STIMULATING SEMINAR ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND COUNTERFEITING ORGANIZED BY OICCI
Karachi, September 10, 2012: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI), took one more action in its’ continuing efforts to address issues on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and its adverse multiple effects, by organizing a seminar on the subject of IPR and Counterfeiting. The session was attended by a broad spectrum of officials representing the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPOP), Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan (DRAP), Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Provincial Home Department and senior officials from the US Embassy, as well as, members of the OICCI, on September 06, 2012.
Mr. Kimihide Ando, OICCI Managing Committee Member and Chairman of the IPR Subcommittee, speaking at the seminar said that effective enforcement of intellectual property rights has always been a fundamental part of OICCI’s agenda and the Chamber has actively lobbied for creating awareness and promoting an IPR friendly environment in the country.
“Counterfeiting of Medicine is a Global issue, which requires Global solution” was the subject of a very strong presentation by Mr Scott Davis, Senior Regional Director, Asia Pacific of Pfizer. Through various examples and corrective practices in the region especially in China he proved the point for strong IPR implementation and its benefit to the consumer and the Government.
Mr. Umar Dad Afridi, Executive Director, IPOP made a very promising speech at the event. He said that “the Intellectual Property Organization will soon introduce IP courts, IP Judges and will ensure strict enforcement of IPR in Pakistan”. He further added that the IPOP is making full efforts to soon convert the current IPR Ordinance into an Act.
Mr. Khurshid Ahmed Marwat, Additional Director, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), made a presentation on the “Role of FIA in combating Piracy and Counterfeiting”. He presented in detail the role and responsibility of various stakeholders in strengthening the IPR regime in Pakistan. He emphasized on the need for training of law enforcement officers and judiciary, changes in law to allow faster and easier prosecution of offenders, the need for the Government authorities to take appropriate measures to stop the violations which will positively impact flow of FDI into the country.
Mr. Arshad Farrukh Faheem, Chief Executive Officer, DRAP, strongly advocated upholding Intellectual Property Rights in Pakistan and offered the full help of the DRA to all stakeholders to ensure proper enforcement of IPR in Pakistan, with special reference to protection of Intellectual Property Rights, Patents and Trade Marks of medicines.
The Seminar offered a good opportunity, to hear expert speakers discuss what IP theft means to business, the role of enforcement agencies, the damage IP crime does to society and what action can be taken against those who infringe IP rights. It is estimated that over Rs. 21 billion is lost in Pakistan each year through counterfeiting, plagiarism and IP theft. Apart from financial losses, sub-standard counterfeited products, in the food and pharmaceutical sector, can be extremely hazardous and lethal for all consumers, especially for medical patients. This subject is an ever evolving one and needs continuous sensitization, awareness, teaching, training and research in order to fulfill the basic need and appetite of all the stake holders.
The OICCI represents 188 foreign companies operating business in Pakistan, many of whom began operations in Pakistan over 60 years ago. OICCI is the oldest trade body in the country and region which was established 150 years ago. 100 out of 188 OICCI members collectively contributed over Rs.300 Billion to the national exchequer in 2010. OICCI also plays an active role in terms of representation and advocacy to the government, various regulatory bodies, and policy makers.