It is imagination made real. It is the ownership of dream, an idea, an improvement, an emotion
that we can touch, see, hear, and feel. It is an asset just like your home, your car, or your bank
account. Just like other kinds of property, intellectual property needs to be protected from
unauthorized use. There are four ways to protect different types of intellectual property:
3) Trade mark
4) Trade Secrets
Patent is an official document, recognized by law that confers a right or a title especially the sole
right to make, use or sell some invention or process, hence protecting the said invention or
A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a government to an inventor or applicant for a
limited amount of time (normally 20 years from the filing date). It is a legal document defining
ownership of a particular area of new technology.
Utility patents protect useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of
matter. Some examples: fiber optics, computer hardware, medications.
Design patents guard the unauthorized use of new, original, and ornamental designs for articles
of manufacture. The look of an athletic shoe, a bicycle helmet, the Star Wars characters are all
protected by design patents.
Plant patents are the way we protect invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant
varieties. Hybrid tea roses, Silver Queen corn, Better Boy tomatoes are all types of plant patents.
What Invention is patentable?
Any invention is patentable, if it is
Involves an inventive step
Is capable of industrial application
Acceptance of the application/specification
On the acceptance of the application and specifications by the Controller he shall
advertise them in the Official Gazette after which the documents will become
available for public inspection.
Within 30 days of the advertisement of the application, the applicant must forward a
copy of the complete specification to certain institutions and organizations.( The 4th
schedule, Patent Rules,2003 Annex.9)
Opposition to the grant of patent
Any person may file a notice of opposition with the controller to the grant of patent within 4
months of the advertisement. Incase such a notice is filed the applicant may have to go through
Duration of Patent
Once granted and sealed the duration of the patent is 20 years from the date of application.
Violation of Patent
The grant of the patent protects the patentable invention from the unauthorized making, using or
selling for practical use or profit, during the life of the patent. In case of any such violation, the
law allows the patentee to institute legal proceedings against the infringer and obtain a wide
variety of reliefs (damages, injunctions, etc.) for the protection of his work.
2. What is copyright?
Copyright protects the physical expression of ideas. As soon as an idea is given physical form,
e.g. a piece of writing, a photograph, music, a film, a web page, it is protected by copyright.
There is no need for registration or to claim copyright in some way, protection is automatic at the
point of creation. Both published and unpublished works are protected by copyright.
Copyright is normally owned by the creator(s) of the work, e.g. an author, composer, artist,
photographer etc. If the work is created in the course of a person's employment, then the
copyright holder is usually the employer.
Copyright is a property right and can be sold or transferred to others. Authors of articles in
academic journals, for example, frequently transfer the copyright in those articles to the journal's
publisher. It is important not to confuse ownership of a work with ownership of the copyright in
it: a person may have acquired an original copyright work, e.g. a painting, letter or photograph,
but unless the copyright in it has expressly also been transferred, it will remain with the creator
Works in which copyright subsists
Works covered by the copyright include, but are not limited to, novels, poems, plays, reference
work, newspapers, computer programs, databases, films, musical compositions, choreography,
paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, advertisements, maps, and technical
Is computer software protected by copyright?
In 1970s and 1980s there were many conflict regarding computer software protection. Some
experts were in the opinion that the computer software should be protected under the copyright
system and some were in the opinion that it should be protected under the patent system. Finally
they reached to consensus that computer software should be protected by copyright, whereas
apparatus using computer software or software-related inventions should be protected by patent.
Duration of Copyrights
Section 18 of the ordinance provides that in published literary (including computer program),
dramatic, musical and artistic work copyright shall subsist within the lifetime of the author until
fifty years after the death of the author.
3. WHAT IS TRADE MARK?
For the purpose of having clear understanding these terms should be defined separately:
Mark includes, in particular, a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter,
numeral, figurative element, color, sound or any combination thereof.
The term trade refers to the buying & selling activities of the goods for the purpose of gaining
profits with a risk of having loss.
In the virtue of the above definitions, the term Trade Mark means any mark capable of being
represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking
from those of other undertaking. A trade mark is a distinctive sign which identifies certain goods
or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trade Mark enables
consumers to identify a product of a particular company so as to distinguish it from other
identical or similar products provided by other companies and also trade mark enables
companies to differentiate their products from their competitors’ products.
