Expressing serious concerns over lack of awareness about Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), Chairman Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Shahid Rashid said that practice of patent registration has been on a further decline since 2009 as the country could file only 117 patents during last five years.
Only 1050 patents could be filed in the country during the last 50 years, said Rasheed while addressing the opening ceremony of four days training workshop on Intellectual Property Rights — patent drafting, licensing and valuation organized by IPO in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC). It highlighted the importance of awareness among researchers and innovators about their rights in addition to shedding light on the role of Intellectual Property Rights in development of a country’s economy.
The Chairman IPO underlined the importance of coordination among different government institutions and ministries to work on filing of patents, as he said the lack of coordination has already caused a severe loss to the country not only economically but also academically. He lauded the HEC initiative for establishment of Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization in more than 40 universities in order to promote a research culture in the country and provide the researchers with a platform and opportunity to market their work. He stressed the need for bridging the gap between academia and business entities for promotion as well as utilization of research.
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, said that HEC is jointly working with various organizations to create awareness in universities about the importance of Intellectual Property. He said the HEC is also extending technical support to different entities to help researchers protect their Intellectual Properties by achieving patents for their innovative work.
He underlined that HEC is putting strenuous efforts to develop a research culture in Pakistan and it is paying due attention for promotion of R&D. He also briefed the audience about establishment of Centers of Advanced Research and their functions in this regard. Analyzing the progress with regard to filing of research papers in Pakistan, the Chairman said that the number of research papers registered in 2002 was only 800 and reached 12000 in the last year, which is a remarkable development.
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said that the government is committed to encouraging research in the country and is working on development of technology transfer research projects. He also emphasized the need for creating awareness among the people concerned about Intellectual Property Rights, as he said the lack of awareness is causing loss not only to researchers but the country as a whole.
Bernard Francois, Head of Cooperation, European Delegation in Pakistan, underscored the importance of Intellectual Property for investors and inventors. He stressed the need for strengthening of IPRs system. He appreciated the IPO-Pakistan for its efforts to create awareness among the masses about Intellectual Property Rights.
Haroon Rashid, renowned artiste, revealed the significance of Intellectual Property awareness among artistes and musicians, saying that musicians and music are accorded great value abroad, but the lack of education and knowledge about Intellectual Property Rights causes the Pakistani artistes to suffer financially. He said that the music industry witnessed a considerable growth in 1990s in Pakistan but, later on, the artistes started moving abroad for high economic gains as they were valued over there.
Dr. Arshad, Rector National Textile University Faisalabad, Dr. Hassan Naqvi, representative of Vanderbilt University – Nashville, TN, and other speakers presented the details of challenges and opportunities associated with the Intellectual Property regime in the country and the role of IPRs in the development of economy.