Pakistani artists need more copyright, IP education – IP lawyer02 June 2022
Intellectual property lawyer Sana Shaikh Fikree, senior associate at Vellani & Vellani in Karachi, said that although Pakistani artists including those in the entertainment industry are starting to be aware of their IP rights including copyright, a lot still needs to be done to strengthen their awareness.
Vink, Tang urge INTA attendees to seek out innovation02 May 2022
Brands are always big business at the International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting Live+, so it was no surprise when much of the meeting’s open ceremonies were devoted to what brands can do in today’s world.
USPTO terminates over 5,500 trademark applications filed by low-cost trademark filing firms21 February 2022
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has terminated over 5,500 trademark applications filed by three low-cost trademark filing companies which are neither law firms nor have lawyers in their staff, and thus cannot operate in the US.
US Ambassador to Pakistan vows to strengthen IP protection, digital economy04 January 2022
Intellectual property protection and digital economy regulations are two areas which United States Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Armin Blome vowed to work on going forward as he proceeds to enhance US - Pakistan ties. He said the two countries aim to promote how US commercial interests play a part in Pakistan’s economic advancement.
India seeks exclusive trademark right for basmati rice in Sri Lanka26 October 2021
The basmati rice saga involving India, Pakistan and intellectual property rights continues as India applied for exclusive trademark registration
Ten products now up for GI registration in Pakistan02 June 2021
These products include Pakistan’s strongest exports, from mangoes and oranges to precious gemstones.
2021 Asia IP Profiles: Tell us about your firm!31 May 2021
Later this year, Asia IP will publish the 2021 edition of Asia IP Profiles. This guide is the definitive resource for companies trying to identify the best IP practices in the region, and is based on editorial research, and surveys submitted by leading law firms.
Pakistan accedes to Madrid Protocol12 March 2021
This development certainly opens doors for local and foreign trademark owners in Pakistan.
Nepal Challenges India's GI Registration For Basmati Rice09 February 2021
The tension between India and Pakistan with regards to the geographical indication of Basmati Rice isn’t quite yet over with the entry of a third player.
3rd IP & Innovation Researchers of Asia (IPIRA) Conference on March 24-27, 202104 February 2021
What to expect from one of Asia’s major annual academic gatherings
Pakistan notifies GI Rules28 January 2021
Lawyer cites economic impact, lessons, but says it has no bearing in basmati rice case with India.
People and places
In 2021 Pakistan made significant strides in intellectual property protection as the country acceded to the Madrid Protocol on February 24, 2021, and then established a legal framework for the protection of geographical indications, among others.
During his confirmation hearing at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in December 2021, newly appointed United States Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Armin Blome vowed to work on intellectual property protection and digital economy regulations to enhance U.S.–Pakistan ties. He said the two countries aim to promote how U.S. commercial interests play a part in Pakistan’s economic advancement.
The IP scene in Pakistan is less than robust. There are a number of low-cost trademark filing firms, which are neither law firms nor IP agents, thus resulting in numerous mistakes in applications. This leads to office actions and rejections, prompting clients to shell out more money.
Awareness of IP rights and enforcement are also generally weak. Pakistan’s Intellectual Property Organization is trying to address these by organizing seminars and workshops for small to medium-sized enterprises and training sessions for enforcement agencies.
Additionally, in 2019, the office of the United States Trade Representative, in conjunction with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Commercial Law Development Program, provided technical advice on draft amendments to Pakistan’s copyright, patent and trademark ordinances. Such amendments are now under review.
Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property’s Pakistan office in Karachi boasts an IP practice covering trademark, patent, copyright, design and domain names. With head offices in Jordan, the firm has been instrumental in the improvement of IP ecosystems in Arab countries, working closely with their governments and multilateral organizations. The firm’s headquarters are in Amman, Jordan.
Founded in 1972, Ali & Associates is an internationally-recognized law firm specializing in IP, media and IT. The firm was named Pakistan copyright firm of the year at the 2021 Asia IP Awards. The firm is led by senior partner Syed Auqil Ali Shah and managing partner Karimullah Adeni. The team is well-known for enforcement and litigation work, and has represented domestic and foreign clients in the cosmetic, chemical, textile, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, machinery, electronic, automobile and agriculture sectors. The firm has domestic offices in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, and foreign offices in Kabul and the Washington area.
One of the fastest growing law firms in the region, Lahore-based ALIPA (Abeed Legal & IP Attorneys) provides IP services covering trademarks, designs, copyrights, patents, and domain names. These include filing, registration, renewal, opposition, licensing, assignments, post registration procedures, opinions and counseling, prosecution, due diligence and litigation. The firm, which has several regional offices, delivers these solutions to startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, fueled by its lawyers’ outstanding technical and litigation expertise. This team of legal professionals is led by founder and managing partner Muhammad Abeed Atif who specializes in corporate matters, IP laws and technology laws. Managing partner Khadija Ijaz is the latest addition to the group. The firm was named Pakistan trademark firm of the year at the 2021 Asia IP Awards.
Founded by Abdur Bharucha in 1948, Bharucha & Co is one of the oldest firms for patent and trademark prosecution work in Karachi. The firm, which was named Pakistan patent firm of the year at the 2021 Asia IP Awards, collaborates with an IPfocused investigation agency, so timerestricted projects can be handled swiftly. It has developed an extensive and dynamic network of law firms in neighbouring countries, mainly South Asian and Gulf countries to assure its clients of reliable assistance in said jurisdictions. The law firm filed an opposition against the application for registration of a local company’s trademark on behalf of a foreign company – the real proprietor of the trademark – whose marks are already in use in many countries. The opposition was allowed and the local company’s application was refused for registration. Farzana Rustom, Qamar Uddin, Hameeda Asif, Saira Bhatty and Mohammad Fazil Bharucha are key practitioners in the firm.
