Trademark, copyright violations damaging country: ex-minister

KARACHI: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said violation of trademark and copyright laws continue to hurt masses, government and the businesses community.

Government should pay attention to the issue and improve capacity of the departments dealing it, he said in statement. He said that counterfeiting is one of the fastest growing industry in the world whose volume has been estimated at 1 to 1.5 trillion dollars.

Forgery not only deceive masses and hurt brands established after long struggle but also hurts job market and revenue of the government while some companies are left with no option but to shut down businesses. Mian Zahid Hussain who is also President of All Karachi Industrial Alliance said that some countries have become popular for counterfeiting while their preferred target is developing nations.

The people involved in this business are so influential that many government would never support initiatives against this social evil, he said, adding that media can play its role in creating awareness against forgery and substandard products which will safeguard consumers, propel businesses and discourage cheaters.

He noted that over 60 percent consumer items in Pakistan are counterfeit or substandard including medicines, spare parts, cooking oil, clothes, perfumes, shoes, books, cigarette and mobiles etc. Around 40 percent lubricants available in Pakistan are counterfeit or substandard taking toll on industry and motorists while fake and substandard cigarettes are costing government Rs20 billion in revenue.

The situation has been discouraging foreign companies to expand in Pakistan, he said, adding that forgery discourages innovation which is the reason that over 99 percent innovation are recorded in developed world.

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