Written By: Antonio Campero
Cacheaux Cavazos & Newton
In order to claim exclusive rights regarding a symbol or invention, whether a brand, advertisement, patent or industrial design, prior issuance of a registration certificate from the corresponding government office, such as the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), is required. Such registration is a formal and somewhat complex procedure. By contrast, a copyright on a work is automatically legally protected because copyright protection exists from the moment the work is created. Also, the creator of such work has the option of registering such creative work with the Mexican National Copyright Institute. Such copyright registration is simply to confirm copyright protection; however, by no means is registration required in order for the corresponding rights to be enforceable. At times, it is advisable to register the copyrighted work in order to have evidence of the date the work was created because many times authors do not maintain evidence of the date they created their authorial work. Additionally, it is noteworthy that copyright protections are not confined to a particular territory. Thanks to various international treaties, such as the Berne Convention, copyright protection reaches beyond the borders of the country where the work was created. In Mexico, as in most countries, it has been determined that computer programs (software) are protected as copyrighted works. However, in some countries this type of protection may be recognized only by means of a patent registration. Thus, in order to determine the advisability of registering a work for copyright or not, the following, among others, should be considered: 1. – Knowing that once a copyright is published, it is likely to be used by third parties; therefore, those who know about it may benefit from such knowledge, because the only thing being prohibited is its reproduction. If the author desires to maintain the work for him/herself (such as a recipe, or a business model, etc.), then it should not be registered, so as to prevent its publication and so that it may be maintained as a secret; and 2) if not enough evidence exists to prove in the future that the work was created by the author on a particular date (for example the creation of a computer program), it is worth registering such in order to have verifiable evidence of the time of its creation. Conversely, if such clear evidence does exist (published literary works), then it may not be necessary to obtain a copyright registration.