Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) on Tuesday announced the key findings of its latest Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Survey.
The OICCI 2019 IPR survey highlighted that IPR protection continues to be of high importance for the business community of Pakistan, whereas there is need for better appreciation of the importance of IPR among other key stakeholders, including the government and the media.
Approximately 50pc of the respondents believe that IP rights are not adequately protected in the country. However, comparing the IPR environment with other countries in the region, OICCI members perceive that the IPR environment in Pakistan to be ‘better’ or ‘same’ than Bangladesh, India and Philippines and their feedback indicates that it has improved somewhat as compared to the survey conducted in 2017. In terms of estimated revenue losses, 17pc of the respondents indicated losing more than 20pc of their annual turnover due to IP violation, compared to 6pc in 2017.
The survey highlights the need for a concerted effort by the relevant authorities towards robust enforcement of IPR laws as the foreign investors expect a significant improvement in the IPR regime to facilitate FDI in Pakistan. Some of the concerns shared by the survey respondents included lengthy timelines for granting IP rights as well as judicial proceedings. They also mentioned a lack of awareness about IPR amongst some stakeholders, other than brand owners, and few IP Tribunals for timely resolution of IPR infringement cases. Currently, over 90pc of the OICCI members prefer reliance on their own resources for monitoring the threat of IPR violations. However, there is a great desire for all the IP owners to work with the government for a better IPR regime in Pakistan.
The OICCI 2019 IPR survey results reflect the assessment of the foreign investors, who are members of the chamber, on the state of intellectual property protection in Pakistan. The survey was conducted during August –September 2019, following up on a similar survey conducted in 2017. Protection of IP is one of the key elements in attracting FDI in the country.