::Intellectual Property Law and Practice in Pakistan

Intellectual Property is what is cultivated in your brain. Intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term used for human innovations and creativity that are capable of being protected under national law and international treaties. Intellectual Property includes a diverse range of commercial assets from patents for new inventions through to copyright protected artworks.

Developing and managing Intellectual Property allows a business to align and focus its activities and enhance its competitiveness. IP protection helps in:
•preventing competitors from copying or closely imitating a business’s products, technical processes, or business services,
•avoiding wasteful investment in research and development (R&D) and marketing,
•creating a corporate identity through a branding strategy,
•negotiating licensing, franchising, and other IP-based contractual agreements,
•increasing the market value of the business,
•acquiring venture capital and enhancing access to finance,
•obtaining access to new markets.

It is always worthwhile considering the commercial or industrial potential of your intellectual property—even though the potential may not be immediately obvious.

For example, when you start a business, you may not consider your business name or logo to be of great value; you may think the ‘branding’ is only of interest to larger organisations. But from your first day of trading your distinct branding helps to establish your reputation in the market place and promote customer recognition of your products or services. Over time your branding can become a business asset that may substantially increase the value of your business.

Also, if you need to secure investment funding at any stage, investors will be interested in the steps you have taken to secure your intellectual property, as protection can make your business more valuable by creating barriers to competition that enhance the sustainability of your business.

Doesn’t my business or trading name automatically give me protection?

It’s a common mistake to think that forming a company or securing a domain name automatically gives you the exclusive right to use ‘your’ name for branding. The best way to get nationwide protection for a new brand/ trade mark is to formally register your trade mark and logo. For added protection from competitors or imitators trying to gain a free ride on your success, consider registering your company name as a trade mark as well as your brand name for a product or service (if this differs from your business name).

Don’t I own the rights to any intellectual property I create?

You must register your rights to gain the full benefits and legal protection. In some case you may need to register your rights in several categories. For example, design rights can help protect the outward appearance of a product you design, but not its function. Patent rights cover the function and purpose of a product.

Pakistan like many countries is a signatory to international intellectual property protection conventions and agreements, however due to lack of awareness or any other reason the people have not utilised the benefits of the registration. Pakistan is a growing market with great potential but do not let someone else steal your brain child, get it documented. Contact us for complete registration details.

 

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