Pakistan 70% piracy in books
KARACHI, July 20: Counterfeit and pirated products have a billion rupee
market in Pakistan with the highest rate of 70 per cent piracy in books and 30
to 35 per cent in consumer items, organisations dealing with infringement of
Intellectual Property Rights revealed this week.
The main areas of
counterfeiting and piracy are consumer items, electronics, chemicals, paints,
stationery, books, movies and CDs, engineering items and hi-tech
Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Gujrat and Multan are the main hub
of counterfeiting and imitation of products. Lahore and Multan are known for
counterfeiting in oil and lubricants, medicines, and printing; Karachi for
counterfeiting in paints, cigarettes and books and Quetta and Peshawar are hub
of smuggled counterfeit items.
The Intellectual Property Organisation
(IPO) has set up an intellectual property enforcement coordination committee
having members from the private sector to check the growing menace of
counterfeiting. The committee is headed by Yasin Tahir, Director General of IPO
and includes two private sector organisations dealing with the menace. The other
members of the committee are from Customs, Police, FIA and Pemra.
(retd) Faiz Mukhtar Qureshi of Pakistan Intellectual Property Solution (Pips)
said that the organisation conducted 5,000 raids to confiscate counterfeit
and pirated goods. Some of the biggest operations included seizure of pirated
Philips goods worth $2.5 million imported from Singapore.
China is also a
major source of import of counterfeit products. Raids were also conducted in
Torkham and Chaman border areas to confiscate smuggled counterfeit
The company, which has 33 multinationals and two local clients,
has 11 offices all over the country with over 100 investigators who visit the
markets to detect the counterfeit products and instances of infringement of
trade mark and copyrights violations. They have detected underground printing
press set up to print pirated books.
The Pips plans to set up Zero Piracy
Stores at Urdu Bazars in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, which would sell books
of UK publishers at cheaper rates. For this purpose, the company has made
arrangements with Cambridge University Press, Pearson Elseveir for medical books
and MaCgraw Hill.
Meanwhile, the Intellectual Property Organisation
(IPO), set up in April 2005, has stepped up efforts to integrate its three
departments, namely Trade Mark, Copyrights and Patents and Designs, for an
effective enforcement of the intellectual property rights.
Trade Mark Mohammad Mohsin said on Tuesday that the publication of Trade
Mark Journal, which was late by 15 months in last July, has been made updated
and its May and June issues were published on time.
All trade marks
registered with the department are first published in the journal and become
effective after four months if there is no objection.
Income from trade
mark registration increased by 30 per cent to Rs60 million from Rs40 million
earlier. There is Rs1,000 fee for filing a trade mark registration application
with Rs3,000 for registration certificate and Rs5,000 for renewal after 10
Pakistan is set to sign the Madrid Protocol of Intellectual
Property Rights, which would bring the registration of trade mark at par with
international registration. A trade mark application filed in Geneva would be
deemed to be filed in Karachi.
When Pakistan came into being, there were
hundred per cent trade marks registered by foreign companies but now 70 per cent
trade marks belonged to the local companies and only 30 per cent by foreign
Brands product manager of Unilever, which has registered 30
consumer items with the trade mark department said the company's products had
been greatly protected against counterfeiting with the trade mark
He said increase in number of counterfeit items has
increased because some companies start producing a particular product with the
filing of application for trade mark registration which takes at least one year
to finalise. There are others who have a copyright registration but use the same
as a trade mark.
The instances of counterfeiting are greater in case of
shampoo, soap and tea, he added.
He said Unilever has launched a campaign
against the manufacturers of counterfeit products with the cooperation of the
law enforcing agencies, which take immediate action to seize the factory
producing counterfeit items. Dawn