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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 products.

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.

Col (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 goods.

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.

Registrar 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 years.

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 firms.

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 registration.

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
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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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