LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called for making intellectual property rights (IPRs) an essential part of the businesses, saying that IPRs are the most valuable asset for businesses in the West but here in Pakistan still a lot of work has to be done.

LCCI president Malik Tahir Javaid said that the scope and importance of IPRs cannot be underestimated particularly with reference to safeguarding the interest and future prospects of business community. He said there can be no second opinion to this fact that the intellectual property rights are critical for competitive economy in the backdrop of ongoing globalisation. The new concept of IPRs based nation is gaining ground because it is intellectual property rights that enable technology creation and technology transfer by providing the necessary enabling environment.

Malik Tahir Javaid urged the private sector of Pakistan not to neglect intellectual property rights at any cost because these set their businesses apart from competitors, provide an important revenue stream, offer customers something new and different and form an essential part of their marketing or branding.

He said that government should protect and vigorously enforce intellectual property rights (IPRs) besides providing a congenial and protected environment to improve the image of Pakistan as a responsible and intellectual property compliant nation.

The LCCI president said that massive public awareness campaign should be undertaken for sensitising the consumers about their legitimate rights to opt for genuine and branded products and services. He said that government should also make efforts to curb counterfeiting and piracy with the support of enforcement agencies i.e. police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Customs.

He said that the manufacturers of counterfeit products were not only depriving the government of much needed revenue but also denting the reputation of the genuine manufacturers because the fake products are of low quality.

LCCI senior vice president Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and vice president Zeshan Khalil said that the FBR should make foolproof arrangements to check the import and manufacturing of counterfeit products in the country. They said that a genuine product takes three to four decades to get on its feet but a manufacturer of counterfeit product nullifies all the efforts in a few days therefore a mechanism should be put in place to reinforce anti-piracy laws. They also urged the government to launch a campaign to create awareness among the masses against counterfeit products.