot be used for fines imposed for infringement of IP rights, and therefore it will not be used in patent or trademark infringement cases, but cancellation cases and other decisions by the Mexican authorities with jurisdiction on IP matters could be challenged through it.