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What are Intellectual Property laws in Pakistan?

Inventions, development, novel ideas, reformation of redundant formulae, and the like processes aren’t something new to this world. Not to mention this but the nature of human beings resonates with the social order and demands innovative planning to live a convenient life. So, this opportune attitude led men to invent new objects and ideas by utilizing their intellect in the form of services, goods, entertainment, and much more. Therefore, such creations are termed intellectual property or IP. This property needs protection too.

Like other properties, IP is also categorized into several groups based on its nature and effect. The chief species of IP are copyright, trademark, and Patent. They have respective laws for the generation and protection of rights of proprietors and owners. So, this article deciphers what is intellectual property, and how copyrights differ from patent and trademark law. And what are copyright, patent, and trademark laws in Pakistan?

Classification of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is the creation of the human mind or brain by utilizing the best of its abilities and capacities. It is the asset of a person, company, or corporation which owns the rights and benefits attached to that property. So, this intangible property can be sole or joint ownership of someone. We can say IP is the genus and copyright, patent, and trademarks are species. IP generally includes innovative literary work, music compositions, songs, formulae, new business logos, emblems, etc. Mainly IP is classified as

  • Copyrights
  • Trademarks
  • Patents

In addition to the above geographical indicators, industrial designs, and trade secrets are also part of IP.

Difference between Copyright, Patent, and Trademark

IP is the only term that encompasses all of the three intangible properties. However, they are entirely different in nature from each other. The rights vested to the owner or author, how they are protected, what is the process of registration of IP, and what are the remedies in terms of infringement? All these basic elements differentiate them from each other. You will get to know in detail that lately that what are their differences and what are the exclusive rights included in the copyright law, patent, and trademark. And how does Pakistani law create differences among them? However, the writing skills required to draft an IP legal document are similar to other legit scripts.

intellectual property

Copyrights law of Pakistan

Copyright means any literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, cinematographic work and record that has been published by the author or owner.

Which intellectual property is subject to copyright?

According to the prevailing law, a work is subject to copyright only if it has the following characteristics.

  • If it is original literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work
  • Original cinematographic work
  • Original record

Literary and innovative work is protected under The Copyright Ordinance 1962. A detailed and well-connected framework of laws is present in Pakistan to protect Copyright.

What are the exclusive rights included in the copyright law?

Current law in force The Copyright Ordinance, 1962
Legislative framework The Copyright Ordinance, 1962  Copyright Rules, 1967 The International Copyright Order, 1968 Copyright Board (Procedure) Regulations, 1981
Copyright can be claimed when Literary, artistic, musical, or dramatic work is original  Cinematographic work is original Recordings
Copyright can’t be claimed When the above-mentioned work is the infringement of someone else’s original work
The time limit of copyright
Current registering authority Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Karachi Pakistan with regional offices in Lahore and Islamabad
License of protection The original author or owner of the work applies for the protection of the work done to the authorized board or authorities and a license is granted to the relevant person.
Authorities A board with a chairman, 5 members, and Registrar  A registrar and Deputy Registrar  
Jurisdiction of the Court and the board The District Court has the jurisdiction to take cognizance of matters of the infringement of copyright. So, the court shall decide the case within 12 months.  If the person is not willing to go to court the Board of copyright also has the power to resolve the dispute.

Are Trademark and Tradename the same thing?  

A trademark as the name implies a mark or symbol that represents a trade or any sort of business. It includes all those signs that can represent goods or services and be presented geographically.

You must have seen that big M outside the MacDonalds and a right tick on the Nike shows. So whenever and where you see these signs, you automatically understand what’s ahead or what the logo is depicting. These symbols are ‘trademarks

On the contrary, the word ‘Nike’ is the trade name. Because a name used by the companies or firms to run their businesses is a trading name and the logo is a trademark.

It is represented with the symbol R enclosed in a circle ®


Trademark And Tradename

In the below picture, you can see the tradename and trademarks. Sometimes tradename is the same as that of the trademark. As you can see coca-cola and nestle.

Current law in Force Trademark Ordinance 2001
Authority Trademark registry with a Registrar and Deputy registrar  Has the power to register trademarks
What can be registered for a trademark Goods  Services Good and services both
Process of registration Apply to the Registrar and the registrar issues a certificate with the seal on it
Color of trademark A trademark is supposed to have one or two colors
Refusal of trademarkIn addition to several other grounds, registration can be refused when an earlier trademark exists.
Jurisdiction The District Court has the jurisdiction to hear the claims

Patent Law Under Intellectual Property?

Additional to copyright and trademark the third type of IP is Patent. It includes a new product, process, device, or something useful for industrial purposes. So, GPS work design, Bluetooth design, medicine/Drugs formulae, and magnetic levitation system all are examples of the patent. And such innovative ideas need protection under a specific law.

Pakistan made a patent law in 2000 called Patent Ordinance 2000. This law was amended in 2002, 2007, and then 2010. We also have Patent rules of 2003. So, this law was formulated to keep compliance with international law and its application at the national level. Moreover, Pakistan is a member of the Paris convention and hence can be termed a convention country.

The limitation to renewing the patent provided in the Ordinance is 20 years.

Copyright vs trademark vs patent

So far, we have discussed the categories of IP one after the other and concluded that what are the differences between copyright, trademark, and patent laws? And what exclusive rights are included in them?

IP protects the rights so that the rightful owner can earn recognition, financial gains, and fame. Only the original owner retains the power to control the goods and services of the business.  The goodwill of the product is also protected. Furthermore, the patent is also protected from alienation without the prior permission of the owner.

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