356. Mexico would like to thank Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and the United States for proposing that this item be included on the agenda of the meeting; we also thank the other speakers who have already taken the floor.
357. Innovation is currently one of the most important issues in the field of intellectual property. The Mexican Industrial Property Institute (IMPI) promotes innovation, while also ensuring the protection of inventions and trademarks.
358. In May 2010, Mexico created the Sectoral Innovation Fund (FINNOVA), which is administered by the Ministry of the Economy and the National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT).
359. FINNOVA's objective is to promote innovation in the country through mechanisms that help to convert ideas into business projects (business incubators), and to foster the linkage between universities, research centres and companies.
360. Through FINNOVA, the Ministry of the Economy and CONACYT, in partnership with IMPI, have developed a systemic strategy to enhance the protection and exploitation of innovation. This strategy includes the strengthening of patenting centres (CePat).
361. A patenting centre is an office that carries out activities relating to intellectual property rights management. Such activities range from identifying projects eligible for protection, providing advice on conducting prior art searches, and preparing patent applications for inventors (industrial property), authors (copyright) and breeders (plant varieties), to providing support for completing the necessary formalities before the relevant authorities. All of this is done to increase the number of national patent applications, the commercialization of patents granted through the licensing of rights and the transfer of technology, as well as to help build an industrial property portfolio. The main activities of patenting centres also include the organization of intellectual property-related promotional events, workshops, courses and seminars, the training and updating of human resources, and the preparation of promotional materials.
362. Patenting centres have been promoted by IMPI with a view to building the capacities needed to develop the country's patent system and to enhancing the tools and skills required by research centres to better protect their intellectual property.
363. In recent years, new patenting centres have been set up throughout the Republic. There are currently 106 centres in Mexico (46 of which are operational and 60 of which are at the start up stage).
364. In 2018, patenting centres filed 341 patent applications and 285 trademark applications and were granted 106 patents and 223 trademark registrations.