Industrial Property in COVID-19 Times


Industrial Property in COVID-19 Times

Several months have now passed since the first news accounts which we received from China related to the appearance of “outbreaks of a viral pneumonia from unknown origin.”

Those days, we listened to the news without flinching, perceiving China and its atypical pneumonia outbreaks as pretty distant. Fairly soon we realized the “error” of our naivety…

By January, we knew the name of the virus that came to change the dreams and expectations we had for 2020, ironically shortly after having welcomed it with hope and optimism, as tends to happen every New Year. We soon discovered that 2020 had its “own” plans and that it would be a different year than any other year that most of us have lived through…

The possible chemical or animal origin of the virus has been the subject of multiple controversies, whereby "theories and evidence" from various groups come and go; without coming to an agreement. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies have entered into a race against time to be able to manufacture an effective vaccine against the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the shortest possible time. The University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinovac Biotech, University of Melbourne, are some of the companies/institutions that have entered into this competition and indicate they have promising results, hoping to have a vaccine by mid-2021, a date that seems very distant still, despite the fact that it represents a record time frame for obtaining a drug with this broad magnitude.

While we anxiously await a vaccine, COVID-19 continues to increase, the statistics published by the WHO as of September 7 point to 27,032,617 confirmed cases worldwide ( For that same day, our country has registered 629,409 confirmed cases ( These numbers justify the joint efforts which governments, health organizations and the population in general have taken to try to halt the virus advancing. These efforts have resulted in the emergence of a new normal, where everyone regardless of age or gender is relearning to perform our activities. Our homes have relinquished space to become a home office, a school, a recreation and entertainment center. Terms such as "quarantine", "stay home" "isolation", "social distancing", "pandemic", "home office", "videoconference", "online classes", "facemask", "gel”, etc., are part of our “new” everyday vocabulary these days.

Within this framework, and in economic terms, what should we expect? According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world economy will suffer a -3% contraction in 2020; the economic contraction is estimated around -5.2% for Latin America. In Mexico’s case, this contraction is forecasted at -6.2%, which is only surpassed by Spain, France and Italy. On the other hand, the growth forecasts for our country range from a positive growth of 0.1% as indicated by the Finance and Public Credit Ministry (SHCP) to about -12%, as established by BBVA in a more pessimistic scenario, one in which both Mexico and the United States have poor results due to the effects of the pandemic (

Faced with this discouraging scenario, companies, entrepreneurs, researchers, as well as independent inventors, etc., must optimize their resources and define effective strategies in order to protect their investments and do business. Within this framework, Industrial Property plays an essential role in providing solid and effective protection for intangible assets (products, processes, equipment, software, product design, logos, brands, etc.) in order to guarantee the corresponding property rights and prevent third parties both in Mexico and/or abroad from making inappropriate use of said assets, thereby obtaining economic benefits illicitly.

Undertaking strategic planning regarding the intangible assets to be marketed will not only add value to them by allowing the public to identify the products and services in a distinctive way with respect to those traded in the same industry, but also allows entering into negotiations with the certainty of holding the right and exclusivity over intangible assets, licensing the assets, building strategies around the know-how that result in competitive advantages for the business and taking legal action against those who use the intangible assets subject to protection without proper authorization.

In conclusion, Industrial Property is a strategic ally for conducting business in these times that demand greater and better planning.

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