Final intellectual property rights protection draft to be ready by year-end

Published: March 20, 2017
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LAHORE: Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir has announced that all stakeholders are being consulted for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and a final draft in this regard will come to the fore by the end of current year.

Speaking to media after chairing the 3rd Consultative Session of National Intellectual Property Strategy on Monday, he said the strategy was being developed and the seminar was one of its components.

Khan stressed that all measures were being taken to increase the country’s exports, adding Pakistan’s trade with India was being done under the Trade Policy 2012.

Responding to a question about cyber security, he said “following directives of the prime minister, parliament has initiated a legislation process. However, the cybercrime bill has already been passed by parliament last year.”

Lack of awareness on intellectual property rights

In reply to another question, the minister said the country’s growth rate fell 3-4% because of a severe energy crisis, but the present government was committed to tackling the weakness and ensuring the highest economic growth.

In this connection, the government has initiated a number of power generation projects by utilising resources like coal, hydel, wind and solar.

Of the $46 billion investment under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, projects worth $30 billion had already been started, he added.

Talking about Pak-Afghan trade, he said the turmoil in Afghanistan was also affecting Pakistan and cited the recent terror attacks in Lahore and Sehwan, which were a major setback for the country. “We have to maintain a balance in security and trade,” he remarked.

Creating Awareness: Seminar stresses importance of IPR  

Earlier, while addressing audience at the consultative session, he said rights of exporters, technological expertise, cultural matters and literature could not be secured without having a proper mechanism for intellectual property (IP). “Awareness of IP among general public will ensure innovative development,” he said.

He added they were in constant liaison with the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) for working out a strategy to protect IP including trademarks, patents and copyright.

The minister pointed out that IP also featured in the prime minister’s vision that focused on integrating country’s trade in consonance with requirements of the 21st century. “If we want to protect our intellectual property rights, then we also have to care about IP of other countries in the world.”

Pakistan retained on US intellectual property rights ‘priority watch list’

He said the government was serious about the matter and trade protection laws had also been passed by parliament in 2015. Geographical Identification laws for the protection of industrial and agricultural production were in final stages of processing and they would be tabled in parliament in the next two to three months.

Regarding the rules of e-commerce, he stressed that e-commerce was fast taking its roots in Pakistan, but there were certain complications and the government would introduce some laws to resolve these issues.

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