NA PANEL stressed protection of IPR for Agricultural Products

NA PANEL stressed protection of IPR for Agricultural Products

The Sub-Committee of the National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products urged the Pakistan National Agricultural Researh Council to fully utilize intellectual property rights for agricultural innovations and R&D. Chaired by MNA Shandana Gulzar Khan, the Sub-Committee stressed that the cash starved Pakistan agriculture research council may generate considerable royalty from its research and innovations. She added that IPR is a central tool to brand Pakistani agricultrual products on the glabal trade canvas.

The Sub-Committee mandated by the Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan is preparing a comprehenisve reforms package for the agro-economy of Pakistan. Concerned by the stagnant Pakistan’s agricultural exports and lack of proper branding of Pakistan’s agricultural products, the Sub-Committee held a series of meetings to identify the constraints that hampers Pakistan’s agri-based export. The panel received comprehensive breifing from the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan on the legal framework, institutional mechanism and processes for protecting the intelletual property of Pakistani products and registering brand Pakistan on the global trade canvas. It was regretted that due to lack of awarness and delay in legislation on Geographical Indication law did cost heavilty to the exchequer because of the unitneded theft of intellectual property in GI’s belonging to Pakistan.

MNA Ihsan Ullah Tiwana raised concerns over lack of tier based pricing policy for registering trademarks and patents as the huge munltinationals and local small businesses are accorded similar treatmets in registering the intellecutal property. It was highlighted that registration fees for patents and trademarks in Pakistan was one of the lowest in the world. The Committee recommended that the pricing policy needs to be revised and aligned with the regional trends. The Committee urged the chairman IPO to expedite the utility model law in order to protect incremental innovation particularly for agricultural products and machinery.

The Sub-Committee urged the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council to sign MoU with the IPO Pakistan and develop a book of specifications for agro-based products protection and proper branding. The meeting was attended by MNA Ihsan Ullah Tiwana, MNA Nafeesa Khattak, MNA Rai Muhammad Murtaza Iqbal, MNA Khhalid Magsi, Chairman and scientists of PARC, and Chairman and officials of IPO Pakistan.

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