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February 27, 2021

Pakistani brands get IPR protection in 100 countries

Business

February 27, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani brands have got protection from infringement in more than 100 countries under a new international protocol the county has signed, officials said on Friday.

The officials informed a meeting that the country joined the Madrid system of trademark of World Intellectual Property Organization, which allows the brand owners to protect their trademarks in over 100 countries through a single and cost-effective procedure.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood held the consultative meeting at the ministry of commerce to discuss matters relating to the intellectual property ecosystem of Pakistan.

The meeting was informed that President Arif Alvi signed the instrument of accession which paved the way to become the 108th country in the world to join the Madrid system.

Dawood lauded the efforts of the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO). “It is the policy of the government to help Pakistan’s brands to go global,” he said in a statement. “This is the best and the most sustainable way to increase exports. The ministry of commerce remains committed to supporting Pakistan’s brands and to strengthening of intellectual property ecosystem.”

The Madrid system registers and manages trademarks worldwide. Businesses can file a single application and pay one set of fees to apply for protection in up to 124 countries.

Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva deposited the instrument of accession with the WIPO. With this development, the trademark holders of Pakistan would be able to protect their trademarks in more than 100 countries, by filing a single application at WIPO.

Similarly, the member countries of the protocol would also be able to get protection of their trademarks in Pakistan by using Madrid route. It would go a long way in ameliorating the business environment in Pakistan. It will also encourage foreign investment in the country.

Half of foreign investors are concerned about infringement of intellectual property rights in Pakistan, although the compliance with international standards showed an improvement somehow in the recent couple of years, according to a survey Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2019.

The singing of protocol is to complement the recent relaxation in regulations related to transfer of funds abroad for brand marketing and business setup.

The central bank earlier this month exempted local investors from taking the central bank’s permission for foreign investment except when they want to invest abroad for business expansion.