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KARACHI: Chairman Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Pakistan Farrukh Amil, while expressing his resolve to simplify Intellectual Property (IP) procedures which was a constantly evolving and technology driven activity, said that under its long-term strategy, IPO Pakistan wants to simplify the cumbersome IP procedures through digitalization which would enable individuals and companies to get their products, services and other exclusive material registered even through their smart phones as being done in developed countries around the world.

“IP is a neglected subject in Pakistan as people here are largely unaware about the significance of trademarks, copyrights and patents. Hence, we need to introduce IP-related curriculum at our schools as done in many countries. Currently, only those Pakistani students at university level learn about Intellectual Property who chose to go for any specialized course or degree while the legal fraternity is also aware of its importance but the general public remains totally unaware which needs special attention”, he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala, President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, Vice President Mohammad Haris Agar, Chairman WTO, IPR, FTA & Regional Trade Shamim Ahmed Jumlana and KCCI Managing Committee Members were also present.

While seeking KCCI’s suggestions for improving IPO’s services and assuring full support and cooperation to the business community of Karachi, Chairman IPO said that strict enforcement of IPR laws along with stringent punishments and heavier fines were critical for protecting the interest of producers and save the public from counterfeit products. “It is a very serious issue as even fake medicines and food stuff were widely being produced which put the lives of poor public at stake,” he said, adding that heavier fines and dire consequences for breaking the law would certainly be a huge deterrent for counterfeiting.

“Administrative and political will has to be exhibited; otherwise, all the best strategies and all of the best legislations won’t attract foreign investors who get discouraged as our country is not part of relevant IP-related international treaties,” said Farrukh Amil. He said investors’ confidence would only increase if we have strict enforcement.

He also advised the manufacturers to look into the aspect of bringing down prices of their finished goods as it was also one of the reasons which encourages sale of look alike fake products being sold in the local markets at cheaper rates.

Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, in his remarks, stated that Intellectual Property Rights was the norm of business today and without IP rights, the country cannot move forward.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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