Circuits courts split on the technicalities of civil damages
In the very near future, the Mexican Supreme Court will settle an important split among the federal circuit courts regarding the award of civil damages for the infringement of industrial property rights, including trademark rights. The Supreme Court will decide whether the civil courts may award economic damages for industrial property right infringement before the Institute of Industrial Property has issued an administrative declaration penalizing the infringer.
The two cases that caused the split at circuit court level are (i) Barba v McDonalds Sistemas de Mexico (DC656-2000), in which the Thirteenth Circuit awarded damages for economic loss prior to an administrative declaration from the Institute of Industrial Property penalizing the infringer, and (ii) Terroba v General Motors de Mexico (DC272-2002), in which the Eleventh Circuit resolved that an administrative declaration from the Institute of Industrial Property must be obtained before the industrial property right owner may make a claim for economic damages.
The Supreme Court's ruling on this issue is eagerly awaited.
Roberto Arochi Escalante, Arochi Marroquín & Lindner, Mexico City
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