Effective protection of IPR comprising of Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Mark is critical for attracting and retaining FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the country, findings of OICCI’s latest IPR survey 2020 stated.
Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) announced the key findings of its latest Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) survey, which was conducted during September and October. It reflects the assessment of the foreign investors on the state of intellectual property protection in Pakistan.
The respondents of OICCI IPR survey 2020 expressed the concern that IPR protection does not attract due attention from the key stakeholders, including the government, Law Enforcement Authorities (LEA), media, and even the consumers.
Long-drawn judicial proceedings, lack of awareness and appreciation regarding IPR, and lengthy timelines for granting IP rights were some of the key concerns highlighted in the survey. Overall, 40 percent of the respondents indicated that it takes 1 to 3 years to resolve a standard IPR dispute. Respondents also expressed concern regarding the penalty on IPR violation being insufficient to act as a deterrent and the IP Tribunals not being fully functional.
Currently, over 90 percent of the OICCI members prefer to rely on their resources for monitoring the threat of IPR violations. However, the majority of the IP owners have expressed aspirations to work in partnership with the government authorities for a better IPR regime in Pakistan.
The foreign investors participating in the survey expect that the IPR regulator in Pakistan, IPOP, would take the lead in strengthening the IPR regime in Pakistan to automate and fast track the process of registering IP. The respondents also expected the IPOP to promote awareness on the importance of IPR, its impact on business and investment, upgrade skills, and motivate LEA to proactively respond to the abuse of IPR.
Commenting on the survey results, President OICCI, Haroon Rashid, remarked,
Despite some improvement in the Priority Watch list in USTR Special 301 Report of 2016, Pakistan IPR environment has failed to instill a sense of confidence among the foreign investors and IP owners, that the country values IPR protection and will help create an enabling environment for innovation, creativity and all forms of IP to attract FDI and retain talented and innovative individuals in the country.
He added that the concerns of the foreign investors are supported by the loss of revenue ranging from 5 percent to over 20 percent, as reported by 42 percent of the respondents.