KARACHI-Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haq has said that strategic cooperation with the Brands Foundation and Intellectual Property Association of Pakistan (IPAP) for the promotion of intellectual property protection will continue at all levels and increase with time. My ministry will play a decisive role in removing red tapes and resolving every critical issue in the way of IP protection and awareness. The lack of legislation will be overcome by passing new and more stringent laws to safeguard the intellectual property in Pakistan. Digital Pakistan is our dream, and this dream will get closer to reality by means of adequate protection of intellectual property.

The minister expressed these views while addressing the first Pakistan IP Excellence Awards held on the 10th of October 2020 as the chief guest. Earlier, he lauded the efforts of the Brands Foundation & IPAP for awarding IP Excellence Awards to 50 organizations and ten IP experts. The former Attorney General of Pakistan Justice (r) Anwar Mansoor Khan, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Shariq Vohra, Chairman Intellectual Property Association (IPP) Farhan Hanif, President IPAP Tarik Feroze, Registrar Copyright Syed Nasrullah, along with Chairman HMR Group Haji Muhammad Rafiq Pardesi, Honorary Consul General of Yemen Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, CEO Askari Guards Brigadier (r) Adnan Azeem, Osama Chief Sir Shamim Ahmed and CEO of the Brands Foundation Sheikh Rashid Alam were also present at the event.

The event was attended by a large number of representatives of the business community. The first IP Excellence Award was jointly organized by the Brands Foundation, IPAP, and IPO Pakistan. Addressing the ceremony, the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunications Syed Amin ul Haq further said that the world is moving at a brisk pace powered by novel inventions. We have to make sure that Pakistan doesn’t lag and we can only do so by making sure that intellectual property rights are sufficiently protected in Pakistan.

He further added that massive efforts are required to introduce IP as a subject in educational institutions, and his ministry would extend full cooperation in this regard. Adding on, he said that the problems of the business community would be addressed on a priority basis. He said that our academic curriculum should include intellectual property as a compulsory subject and special courses and degree classes should be started in this field. He said that IT exports of the country have increased and we should make every effort to promote Made in Pakistan. Manufacturing of 3G and 4G mobiles is about to start in Pakistan in a few months.

Earlier, addressing the function, eminent jurist and the former Attorney General of Pakistan Justice (r) Anwar Mansoor Khan said that in today’s world, the economy of a country depends on how well it’s branded. Today, world-famous brands are reluctant to come to Pakistan. They fear the protection of their brand and intellectual property. This is one reason why we are deprived of direct foreign investments from big global brands. He said it is unfortunate that not only is there a lack of IP awareness, but there is also a severe shortage of experts in this field in Pakistan. We need to increase awareness about IP in the areas of education, industry, advocacy, and bureaucracy. Only then will we be able to keep pace with the developed world. 

Addressing the event, the CEO of the Brands Foundation Sheikh Rashid Alam highlighted the history and gradual evolution of intellectual property in Pakistan. He said that until 1991, the world economy depended on industrial development. After 1991, the era of knowledge economy dawned, and the first world capitalized on it. He was also of the opinion that the government should give as much importance to IP and it is giving to the CPEC.

He further added that in today’s knowledge economy, countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh have overtaken Pakistan. We have solely become consumers of inventions and have not been able to register any proprietary creations. Unfortunately, intellectual property is freely stolen in our country. People do not consider it theft. The irony is that our law does not even take action against such thieves. He demanded that the IP department be restored according to modern lines and make it a top priority at the government level. 

Earlier, in his address, KCCI President Shariq Vohra said that we have not been able to achieve glory in the world of branding. It is imperative to protect creativity. If we do not protect our brands, future generations will simply stop inventing. We have to work honestly. All the problems can be solved if only our bureaucracy and institutions work honestly. Earlier, the Chairman of IPP Farhan Hanif delivered a welcome address. At the end of the ceremony, the President of IPAP Tarik Feroze expressed his gratitude and thanked the attendees for attending the ceremony.