Mexico’s Impressive IP Leadership

Aug 08

mexicoIn the global race to curb intellectual property theft and capture the myriad economic benefits that come from boosting legal software sales, Mexico is setting an impressive pace by leveraging a noteworthy combination of resources from government agencies and private industry.

The country’s lead copyright authority, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (known by its Spanish acronym, IMPI), has taken a forceful leadership role in driving software legalization. It began by getting its own house in order — conducting a self-audit and publically disclosing the results — and now it is reaching out directly to corporate end-users, educating them about licensing requirements, the benefits of using legal software, and, critically, the security and related risks that companies face when they run software that is not fully licensed and updated. IMPI also is deploying its enforcement capabilities — raiding non-compliant companies, imposing fines on them, and referring them to tax authorities for further review.

Private industry has taken notice of all this and is doing its part. Earlier this week, for example, the Mexican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) sent approximately 50,000 letters to accountants and auditors explaining that software is an intangible asset that must be accounted for properly. BSA will work with MICPA to ensure that its members are equipped to audit their clients for software license compliance.

BSA also is assisting several large corporations in their own audit efforts, helping them create network environments that are secure, efficient, and fully legal. This is part of a broader public-awareness campaign asking IT officers and decision-makers responsible for software assets in Mexican companies, “What’s on your system?” As these efforts conclude, we will work with our partners to publicize the results and demonstrate further that the benefits of software legalization are real and easily attainable.

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