Enhancing IP Governance: Strategy & Collaboration for CPEC

Enhancing IP Governance

The National Intellectual Property Strategy (NIPS) 2017-2021 in Pakistan

The National Intellectual Property Strategy (NIPS) 2017-2021, announced by the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO), aimed to address critical gaps in IP governance in Pakistan. One of its primary goals was legislative refinement, seeking alignment with the IPO Act of 2012 while maintaining a balance with international norms. Specific legislative adjustments were identified, notably under the Industrial Design Ordinance, 2000, and the Integrated Circuits and Layout Designs Ordinance, 2000.

Challenges and Solutions

The Strategy implicitly acknowledged the adequacy of the legislative framework but identified issues due to rapid technological advancements not adequately addressed in current legislation. Additionally, anomalies in trademarks, imprints, and designs regulations were targeted for resolution through amendments.

Collaboration under the ‘Common Interests Initiative’

The initiative highlighted the need for collaborative efforts between China and Pakistan concerning intellectual property. Addressing IP issues together would enhance the ‘win-win’ potential of projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road initiative.

Five Crucial Areas

The mutual interests of both countries in legislative protection, enforcement, international compliance, imitation, and infringement underscored the importance of robust, adaptable legislative infrastructure for effective IP governance.

International Compliance

Aligning with international instruments like the Madrid Protocol, Marrakesh Treaty, and WIPO Copyright Treaty, as outlined in Strategic Objective 2 of the NIPS, enhances both countries’ image and fosters unity.

Imitative Capability and Economic Impact

Reducing imitative capabilities, particularly in the CPEC context, benefits both nations. Strengthening IP governance discourages imitation, fostering innovative capabilities and attracting confident investment, thereby aiding economic growth.

Challenges and Solutions

Pakistan faces economic challenges due to widespread IPR violations, requiring extensive education and stringent enforcement. Collaboration with successful states like China, experienced in combating violations, could provide valuable insights.

Collective Benefits

Factors like tariff adjustments, free economic zones, knowledge spillovers, technology transfer, and innovative ability offer mutual benefits. Reduced tariffs and establishment of free economic zones in Pakistan favor Chinese investment, while knowledge spillovers and technology transfer aid Pakistan’s development.