Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

IP and its value for Pakistan

August 17, 2007

IP? What is IP supposed to be? Is this the IP address we use to access our Internet Service Provider’s FTP servers? Does it mean Inspector Police?!

These are some of the obvious questions the educated lot from almost every industry and business community would ask when requested to describe IP. The dearth of knowledge surrounding this essential economic growth component contributes to its violation and a whole lot of other evils that:

1) Eliminate chances and opportunities for creative entrepreneurship.
2) Eliminate the already diminishing notion of research and development.
3) Keep investors at bay from potential long term investment.
4) Give the world the wrong signals about Pakistani business practice

Our government claims that the growth of the IT and Telecom sector in Pakistan has been due to consistent “economic” reforms. It looks more so to be due to the efforts of the entrepreneurs who have played catch up with other economies of the world, and managed somehow to carve a niche place for themselves in the market, battling every possible business scenario.

The reality is that the “real” efforts have done little to warrant any macro economic stability in a sector that is ripe with potential, but still falls behind in its efforts to attract local as well as foreign investment. The main reason for this is cited to be the absence of any IP rights enforcement, protection, and policing.

Contributing to this is also the national phenomenon of endorsing the “copycat” regime of the Rainbow Centers in Karachi, to the Bara in Peshawar. Consumer attitudes towards these rampant forms of copyrights and IPR infringement and blatant forms of piracy are so friendly to this culture, that it would need major awareness campaigns as well as active involvement of key players in the global market to bring about a change.

What is IP? IP is an acronym for Intellectual Property, which can be anything from a particular manufacturing process to a design for a product launch, a chemical formula or any other intangible proprietary information relating to countries in which it is registered and protected.

The formal definition, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization is creations of the mind – inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. IP encompasses but is not limited to proprietary formulas and ideas, inventions (products and processes), industrial designs, and geographic indications of source, as well as literary and artistic works such as novels, films, music, architectural designs and web pages.

Waqas Ahmed