The proposed National IT Policy 2016 has recommended stringent legislation and policy frameworks to help promote creation of Intellectual Property Rights and implementation of secure cyber space.
The proposed policy admits that lack of IT legislation hinders growth of foreign investment in local IT companies.
The Country Manager of Microsoft Pakistan, Nadeem Malik recently stated that Pakistan is among the countries where piracy rate of Windows OS is highest. He further stated government needs to provide a conducive business environment in respect to taxation and policies.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has also ranked Pakistan at 109 among 138 countries on Intellectual Property Organization index.
However, the proposed IT Policy may play pivotal role in idea protection, ensure and respect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and control the piracy trend in the country.
According to the key components of IT Policy; Promulgate necessary policy frameworks, laws and statues to help promote creation of intellectual Property and implementation of secure cyber space. The lack of IT legislation hinders growth of foreign investment in local IT companies.
This IT Policy recommends significant improvement in the IT legal framework in Pakistan in the areas of Registration and protection of Intellectual Property Rights; Protection of data and online privacy for improved transparency and security of sensitive and confidential information; Work towards a framework of Cyber Security to ensure confidentiality, integrity, availability and alleviate vulnerabilities in the IT system to control cyber crimes.
According to the proposed IT policy weak enforcement of judicial system regarding Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, consumer rights and arbitration procedures in today’s economic environment, intangible assets which are the result of human intellectual creative activity such as invention, design, know-how, and artistic creation, are becoming increasingly important.
To mention the few Intellectual Property specifically entitled to legal protection are inventions, software code/solutions, trademarks, designs, literary works, and trade secrets etc. As the volume of trade in goods and services involving intellectual property has greatly increased in recent years, the importance of the protection of IPR for the world economy has grown enormously. In-appropriate and insufficient protection of intellectual property can distort trade and investment opportunities.
Therefore, legal framework is required for the enforcement measures for the protection of IPR, consumer rights and arbitration procedures for both foreign and domestic business/trade. Enforcement measures are needed to control the software piracy and to assure the protection of intellectual property rights of both foreign and local software developers.
A supportive environment is necessary to maximize the potential impacts of ICTs in boosting competitiveness and well-being. The political and regulatory environment pillar (composed of nine variables) assesses the extent to which the national legal framework facilitates ICT penetration and the safe development of business activities, including the protection afforded to property rights.
The business and innovation environment pillar (nine variables) gauges the quality of the business framework conditions to boost entrepreneurship, taking into account dimensions related to the ease of doing business, allow innovation to flourish by including variables on the overall availability of technology, the demand conditions for innovative, the availability of venture capital for financing innovation-related projects, and the presence of a skilled labor force.