Protection of “green design” in Mexico – Commentary
Industrial designs in Mexico
World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated on April 26 every year. The day commemorates the role of this branch of law in promoting human creations to generate a better future. Intellectual property covers both artistic and industrial creations, which are inherent in the development of the intellect. For this reason, these creations are subject to protection and property. Among the most popular intellectual property systems are copyright, trademarks, patents and industrial designs.
In 2022, the World Intellectual Property Organization has designated “Intellectual Property and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future” as the central theme of the World Intellectual Property Day campaign. This theme is in line with recent innovation efforts towards a greener future.
Green innovation is essential for younger generations, as it has a direct influence on the effects of global warming in the years to come. A change in the global economic model is necessary to favor production and distribution systems that respect the environment and reduce the impact of climate change.
Green energy technologies can be divided into two main categories:
- alternative energy production; and
- efficient use and consumption of energy (for example, more efficient light bulbs or aerodynamic panels that reduce friction in trains).
Industrial designs are one of the most popular types of intellectual property among younger generations in Mexico. Industrial designs in Mexico are divided into:
- industrial designs; and
Industrial designs are any combination of figures, lines or colors which are incorporated into an industrial or handcrafted product for ornamental purposes and which give it a particular and unique appearance – i.e. 2D designs.
Industrial models include any 3D shape that serves as a model for the manufacture of an industrial or craft product, giving it a particular appearance.
Scope of protection
In Mexico, protection is granted to innovative designs capable of industrial application. This protection lasts five years, a renewable period up to 25 years. However, protection can also be claimed internationally. As the scope of protection differs significantly from country to country, it is advisable to consult an expert.
The association of the two concepts of green innovation and design results in the concept of “eco-design” or “green design”. This can be understood as designing products that have a reduced environmental impact throughout their lifetime. To achieve such a reduced environmental impact, it is possible to innovate on three general aspects of design: materials, waste and energy.
Industrial designs can be used to protect green design in the context of these three areas, namely:
- minimize the number of different materials in the product to simplify the manufacture and bonding of the elements;
- increase the efficiency of materials, make them durable and environmentally friendly; and
- design for efficient packaging of products from manufacture to consumption;
- ensure that the useful life of the product is the most appropriate from an environmental point of view and that the product operates efficiently for as long as possible;
- minimize the long-term damage to the environment caused by the waste; and
- use recyclable or recycled materials; and
- improve energy efficiency in the manufacture and transport of products.
Using industrial designs and other intellectual property systems to improve sustainability and achieve a circular economy can facilitate the social goal of conserving natural resources and combating climate change. It also makes it possible to innovate and design options that are economically attractive and accessible to new generations.
For more information on this subject, please contact Octavio Espejo at Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC by phone (+52 55 5263 8730) or email ([email protected]). The Becerril, Coca & Becerril website can be accessed at www.bcb.com.mx.