ISLAMABAD - The absence of a robust mechanism to implement Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in Pakistan is depriving the country of quality products and revenues, especially in the food and health sectors. Azharul Islam, Vice-President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), said the government should enforce IPRs to promote branding, innovation and attract foreign direct investment.
He said enforcement of IPRs was necessary to generate handsome revenues and avoid forged products. Across the globe, he said IPRs were playing a vital role in enhancing business and trade. “IPRs provide a balance between the interests of the public and innovators. It is necessary to incentivise creativity by assigning uniqueness to copyrights. IPRs also allow the propagation of advancement and knowledge.”
He said IPRs rewarded the innovator in many ways – enhanced business value, goodwill, loyal customers and quality products and services.
“It is important to promote IPRs, so that Pakistani businessmen can get good responses at both domestic and international levels,” he said, also emphasising that the process of issuing IPRs should be swift and easy.
Talking to WealthPK, Azharul Islam said IPRs protected several privileges regarding the product or service. “IPRs include a set of protections addressing many issues securing the uniqueness of a product or service – utility patent, copyright, design patent, trademark, and trade secret. The protection of all these titles fosters economic growth. IPRs promote commercialisation and are also a key to encouraging the investor, innovator and inventor,” he explained.
The ICCI vice president further said that IPRs safeguarded both tangible and intangible products and services – creativity (artwork, music, voice, culture); the transfer of technology, and knowledge sharing. “Companies with strong IPR portfolios usually get good business, investors and clients. Under IPRs, the exclusivity of any product or service also creates a competitive environment. It adds productive versatility to the market and stimulates economic growth.”
He pointed out that when IPRs were assigned for any product, automatically quality maintenance became the core motif. “Different signs, names, images, or symbols are used to market any specific product or service. They enable businesses and individuals to enforce their rights by legal actions. In this way, the breach of copyright law can be brought under accountability under the law. The specific trademark assures consumers to avail of a precise service or buy any product,” maintained Islam.
He said the increasing volume of patents acted as the main driver behind their market growth.
The IPR management tools were worth $8.9 billion in 2023, and the related market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.5% from 2024 to 2033.