KARACHI, Jan 27 (NNI): Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce (OICCI) has congratulated the Prime Minister for appointing the members of the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPOP) Policy Board which had been pending since the enactment of the IPOP Act in 2012. The newly formed Policy Board has representation from the trade and industry including the OICCI as a member of the Board.
OICCI President, Asad S. Jafar, commenting on this development said that “constitution of the IPOP Policy Board with effective representation from private sector especially organizations like OICCI, is a positive step by the government and will go a long way in improving the Intellectual Property Rights environment in Pakistan and sending a strong signal to foreign investors who have been pleading for strengthening laws relating to protection of trade marks, patents and copy rights.”
According to OICCI, IPR violations in Pakistan are causing significant financial and social loss to the government and people of Pakistan. Estimates of sales losses incurred due to IPR infringements by affected companies runs in hundreds of billions with the consequential loss to the national exchequer in lost taxes annually.
Leading pharmaceutical and healthcare multinationals, for instance, spend between 15 to 20 percent of their revenue on research and development to introduce new products. Such companies may not be willing to introduce proprietary products in markets that lack adequate IPR protection.
OICCI recognizes that protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is vital for a competitive economy in Pakistan, and believes that the existence of a legal framework to protect all forms of intellectual property including Trade Marks, Copyrights and Patents, is an essential prerequisite to attract foreign investment and to ensure that the country does not fall into any international “Watch List” or embargos.
Currently Pakistan and India are among few countries on the US Watch list 302. Lukewarm protection of IPR seriously deter the introduction and development of new technology and inventions, and adversely impact Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inPakistan. Therefore, OICCI believes that strong and effective IPR protection will encourage research and development and further investment which is required to meet the growing needs of Pakistan’s economy. The most effective IP system balances protection as an incentive for innovation, and access to enable others to further improve existing businesses.
OICCI on its part has been actively sharing intellectual property rights (IPR) knowledge and best practices in promoting protection of IPR in Pakistan. OICCI regularly conducts IPR related seminars and workshops to create awareness about IPR matters for students of leading business schools, Law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, including an IPR seminar/workshop for District Judges of the Sindh conducted in December 2014. NNI