KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is all set to notify the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (Import and Export Goods) Enforcement Rules in June 2016.
The Rules will apply to goods meant for import or export to and from Pakistan, which infringe the intellectual property rights registered or protected in Pakistan relating to trademarks, copyrights, patents, industrial designs and lay-out designs of integrated circuits.
In the first instance, Directorate General of IPR Enforcement will consider all the IPRs as recorded, that are acquired from the database of Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPOP) through official channel and that no further document may be required for the purpose of recordation.
However, till the time such data is received from the IPOP, a Right Holder or his authorized representative may make an online application to the Directorate IPRE for recordation, renewal of recordation and changes in particulars of recordation of his registered Intellectual Property Rights with Pakistan Customs.
According to the draft Rules, Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) would be the Recordian of rights, and will be authorized to suspend clearance of any import or export consignment on the basis of complaint lodged by a rights-holder regarding infringement of rights.
The Rules provide that goods being imported or exported found infringing IPR rights would be seized and accused would face adjudication proceedings.
As it is determined that the goods detained are counterfeit, pirated or infringing, the same would be destroyed under official supervision. The re-exportation of the counterfeit or pirated goods in any state whether altered or unaltered will not be allowed.
In case of violation of trademark(s), patents, industrial designs and layout-designs of integrated circuits, the notice issued by the Director IPRE to the right holder may also mention that enforcement action under these Rules may cease to apply unless the right holder brings an action for infringement of the registered intellectual property right in respect of detained goods before a District Court having jurisdiction in the matter and gives the Director IPRE notice in writing of the action, within the period of ten (10) working days after the applicant has been given the notice, or if the Director IPRE extends this period, within such extended period.
If the owner of the seized goods, at any time before the right holder starts an action for infringement of the trade mark, patent, industrial design or a layout-design of integrated circuits in respect of goods, by notice in writing to the Director IPRE, gives consent to the goods being forfeited by the Director IPRE, the goods shall be so forfeited by the Director IPRE.
If the right holder fails to join the enforcement action, or fails to bring an action for infringement of the registered trade mark, patent, industrial design or layout-design of integrated circuits in respect of the goods before a District Court having jurisdiction in the matter or fails to inform the Director IPRE of the initiation of action before the District Court, as the case may be, with in the stipulated time, the Director IPRE may reject the application for enforcement action under intimation to the Collector of Customs and the goods may no longer be kept detained.