ISLAMABAD - Shahid Rashid, chairman of the Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan), on Tuesday said that the organisation would start One-Window Operation on March 31 to provide maximum facilities to stakeholders.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference here at the headquarters. He said, “IPO-Pakistan will provide One Window Services in Karachi for IPRs related matters. All the three registries including Trademarks, Patent and Copyrights have been housed in a single building”.

He said that IPO-Pakistan had already launched its new web portal on December 29 last year. “The web portal has enabled the public access to IPRs related information as well as online filing of applications relating to Patent, Industrial Designs, Copyrights and Trademarks,” he said.

Giving the details about the web portal, the chairman informed the media that the applicants could also check the status of their filed applications and file complaints regarding infringement of their IPRs.

This initiative was taken to facilitate the stakeholders and promote Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) culture in the country, the chairman added.

Shahid Rashid said that IPO-Pakistan was established in 2005 and since its inception it had taken a number of initiatives. He said all national IP laws relating to Patent, Copyrights and Trademarks were updated, IPO-Pakistan Act 2012 was enacted and IP tribunals in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad were established for effective and efficient adjudication of IP disputes. He went on to say that the IPO-Pakistan has also signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and law enforcement agencies for effective IPR enforcement and coordination.

It was also said that the first ever National IP Strategy was in the final stage of consultation with stakeholders. Two sessions had already been held in Islamabad and Karachi and the final seminar was being held in Lahore on March 20. The National IP Strategy will be presented to the Cabinet for approval. As a result of improved IP Management and attention to enforcement, Pakistan was removed from the US priority Watch List in the year 2016. This development augurs well for trade and commerce as it precludes any adverse action due to any laxity in the IP management.

When asked about the awareness programme, the chairman said that during the last year as many as 62 events relating to IPRs were organised in major cities of Pakistan to create awareness and provide training to stakeholders. He elaborated that IPO-Pakistan had also finalised the Geographical Protection Bill after due consultation. This bill is likely to be enacted in the tenure of the current parliament.

Shahid Rashid told the media about the forthcoming visit of the delegation of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China on March 21-22 this year. It is expected that an MoU will also be signed between IPO-Pakistan and SIPO-China during the said visit to enhance cooperation for the promotion of IPRs in both countries. The chairman also announced that the World IP day would be celebrated in Pakistan on April 26. This year the IP Day theme would be “Innovations – improving lives”.