Karachi (PR): Pakistan will have to protect its Traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions through Intellectual Property laws to earn respect in the comity of nations. Otherwise as per the international laws we will be deprived of ownership of our precious traditional knowledge and resources in various areas. Nature has bestowed us with the best intellectual human resource which is benefitting the developed nations because of brain drain. Unfortunately this exceptional human resource, expertise and intellect are unable to play its due part in the development and
prosperity of Pakistan. One of the major reasons for this drawback is the lack of awareness of the Global Intellectual Property laws and their importance for future business activities. It was stated by Chairman Brands Foundation Emran A. Riyaz and Chief Executive Shaikh Rashid Alam while releasing the observation report of their visit to the 51st general assemblies of member states of World Intellectual Property Organization: at Geneva, Switzerland.
While stating the details of the report they said that on one side it was a historic occasion for an institution representing the private sector of Pakistan on the other hand as a Pakistani it was perturbing that representatives of 186 countries along with the experts, intellectuals and technocrats were continuously there for ten days to represent their states and to participate on any matter or subject related with their country’s economics, commerce,
culture, innovations and inventions—-and were making their utmost efforts to protect the intellectual property rights for their states. It was heartening to observe that no country representative was ready to surrender his country’s rights unless the required level of confirmation was attained. It exhibited the extreme example of patriotism that not only the developed nations but even those nations whose names and exact geographical locations were not known to us – were not ready to surrender their rights. Under the circumstances we were passing through an intense feeling of dissatisfaction that who will fight the war at this global forum for our rights, resources and protect the interest of Pakistan as a nation just because it was an established fact that after the
establishment of WIPO in 1976; the representation of Pakistan in this forum was no more than a symbolic representation. We also observed that for the protection of economic stability , traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression our neighbor country India was at least twenty years ahead of us. Furthermore, India was most active as official representative of “Asia Pacific” region and has embraced success to a greater extent.
We also observed in the 51st General assembly that those countries which were markedly lagging behind us in economics and commerce are most active to protect their rights – notable in the region were Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is noted with concern that the assemblies which continued from 23rd September till 02nd October, 2013 delegation of IPO Pakistan could not participate because of unavoidable reasons and it was extremely disturbing that on this global forum where every country was making its utmost to increase its influence and to protect its interest, relevant institution of Pakistan was not there to play its role. Even the availability of Pakistan representative in UN Mr. Zamir Akram was limited to the extent of duration of his speech in the assembly. Other officials of Pakistan mission who were there occasionally were not competent enough to participate in the discussion or to elaborate the viewpoint of Pakistan IPO. As a nation now we are faced with such an unavoidable situation that if the public and private sector institutions of Pakistan does not opt for an joint integrated effort and does not use their expertise to protect the IP capital of Pakistan in accordance with the global IP laws on war footing basis and does prioritize their efforts on this subject then God Forbid, Pakistan may be deprived of ownership of its traditional knowledge, cultural expressions and inventions as per the global IP laws — like we have already lost the IP rights of “Basmati Rice” “Haldi” certain herbal preparations and specific cultural expressions to our neighbor country India.
Brands Foundation has been observing the present situation to its minutest extent and is ready to conclude that we are on the verge of losing this international battle for IP rights and now to reverse the situation we have to establish a national institution with the name of “National IP Council” to be headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and for his representation must include a real technocrat 9either from public or private sector) with good competence in international laws. The council should get representation from all relevant ministries like, commerce, industry, agriculture, tourism, science & technology and experts of IP from private sector along with the technical representatives of major universities, FPCCI, PPMA, PIPRA, IPO Pakistan and experts of WIPO observer Brands Foundation. The council should work out the scope of its responsibilities, prepare the recommendations and instate steps to increase awareness of global IP laws and how we can abide by them and make the roadmap for the best use of them for the protection of our national interests in various areas.Furthermore, it can ensure the technical and governmental assistance that the products, services and inventions of Pakistani origin are introduced globally and the trademark of “Made In Pakistan” could earn its deserving respect.
This institution will not only facilitate the IPO Pakistan but would provide an active “Think Tank” for awareness and implementation of IP laws for the safety and protection of national IP rights. The council should present its development report on monthly basis to Prime Minister of Pakistan. Keeping in view the national priorities its progress report should be made public after every three months. Our analysis also concludes that those countries who were the leaders in implementation of IP laws have progressed distinctively in the areas of economics and business development. The implementation process was marked by the inclusion of up to date IP laws studies in their syllabus at the higher education level. As a result every engineer, doctor, businessman, inventor, playwright, singer etc. was well aware of the IP laws and their implementation in their specific area of interest.It has resulted in marked difference in their performance and now can justify to the full extent their performance levels.
Brands Foundation request the Government of Pakistan and Higher Education Commission that immediate steps be taken to include the IP education of international competence in the syllabus in all degree and certificate courses and this subject should be made compulsory for every student of higher education.
In the meetings of Brands Foundation delegation with the WIPO officials, they assured us of their maximum assistance through WIPO academy and through IPO and Brands Foundation – for the inclusion of IP in the syllabus at higher education level. In line with the requirements Brands Foundation intends to include the relevant experts in its delegation to visit the 52nd general assemblies of member states of WIPO so that they can themselves gauge the importance of the developments. Brands Foundation also intends to organize on the occasion of 52nd general assembly, a “Made In Pakistan” exhibition to highlight the talents, expertise and culture of Pakistan as an outshining nation.
On this occasion, Chairman Brands Foundation Emran A. Riyaz informed the press that Brands Foundation has planned to organize a conference in collaboration with FPCCI and IPO Pakistan; in the first week of December In Islamabad on the topic of “Madrid Protocol”. This conference will provide technical and legal information to the business community so that the organizations having the required quality and competence can opt to get register their products and services globally. WIPO experts will make their presentations and will provide all necessary information. Brands Foundation will also organize another conference in the last week of December, 2013 on the subject of Global broadcast signals piracy and will inform the electronic media OF Pakistan about the recommendations of World Broadcasting Union to the WIPO; its joint declaration and in near future how the system will get its place in the global broadcast scenario.
Last but not the least, WIPO officials appreciated the efforts of Brands Foundation particularly its projects of “National IP survey” and “Intellectual Property Intelligence Network” and assured all necessary assistance and technical expertise for the implementation from WIPO.