US Consul-General William Martin said on Tuesday he was encouraged by the Government of Pakistan’s recognition of protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) as a key area.
“We laud Pakistan’s continued efforts in IPRs enforcement through raids, seizures, and arrests, but there is still lot to do,” he said and assured Pakistan of the US determination to work closely with the Pakistani government and the private sector in this regard.
Martin held out this assurance while speaking as chief guest at a meeting of the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) at a hotel here.
He said industries could collapse without effective protection of IPRs and in this regard it must be pointed that crime syndicates in Asia had forged alliances with others around the world.
The economic consequences of ignoring intellectual property rights were very real and often devastating, he added.
The US diplomat drew the attention of the participants to the scenario of a world without IPRs protection. With fake spare parts for aeroplanes, he said, air travel would be hazardous.
“How could we rely on medication to cure or treat our loved ones if the medicine bottles were filled up with pills cooked up by a con artist who was least interested in the medicine’s efficacy?” he put the question to the gathering.
Earlier, Hamidulah Jan Afridi, chairman of the IPO, Government of Pakistan, welcomed the chief guest and said the government had promulgated an IPO ordinance and was working to legislate it into an act.
He highlighted the indispensable role of the private sector in making the ordinance to combat IPRs theft a success. He said the purpose of the gathering was to consider ways and means of bringing the anti-piracy efforts to fruition.
Afridi said Pakistan considered the US a major trading partner, and urged America to take Pakistan off the international watch list and treat it as a regular member of the IPO.
This was followed by a technical session to consider ways and means to combat piracy. The session included officials of the government and other stakeholders, including the Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association.
Participants stressed the need for foolproof implementation of intellectual property laws in the country with exemplary action being taken against those misusing registered brand names.