NBI raids Japanese construction firm for alleged use of pirated software. P 3 million worth of computers and pirated software seized by Anti-Piracy Team from Toenec Philippines, Inc.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Makati City, Philippines – Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation Intellectual Property Rights Division (NBI-IPRD) seized computers loaded with pirated software from Toenec Philippines Inc., a Japanese firm providing electrical and mechanical services, with office at Rm 301 3rd Floor, L & F Building, 107 Aguirre St., Legaspi Village, Makati City.

“We have recovered computer units loaded with illegally installed software of different versions and editions belonging to Autodesk Inc. and Microsoft Corporation from the company. We have also recovered pirated software installers in the area,” said Attorney Jojo Yap, head of NBI-IPRD.

The seizure was a result of the raid conducted by virtue of the search warrant issued by Manila RTC Executive Judge Reynaldo Ros. Estimated cost of the items seized amounted to more than three million pesos.

“This company largely uses software in its business operation. It is disappointing how company officials disregard their obligations to secure licenses for the software programs they are using. May this serve as a lesson to companies that continue to use unlicensed software.  The NBI takes a hard line against companies that continue to violate the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) “ said Yap.

The raid stemmed from a call made to the hotline operated by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a non-profit international organization promoting the use of licensed software. 

Speaking for BSA, Tarun Sawney, Director for Anti-Piracy in Asia, said that companies should treat their software like assets, ensuring that each program has proper license to avoid violating the law. “Software programs are vital to one’s business and should be deemed as important as other tools in one’s business.  Some companies think they could save with pirated software, but in reality, they are putting their business in a lot of risks,” said Sawney.

The use of unlicensed software is a violation of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines which includes penalties of up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of up to P1.5 million.

Last month, the NBI raided several stores in Cebu for selling pirated software. The NBI is part of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team, a government-led initiative to curb software piracy in the Philippines. Other members of the team, which has also been active in going against software theft, are the Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

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