KARACHI: The new government should focus on the neglected issue of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) whose awareness and implementation is crucial for economy, businesses and consumers protection in the country.
This was stated by Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP) in a press conference at Karachi Press Club, urging the new government to take immediate steps for the enforcement of IPR laws in the country.
Zakauddin Sheikh Chairman Forvil Cosmetic (Pvt.) Limited and Elite Traders was also present on the occasion.
Zakauddin said that they have suffered a lot of miseries and a loss of his son only because of trade mark dispute. So, the government must provide relevant protection to the holder of trade mark registration. He also said that Bio Amla shampoo is registered in the name of Mr. Zaka since 1982. But, the opponent is regularly doing illegal manufacturing and no government authority is there to stop them.
Kaukab Iqbal mentioned that IPR issue is very sensitive for foreign companies who have planned to enter into Pakistani markets but the widespread violation of IPR laws and inefficiency at the end of the government agencies have made them reluctant to invest in the country.
There are number of patents and trademarks of different foreign and multinational companies have yet to be registered in the International Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO) which is creating hurdle in the investment and business growth of private sector.
He pointed out that the violation of copyrights and trademark cause damage to the reputation of many individuals and organization on the hand, while consumers are being cheated on using the fake copycat and substandard products on the other hand.
The government should facilitate foreign and local companies to work with them for securing their brand name, which is identity of corporation’s business though small or large, when culprits are identified by affected investors, he said and added the copycat culture of brand name is rampant in the country, which is resisting businesses of genuine investors for expanding further in the country.
He added the government inefficiency to penalize violators of trademark and patents have dragged many companies to face losses while majority of them are not growing at rapid face, ultimately the economy of the country is suffering from valuable tax revenues of genuine investors, businessmen and intellectual.
CAP chief added that heavy penalty and strict punishment should be given to all those who copied intellectual property of individual and brand name of different companies to promote their business illegally. The government should expedite its efforts for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the country with proper team and regional offices for better serving organizations and consumers alike.
Iqbal said the government should also create awareness in media through advertisement and seminars to protect consumers using fake and substandard products. In this regard, associations like Consumer Association of Pakistan is ready to work with IPO and government agencies to aware masses at large in metropolis and small cities.