Pakistan Needs to Improve its framework on Intellectual Property Protection
On the World Intellectual Property Rights Day 2013, MishalPakistan, a country partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum shared the State of IPR in Pakistan.
The country is not being able to improve the environment to protect the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Pakistan is showing substantial deterioration on the indicators to improve the IPR, Pakistan now stands at 106 among 144 countries on Intellectual Property Protection, as compared to 86 in 2010. The trend shows 20% decline in IP protection in the country, announced Mishal sharing the data on IPR from the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum.
On the other hand, an enabling framework required to create intellectual asset in the system continues to perform poor. The capacity of research institutions and private sector spending on scientific research and development has been stagnant for the past three years. This is causing the country to lose its competitiveness by not being able to create implementation mechanism for the citizens to protect their intellectual property.
The University-Industry Collaboration is also a matter of concern in Pakistan as more emphasis is being put on non-research initiatives or research in isolation from the industry. This also indicates that the businesses in Pakistan are not benefiting from the R&D being done in academic and research institutions across the country, resulting in lack of indigenous solutions for the local and international challenges.
Although Pakistan has shown improvements on the number of applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) per million populations, where Pakistan stands at 88 among 144 countries globally, a thirty percent improvement as compared to 2010.
The recent developments and initiatives by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan to encourage academia and research institutions to file for patents has resulted in more applications filed for patents in the country, however the lack of expertise and understanding about new ideas and innovations at the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) has hampered IPR activities in the country.
Pakistan adopted the Intellectual Property Rights Act in December last year, which protects the Intellectual Property Rights including copyrights, trademarks, patents, designs, lay-out designs of integrated circuits, trade secrets and other intellectual property laws; supported by other laws are powerful tools for economic growth. The protection of these and similar intellectual property rights of the citizens is essential to foster creative thinking, stimulate creativity, provide incentives for technological innovations, and attract investment.
An increase in patent filing and lack of capacity of IPO to decide on patent declarations can create a serious situation for IPR appreciation in the country, said Amir Jahangir, CEO of Mishal Pakistan. Intellectual property protection is important for recognizing and respecting creative and intellectual work in a knowledge-based society.
Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks, World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating the soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges.