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TEXT: This year Pakistan Customs joined the global community in celebrating the World Intellectual Property Day on 26th April 2021 through arranging multiple nationwide events. The World IP Day was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the year 2000 to raise awareness on the impact of Intellectual Property Rights on daily life. Intellectual property protections benefit society by incentivizing creativity and innovation.

At a juncture when world economies are experiencing unprecedented hardships, and countries are trying to recover from the perils of a global pandemic, we need to safeguard health and safety of our citizens more than ever. In the spirit of celebrating World IP Day 2021, it is reminded that apart from collecting multifarious duties and taxes, the Federal Board of Revenue also takes measures to foster economic growth by protecting artistic creativity and industrial innovation.

The office of Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights - Enforcement (IPR-E) was set up in 2014 as a specialized wing to enforce various Intellectual Property Rights, such as copyrights, trademarks, patents and industrial designs at the time of importation and exportation of goods and services. Albeit, the office of DG (IPR-E) is nascent and even the concept of enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights is relatively new in Pakistan, still a number of important measures have been taken to intercept import and export of counterfeit goods in Pakistan.

These measures include building networks with national and international agencies like IPO-Pakistan, FIA, US Patents and Trademarks Organization (USPTO) and US Department of Commerce to introduce policy changes for improved enforcement of Intellectual Property Laws and build capacity of Customs officers through training programs to capture counterfeit goods at shipping ports/airports. With dedication, sincerity of purpose and better controls we shall be able to curb the phenomenon of counterfeiting on borders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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