The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) unveiled its maiden and unique manual on the “Evolution of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Pakistan: OICCI Perspective” at a ceremony chaired by Mr Mujeeb Khan, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPOP). The manual sets as a landmark publication, first of its kind in Pakistan, giving comprehensive view of the laws and its application in relation to copyrights, trademarks and patents in Pakistan. This manual will be of great interests to foreign investors, who own IPR in various forms and to the local innovators in various fields of business and vocation. The launch ceremony was well attended by OICCI members, owners of various forms of IPR in Pakistan, representatives from IPR enforcement wings of Customs, FIA and other Law Enforcement agencies, members of diplomatic missions, senior leadership of IPOP and anti-counterfeit body (ACIF) members.
Mr Mujeeb Khan, speaking at the launch ceremony informed that all matters related to IPO-P are being reviewed and relevant rules, procedures and policies will be updated to ensure that it plays a more effective role in enforcing IP rights and “ the OICCI IPR manual will contribute to the strengthening of the IP regime and educating all stakeholders to their IP rights”
OICCI President Shazia Syed commented, “The OICCI IPR manual will go a long way to educate investors’, innovators, as well as regulators on various aspects of intellectual property rights laws in Pakistan. Effective IPR regime, which ensures protection for innovators and investors is pivotal to economic growth acting as one of the key factors in attracting foreign direct investments into the country”. Shazia further added, “The results of a recently conducted survey of estimated financial impact from counterfeiting, smuggling and violations of IPR, including copyrights, patents and trademarks, indicated loss of approximately 14% of the OICCI members’ total revenue in 2018, or Rs. 757 billion. This translates into an annual loss of tax revenue of approximately Rs 240 billion to GOP.”
Effective protection of IPR has always been a key focus of the OICCI agenda and the chamber has actively highlighted at various forums on the need to create awareness and promote of IPR friendly business environment. The IPR laws in Pakistan, OICCI believes, are comprehensive and aligned to international standards where they can give considerable boost to country’s image when implemented effectively. OICCI is confident that the IPR manual will be a significant milestone in boosting awareness to relevant stakeholders about the existing IPR laws, and the measurement taken by the government to not only combat IPR issues but also strengthen the IPR regime in Pakistan.
Mr Ali Kabir Shah, Senior partner of Ali & Associates, who collaborated with OICCI for the research, and a key contributor in the compilation of the manual remarked, “The OICCI has been at the forefront of intellectual property protection and promoting good governance. The OICCI IPR manual provides a holistic view on the prevailing IP Laws in Pakistan and their respective enforcement mechanisms. The idea behind this manual is for the stakeholders to better understand the dynamics of Intellectual Property in Pakistan, hence facilitate them in devising appropriate, winning business strategies. The protection of intellectual property should be a concern of every citizen of this country as in today’s world the value of intellectual property assets may outweigh the value derived through any other means and resources.”
OICCI is the largest chamber of commerce in terms of economic contributions in Pakistan. The 190 OICCI members contribute about a third of the country’s total tax collections, invested $ 2.7 billion last year in new investments and employ about one million people, besides contributing significantly to the socio economic development of the community through their substantive CSR initiatives.