Intellectual property (IP) systems play a significant role in promoting technology transfer, investment and trade flows. This is borne out by the experience of developed countries, and the more dynamic economies of the Asian region. The latter have focused heavily on modernizing their IP system in order to encourage foreign investment and exports of value added goods.
In recent years Pakistan has taken a number of measures to upgrade its IP system. This has included the integration of the IP Registries into a single, autonomous IP organization – the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan). Key IP laws have been updated to conform to international standards. Actions have been initiated to improve the administration of IP rights, and to promote the use of the IP system by the private sector. The TRTA 1 Program had contributed to the successful implementation of a number of these initiatives.
The challenge now is to build on the measures that have been taken, and further strengthen the national IP system. This is necessary if the IP system is to play an effective role in realizing Pakistan’s trade and developmental goals. Actions are particularly needed to:
- Enhance the institutional capacity to administer and use the IP system. This primarily entails the systematic automation and development of human resources of IPO-Pakistan.
- Integrate IP into broader economic policies, including trade policy.
- Address gaps within existing IP legislation so as to ensure that a proper legal framework is in place to protect economic assets, such as new plant varieties and products that can be covered by geographical indications.
- Have a balanced and an effective IP enforcement system which protects the rights of rights holders as well as of the users of IP protected goods.
- Establish institutional linkages between research institutions and the private sector so as to promote innovation.
- Enhance the awareness and capacity of the private sector to use IP for commercial ends.
Consultations with stakeholders have led to the identification of a number of priority actions that are required in the above areas. Certain actions have also been identified which can be taken in tandem with activities envisaged under the other two components of TRTA II. These especially include actions to enable the private sector to effectively use IP instruments.
Taking into account the results of the needs assessment exercises and stakeholders consultations, Component 3 interventions are focused on the following key areas: