US wants Pakistan to work more on intellectual property enforcement

Pakistani flags

Pakistan has made progress in its intellectual property (IP) legislation, but more needs to be done, the United States said in its report, according to Dawn.

In its new report, the United States Trade Representative acknowledged that Pakistan has made progress but much needs to be done regarding intellectual property enforcement.

USTR released its 2023 special report on intellectual property protection and enforcement on Wednesday. In the report, USTR kept Pakistan on the ‘watch list’ for 2023 while acknowledging that the country “maintained a positive dialogue with the US on intellectual property matters and promoting IP protection and enforcement”.

The report stated that Pakistan was amending its IP laws and encouraged the government to seek stakeholders’ input on draft laws.
In February this year, the US-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework (Tifa) Ministerial meeting deliberated on improvements to Pakistan’s IP laws and the progress on joining IP treaties, reported Dawn.

The US also welcomed Pakistan’s interest in joining international treaties, such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), collectively known as the WIPO Internet Treaties and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the report said.

Pakistan’s Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) continued to make efforts to coordinate among various government bodies involved in IP.
Nonetheless, serious concerns remained, particularly in the area of counterfeiting and piracy was widespread in pharmaceuticals, IT, digital content and software sectors. Reports of numerous cable operators providing pirated content were also prevalent, the report noted.

The initial development by Pakistan was traced way back in 2016 with the establishment of IP Tribunals in three cities. And plans to create new tribunals in other cities, but, pakistan has not moved forward, reported Dawn.

Moreover, litigants with experience in these tribunals have raised concerns over the lack of capacity, inconsistency of rulings, nominal fines, a general lack of expertise among tribunal judges, and confusion over standards by which courts review tribunal decisions, according to the report.

The US expressed concern over the proliferation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals manufactured, sold and distributed by numerous trading partners.

The report said Pakistan has not provided criminal enforcement authorities with the power to take action against counterfeit goods. While optical disc piracy continues in many countries, including China, India, Mexico, and Pakistan, online piracy is the most challenging copyright enforcement issue in many foreign markets, Dawn reported. (

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