Early this year, the Mexican Institute of Industrial
Property issued decisions denying registration for the trade
mark PINCHE GRINGO BBQ & Design in classes 43 (restaurants)
and 30 (sauces). The grounds of denial were a supposed
violation of Article 4 of Mexican IP Law, which states that no
patents, registrations or authorisations are to be granted for
any legal figures or institutions regulated by this law, when
the contents of an application are contrary to public order,
morals and good customs.
The reasoning for these decisions is that supposedly the
term PINCHE is pejorative adjective that means vile and / or
despicable and GRINGO refers to a person born in the United
States, especially English-speaking.
However, the real meaning of PINCHE is a person who provides
services in the kitchen or an assistant cook and GRINGO refers
to a person born in the United States, English-speaking.
Therefore, the meaning of the trade mark is an assistant cook
of American nationality or English-speaking.
The administrative authority not only chose to give a
meaning to the word PINCHE which is not its actual meaning but
merely a colloquial or slang meaning, but also exceeded its
powers in attempting to establish codes of conduct, ethics or
morals. It is the responsibility of other authorities to
determine if any name used in a restaurant could be offensive
or in violation of public order, such as the Federal Consumer
Protection Office or other entities empowered to do so. The
Institute is exclusively responsible for granting registrations
for distinctive signs.
Furthermore, Article 4 of the Mexican IP Law should be
declared unconstitutional as it empowers said Institute to
decide upon registration for trademarks based on moral issues,
when it does not fall within its field of competence.
The term PINCHE has already been registered in our country
along with the term FRANCÉS (French), without any
objections and having the exact same meaning.
These cases are currently being litigated before the Federal
Court for Administrative Affairs. We trust that our courts will
not allow decisions where the administrative authority exceeds
its powers in violation of applicants' right to protect their
|Luz Elena Elías
Pedro Luis Ogazón No 17
Col San Angel
01000 México DF
Tel: +5255 53 22 30 00
Fax: +5255 53 22 30 01