Intellectual Property Overview

Intellectual property at a glance

  1. Patents, trademarks, copyright, designs and trade secrets are among the Intellectual Property Laws.
  2. Trademarks principally indicate the origin of goods or services. They can be protected through registration under Trademark Laws.
  3. A registered trademark may afford protection against use of the same or a similar sign for the same, similar or dissimilar goods or services.
  4. Patents confer monopoly rights in inventions. The invention must be new, inventive, capable of industrial application and not excluded.
  5. Patents must be licensed in accordance with the Block Exemption on Technology Transfer Agreements. They may be subject to compulsory licences.
  6. Copyright subsists in works not ideas. Related rights include moral rights and rights in performances.
  7. Copyright is infringed by taking a substantial part of the claimant’s work.  Additional damages are available for flagrant infringements.
  8. Database right subsists in electronic and paper databases if a substantial investment is made in obtaining the contents.
  9. Designs are protected in law by registered and unregistered design rights.
  10. Trade secrets may be protected by a civil law action for breach of confidence. The information must be confidential, imparted in circumstances importing a duty of confidence and the defendant must make unauthorised use of the information.
  11. Intellectual property rights are generally litigated in the Lower Courts in Pakistan whereas the appellate courts are the High and Supreme Court.
  12. Expert evidence can be the key to success in intellectual property cases.

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