KARACHI - The Pakistani universities are far behind not only from the developing countries but also from the regional experts in inventions and registering patents.

Whereas, in the past few years, this trend is observed to be more frequent. Particular laws have also been developed. Technology Innovation Support Centers (TISC) have been established in 27 universities of Pakistan.

These words were quoted by Assistant Controller Patent of Intellectual Property Organisation Pakistan, Saima Kanwal, at a seminar conducted in association with the ORIC department held at Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan Auditorium of Dow University of Health Sciences on Thursday.

The seminar was also addressed by Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zarnaz Wahid and ORIC Director Iqtidar Siddiqi.

Saima further said that, there has been an increasing trend in the legislation after Patent Ordinance 2000 in Pakistan. Also, the suggestion for establishment of an inspectorate is under consideration.

However, IPO tribunals are also working on it. After the establishment of Patent Ordinance in 2000, the annual percentage of registration raised from 80 to 100 which gradually hyped up to 800 to 1000 per annum in 2018, she said.

Whereas, copyrights have been increased from 3,500 to 4,000, industrial designs are elevated from 450 to 500, that of trade mark is up stretched from 30,000 to 35,000. Overall, the percentage of registration is still not up to the desired level, she added.

She further said that patents are an agreement between its owner and the government but people usually have misconception about it. She said that according to the new legislation of Pakistan, only a registered formula would enable the patents to be registered in foreign countries. Previously, Pakistani laws for registration were not taken too seriously and try to register those in USA and European countries, she added.

According to the law of World Intellectual Property Organization, registration in USA can only be processed if it is provisionally registered in Pakistan, Saima said.

She said to increase the number of patents and inventions, Technology Innovation Support Centres (TISC) are being established at different universities across Pakistan.

23 universities including Dow University of Health Sciences have developed TISC whereas 27 centres have been setup at PCSIR and Sialkot Court Chambers of Commerce.

It is hoped that this would help increase the research and inventions. She emphasised upon students to avail the opportunity that is only a click away. Websites have an open access and are full of knowledge about these patent registrations which would open new gates for them.

Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Zarnaz Wahid said in her speech that the Intellectual Property Rights is one of the moral as well as legal issue. In past decades this issue was not given much consideration but it has been a serious issue in abroad and a number of legislations have been made for it.

She further said that Intellectual Property Rights are not important only in the field of medicine but it significantly plays a vital role in the Pharmaceutical Industry as well.

Director of Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) Iqtidar Siddiqi said that Incubation Center at Dow University is soon to be established to introduce the ideas and innovations proposed by the students. This centre will be functional at the end of the coming year. They have also signed a MoU with IPO Pakistan under which TISC has been set active.