Uber has been told not to operate certain services in Sindh and Balochistan after a Pakistani citizen filed a lawsuit against it.
According to the petitioner, Uber stole his idea of insurance for a mobile ride-hailing service and had violated copyright laws.
The decision was passed by an intellectual property tribunal for Sindh and Balochistan. An interim order was passed on Saturday over the case filed by Zafeerul Haq Qasmi Pirzada against Google, Uber and others. His counsel Kamran Iqbal stated that Pirzada is a Pakistani owner of IP relating to ‘short-term digital insurance.’
Uber has released a statement explaining Pirzada’s patent and how it doesn’t impact the company’s services in Pakistan.
This is with reference to the news published regarding the copyright infringement case. The injunction has been issued against Uber Pakistan, the support entity, to stop providing digital/short-term insurance, however, Uber Pakistan does not offer any such services. The injunctive order does not bar or restrain Uber Pakistan from doing business in Pakistan.
Pirzada states that his idea, especially its underlying concept, technology and mechanism were all registered with a copyright office based in Karachi. He believes that Uber, with help from Intact insurance, ripped off his idea without permission from his client.
Pirzada states that he came to know of this intellectual property theft once he saw it being used in USA, Canada and more countries where it is mandatory to have insurance in public transport.
He further accused Uber of stealing his idea with malicious intent and using it to start its business worldwide while profiting by $1 billion per month with the help of a short-term financial insurance.
Kamran Iqbal asked the tribunal to stop Uber and its agents from doing business in Pakistan. The tribunal, headed by Shakeel Ahmed Abbasi, agreed with the plaintiff regarding the case of copyright violation.
Update: Article updated to clarify that the court ruling only applies to digital and short-term insurance, which Uber doesn’t offer in Pakistan. Hence its normal operations shouldn’t be affected.