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IPO raises concern on fake cigarettes

Islamabad

May 13, 2020

Islamabad : Production of counterfeit cigarettes goes on unchecked in violation of the alert issued by Pakistan chapter of Intellectual Property Organization (IPO).

IPO Pakistan chapter took up complaints against production of counterfeit cigarettes in KP and requested the concerned government departments to take action as per laws and regulations under intimation to IPO-Pakistan. However, no action has yet been taken giving rise to the speculations that the silence on the matter is deliberate, which is benefiting producers of counterfeit cigarettes and damaging the national kitty.

It is estimated that production of counterfeit cigarettes in KP has been depriving the national exchequer of billions of rupees. The IPO chapter has been requesting the law enforcers to take action for 10 months but to no avail and trademarks of National Tobacco Industries (NTI) are being violated. Last year, the IPO Pakistan pointed out infringement of trademark ‘KISAN’ and took action against the Universal Tobacco Company, which has allegedly been involved in violating this brand name. The brand name ‘KISAN’ is registered with the IPO-Pakistan since 15 Feb 2007 and the Khyber Tobacco Company has the sole rights to produce the said brand for the territory of Pakistan, duly authorised by NTI.

NTI Chief Executive Siraj Muhammad, in a letter to the IPO-Pakistan, has asked to take action without any delay in order to avoid any further damage - both monetary and goodwill - to duly registered brand of NTI and to protect the revenue collected in the form of different taxes levied by the govt on the production of legitimate cigarettes especially in the current scenario when the country is facing the coronavirus pandemic.