Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC
You are actively involved in a number of IP organisations, including as past president of the Mexican Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property litigation committee and the International Chamber of Commerce IP litigation committee, Mexico. Why is engagement in such organisations important for the personal and professional development of IP practitioners?
Being actively involved in IP organisations is essential, as through these working groups we can improve the protection of IP rights by implementing an effective IP rights regime, considering the demands of global IP protection and working to introduce all the necessary tools to protect such rights to the Mexican legal system. Additionally, as these organisations regularly arrange forums to discuss hot topics in this area, practices and the criteria of the authorities and courts, active involvement keeps practitioners updated on developments in the IP field and provides a good opportunity to keep in touch with the authorities and magistrates that resolve IP cases representing not only their interests, but those of rights holders as well.
As lead of BC&B’s IP litigation, trademark and copyright, and corporate and commercial law groups, how do you engage colleagues across all departments and ensure a consistent firm-wide approach to tasks?
Although my colleagues at BC&B are committed to tasks according to their expertise, I have learned to detect the expectations and requirements of each client depending on both their needs and their industry. Therefore, we have implemented direct channels of communication to ensure that client requests, queries and even actions are well managed and meet every need. In this sense our firm follows a strict review system to confirm that each request, query or action is fully satisfied.
As someone who has represented domestic and international clients in hundreds of litigation cases, what is the secret to building a successful case before the Mexican courts?
The golden rule is that a successful case does not depend solely on the evidence provided by the client, but on the knowledge, experience and practice of the attorney representing them. The most important case is the one that you are currently facing. Knowing all the details of the case, as well as the pros and cons of your arguments, is more important than being the best attorney ever.
Your practice ranges from IP and administrative litigation to constitutional law and international trade. How do you stay abreast of the latest developments across all these areas?
One of the firm’s main strengths is our highly qualified and specialised teams, so working with sophisticated professionals is always important to keep everybody updated and to keep learning from one another by listening to and observing different perspectives within the practice. In addition, monitoring all legislative developments and actively participating in different committees not only within the IP field, but also through organisations such as the National Association of Corporate Counsels have helped me to take the lead in all of these areas. As intellectual property becomes increasingly international, it will have a more direct relation with administrative litigation, international trade and constitutional law.
Mexico is currently focused on updating its IP laws. What might rights holders expect from the updated legislation and how changes may benefit them?
Mexico has been constantly updating its IP laws in recent years and has adopted a number of measures to create a solid IP system, including the introduction of non-traditional trademarks, protection of trade dress, certification marks, the Madrid Protocol and secondary meaning. Therefore, the new IP laws will not have a significant impact on trademark prosecution. However, rights holders can expect the new regime to meet the international obligations that Mexico has subscribed to under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Moreover, rights holders should have the possibility of claiming damages for IP violations directly before a civil court, rather than waiting for an administrative decision to be issued by the Trademark Office, as well as the option for trademark registrations to be partially cancelled.
Juan Carlos Amaro
Juan Carlos Amaro is an attorney at law with various specialisations, whose practice focuses on IP and administrative litigation, anti-counterfeiting and constitutional law. Mr Amaro is a senior partner at Becerril Coca & Becerril SC, where he leads the IP litigation group, the trademark and copyright group, and the corporate and commercial law group. With over 25 years’ experience, he has represented domestic and international clients in more than 500 litigation cases.