OICCI releases key findings of IPR survey 2019

OICCI releases key findings of IPR survey 2019

KARACHI: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) released findings from its 2019 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Survey on Tuesday, which shed light on the evolving landscape of intellectual property protection in Pakistan.

According to the survey, intellectual property rights remain a critical concern for the business community within Pakistan. However, there is an identified need for greater recognition of the importance of IPR among other key stakeholders, such as the government and the media.

The survey revealed that about half of the respondents feel that IP rights are not adequately protected in Pakistan. Despite this concern, OICCI members perceive the IPR environment in Pakistan to be ‘better’ or ‘the same’ when compared with neighboring countries like Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines. This is seen as an improvement from the results of the previous survey conducted in 2017.

A significant finding from the survey is the estimated revenue loss due to IP violations, with 17 percent of respondents indicating that they lose more than 20 percent of their annual turnover to IP infringement. This marks a substantial increase from only 6 percent in 2017, highlighting a growing problem.

The survey underscored the urgent need for robust enforcement of IPR laws. Foreign investors, in particular, are looking for substantial improvements in the IPR regime to facilitate foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan. Key issues raised by the survey participants include lengthy timelines for granting IP rights and judicial proceedings, as well as a lack of awareness about IPR among stakeholders other than brand owners. Additionally, the survey noted that there are too few IP Tribunals, which hampers timely resolution of IPR infringement cases.

Currently, over 90 percent of OICCI members rely on their own resources to monitor threats of IPR violations, signaling a strong desire for cooperation with the government to enhance the IPR framework in Pakistan.

The 2019 IPR survey, conducted during August and September, follows up on a similar study from 2017 and reflects the perspective of foreign investors who are members of the OICCI on the state of intellectual property protection in Pakistan.

Shazia Syed, President of OICCI, expressed concerns about the findings. “Despite an improved rating in the USTR Special 301 Report, Pakistan still lags behind desired IPR benchmarks. There is a crucial need for the authorities to build confidence among IP owners that Pakistan is committed to creating an environment conducive to innovation, creativity, and all forms of IP, to attract talent and FDI,” she stated.

Syed remains hopeful, however, noting that “the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPOP) is expected to fast-track various initiatives aimed at delivering all-around improvements in the IPR regime to the satisfaction of IP owners.”