Daudpota International is a frontrunner in the legal services industry in South Asia and the Middle East with offices in the UAE, Sri Lanka and in Karachi. Managing partner Junaid Daudpota, who specializes in competition law, IP, commercial and financial law, is a key practitioner in the firm’s UAE and Pakistan offices. The firm is led by senior partner Faisal Daudpota who worked on IP projects for the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development and coauthored the digital signatures law and IP laws for the Dubai International Financial Center.
Since 2002, Hamayuns has been a specialty firm for IP matters on trademarks, patents, copyright and design. Partners Saad Nusrullah and Mohsin Nusrullah lead the firm in a wide range of services including registration, opposition, assignment, franchising and litigation. The firm has launched a practice to provide IP services elsewhere in the region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India.
Intellectual property and information technology is one of the specialty areas of the firm Irfan & Irfan in Lahore. Partner Hasan Irfan Khan, a leader in the area of IT law in Pakistan, is a main contact. He was co-author of Pakistan’s country profile in Trademark Anticounterfiting in Asia and the Pacific Rim, a publication by the International Trademark Association. The firm’s IP practice covers patents, copyright and trademarks.
Led by managing director Mian Muhibullah Kakakhel, Kakakhel Law Associates comprises seven partners, six associates and two support members based in Peshawar. Advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan Tehmina Ambreen and advocate at the Peshawar High Court Saifullah Muhib are top practitioners who have handled hundreds of infringement cases. They defended local publishers in a piracy lawsuit against Oxford University Press, Pakistan.
Khursheed Khan & Associates is a national law firm established by Zulfiqar Khan, who is now a judge on the High Court of Sindh. Its lawyers have contributed to national IP laws and rules including the Trade Marks Ordinance 2000, the Patent Ordinance 2000, the Patent Rules, the Design Rules and the Integrated Circuit Rules. Julie Ismail is a contact at the firm.
Meer & Hasan, led by senior partners Farooq Amjad Meer and Salim Hasan and partner Zeeshan Ashraf Meer. Besides filing hundreds of patent and design applications for foreign clients such as World Wrestling Entertainment, H&M, BBC and Hugo Boss, the firm has handled trademark infringement cases for Nokia and Domino’s Pizza, receiving favourable decisions for both clients.
Based in Lahore, Rana Ijaz & Partners comprises three lawyers. Managing partner Rana Ijaz Ahmed Khan and partners Rana Muhammad Ahmad and Rana Sajjad Ahmad provide assistance on a variety of matters, including technology transfer, licensing, remittance, accounting of damages for infringement, verification of royalty and license fee, product packaging, trade secrets and antipiracy. They also work with international associates to obtain corresponding protection in countries outside Pakistan, as well as to represent clients in litigation and alternative-dispute resolution.
Founded in 1827 by Henry Remfry, Remfry & Son, located in Karachi, is a venerable law firm providing IP services in the fields of trademarks, domain names, patents, designs and copyright. Muhammad Ayub has left the firm.
London-based commercial firm RIAA Barker Gillette has 10 partners and 13 associates in its Karachi headquarters with domestic branch offices in Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar; it is part of a global network which has offices in Dubai, Kabul, London, New York, Washington and Beijing. Managing partner Ahsan Zahir Rizvi has drafted regulatory frameworks for the fields of IP, telecommunications and oil and gas.
Founded in February 1948 in Karachi by the late Sheikh Fazal Ellahi, Sheikh Brothers is an IP boutique providing services covering all aspects of IP including patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright, unfair competition, licensing, franchising, technology transfer, litigation and enforcement. Amongst two partners, four associates and 10 other staff members, Salman Ahmed Sheikh stands out of the crowd and represents well with clients at all forums including the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Surridge & Beecheno was founded in 1948 by two British barristers, Charles Surridge and Peter Beecheno. The firm has expanded with branch offices in Lahore and Dubai. The firm has a department specializing in trademarks and patents but also advises on copyright and other IP matters. The firm represents the Trademark Owners Association and Wal-Mart, and is the honourary legal advisor to the British High Commission and the Swiss Embassy in Pakistan.
Based in Lahore, United Trademark & Patent Services offers services including anti-counterfeiting, administrative actions, and raids and seizures; arbitration and dispute resolution; acquisition and divestiture of trademarks; as well as enforcement, due diligence, investigation, inspection, litigation and portfolio management. Yawar Irfan Khan and Hasan Irfan Khan are top practitioners at the firm.
Vellani & Vellani was established in 1937 and is located in Karachi. Partners Badaruddin Vellani and Ameen Vellani have extensive corporate law practice in most prosecution work and, together, they lead a team which advises on matters related to trademarks, patents, copyright, domain names and anti-counterfeiting to both domestic and MNC clients as well as government agencies in fields such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, vehicles and computer software. Erum Rasheed, who filed 20% of the total applications filed in Pakistan, and Anwer Ghani are key patent practitioners, Khushnum Muncherji is a key contact for copyright work and Seema Mansoor is a good contact for trademark matters. Other key contacts include Sana Shaikh and Dilshad Bharucha.
Zain Sheikh is senior counsel at Zain Sheikh & Associates and a senior professor at the Sindh Muslim Government Law College in Karachi. Sheikh is highly recommended for IP litigation work. Clients say he has tremendous understanding of the law. The firm also advises on banking and finance, corporate law, M&A, aviation law and corporate taxation.