IMPI recognizes 12th appellation of origin


The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) has recognized an appellation of origin for a chilli peper. This is the 12th appellation of origin to be protected in Mexico.

Mexico has been a member of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration since 1966. In addition, the Industrial Property Law governs appellations of origin in Mexico. Under the law, IMPI may recognize and protect Mexican appellations of origin.

On October 10 2008 IMPI issued a declaration of protection of the appellation of origin 'chile habanero de Yucatán' (chilli pepper from the Mexican state of Yucatán). The Mexican authorities began to assess this product in 2005. Producers of this type of chilli pepper had to prove that the qualities and/or characteristics of the habanero are due exclusively to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors. The declaration of protection will cover the habanero chilli itself and three types of manufactured products which contain this kind of chilli pepper (paste, sauce and dehydrated powder).

Of the 12 appellations of origin recognized by IMPI so far, this is the fourth to be granted to an agricultural product (the others being Veracruz coffee, Chiapas coffee and ataulfo mango).

Importantly, IMPI has also recognized the Cuban appellation of origin 'habanos' for cigars produced in Cuba after refusing to do so for 40 years under Article 5(3) of the Lisbon Agreement. Under Article 5(3), a country may declare that it cannot ensure the protection of an appellation of origin whose registration has been notified to it if the declaration is notified to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, together with the grounds for such decision. Mexico must now enforce the appellation of origin 'habanos' in order to comply with the agreement.
Roberto Arochi, Arochi Marroquín & Lindner SC, Mexico City

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content