Francisco Escutia, LAAPIP CEP, reflects on the 25 years of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI in Spanish) and its fight against piracy.

When I began my career in the fight against pay-tv in Mexico – almost 20 years ago – I had to develop a legal strategy that could go against a new type of piracy related to the improper use of television channels, a kind of piracy that didn’t fall into place with things like counterfeit goods, that didn’t happen on computers or had anything to do with the movies and music sold on the streets.

This type of piracy was more complex because it was not physically tangible like the others mentioned before.

In those days I approached various authorities, including the IMPI (Mexican Institute of Industrial Property). In those meetings, the IMPI was always working to combat this new form of piracy, which was different and because of that, it was different to implement actions.

We devoted many hours to a technical and legal study. And the IMPI was always willing to collaborate with us in developing the legal strategy, since at that time there was no precedent in the matter.

Finally, the day came when we were able to carry out the first operations in the fight against the piracy of television channels, always in coordination with the IMPI. In those operations we went through everything; there was a time a pirate who operated an illegal television system chased us with a machete in hand; or when we dismantled an illegal cable operation in Mexico and, when we were about to cut the signal, the villagers surrounded us to demand we brought the service back because Mexican telenovela La Madrastra was airing the final episode that day.

And like those, we had plenty of experiences during the more than 100 operations we carried out together. Each of them carried out with a high degree of professionalism and commitment to combat illegal operations.

Later I had to develop an anti-piracy program in Latin America. My strategy was to apply the experience gained in Mexico, mainly with the IMPI. I sought their support in order to train the authorities in the specifics of signal theft across the different Latin American countries, and they were always willing to share their experience in the matter with other countries.

In August 2015, alongside Todotv Media, we started the first edition of the Antipiracy & Content Summit Tour in Mexico. For that first Summit, I went back to the IMPI to have them o participate as speakers, as they were the most experienced in the fight against piracy in Latin America.

As of today, we have organized more than 17 editions of the tour in eleven countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, among others, with more than 2000 attends and different working groups with international authorities and representatives from audiovisual industry.

Every edition has not only been supported by the IMPI, but has also become a benchmark among prosecutor’s offices, copyright offices, telecommunications authorities, consumer protection and other authorities in Latin America and Spain.

Nowadays, the IMPI is celebrating 25 years and I have no doubt that it represents one of the most capable authorities in the matter of intellectual property worldwide, not only for its effective application of the law, but also for the professionalism and commitment of the people who they work there

They are career professionals, some of which have been working there since it opened its doors. Not only are they specialists in the field, they also have a great passion for their profession and the protection of Intellectual Property.

Personally I would like to congratulate and thank Miguel Ángel Margáin, Alfredo Rendón, Irely Aquique, Jorge Amigo and Gilda González, for being responsible for the success and value of the organization around the world.

To them, I give my recognition and gratitude for the support during almost 20 years.

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Francisco Escutia