Trade mark law does not require mandatory registration of trade mark for its protection.
However, registration of trade mark will provide strong protection, particularly in case of
conflict with an identical or confusingly similar trade mark.
WHO MAY APPLY FOR TRADE MARK REGISTRATION?
Any person claiming to be the proprietor of a trade mark used or proposed to be used by him
may make an application for its registration. Jointly owned trademarks may be registered by the
joint proprietors of trade marks. If the applicant is a sole proprietor of a mark the application
shall be in his name and signed by him. In the case of a partnership, the application shall be in
the names of all partners and it shall be signed by one of the partners. In case an application is
made in the name of body corporate, it shall be signed by the director or other principle officer
and the capacity in which he has signed should be stated below the signature. Application may
be made either by the owners of the marks, by a legal practitioner or registered trade mark agent
who has been authorized by the applicant to act on his behalf.
APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF TRADE MARK
Before making an application it is recommended that you request the registrar to cause a search
of your proposed trade mark to ascertain that there is no other registered trade mark or among
pending applications for registration that are duplicating or conflicting in any way from your
proposed trade mark. To make such request you have to submit a Form TM-55 to the registrar
along with fee of
Rs. 500/ and two sample of your proposed trade mark on sheets of strong paper approximately
13 inches by 8 inches in size. On receiving confirmation from the registrar that there are no other
trademarks that duplicate yours, you may proceed with your application.
An application for registration of trademark is required to be made in duplicate in Form TM-1 to
the registrar of trademark along with the prescribed fee i.e. Rs.1000/-. The application shall be
written, printed or typewritten in English upon strong paper size 13”X8” with a margin of not
less than 1-1/2”.
REGISTRATION OF DEFENSIVE TRADE MARK
A well-known invented word trade mark registered in respect of certain goods may be registered
by the proprietor as a Defensive Trade Mark for other goods on which he does not use or propose
to use the mark subject to certain conditions.
GROUNDS OF REFUSAL OF REGISTRATION
The registrar may refuse to register the trademark on the following grounds:
• If it is a false trade description.
• Trade mark, which are devoid of any distinctive character.
• It is identical with an earlier registered trademark and its goods and services are also similar.
• It is similar with an earlier registered trademark and its goods and services are also similar.
• A trademark which is identical or similar with an earlier registered trademark and its goods and
services are not similar shall not be registered if the earlier has a good reputation in Pakistan and
later would take unfair advantages.
• A trademark shall not be registered if its use is liable to be prevented by virtue of law.
CERTAIN GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES IN TRADE MARKS
Geographical names of countries like Pakistan, Great Britain and Egypt can never be registered
as trademarks as their registration would embarrass other traders Geographical names of places
which are associated with the manufacturer of particular goods cannot also be registered as trade
marks in respect of those goods. Sialkot and Karachi, for example, will not be accepted for
registration in respect of sports goods and textile piece goods respectively as those places are
well-known for the manufacturer of these goods. So geographical names which have lost their
geographical significance and denote certain kinds of goods, are not registerable in respect of
DURATION AND RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION
The registration of trade mark shall be valid for a period of ten years from the date of registration
which may be renewed for further 10 years from the date of expiration or date of the last
renewal. Application for renewal shall be made in form TM-12 within 6 months of the expiration
of the current registration.
4. TRADE SECRETS are information that companies keep secret to give them an
advantage over their competitors. The formula for Coca-Cola is the most famous trade
Broadly speaking, any confidential business information which provides an enterprise a
competitive edge may be considered a trade secret. Trade secrets encompass manufacturing or
industrial secrets and commercial secrets. The unauthorized use of such information by persons
other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret.
Depending on the legal system, the protection of trade secrets forms part of the general concept
of protection against unfair competition or is based on specific provisions or case law on the
protection of confidential information.
The subject matter of trade secrets is usually defined in broad terms and includes sales methods,
distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and
manufacturing processes. While a final determination of what information constitutes a trade
secret will depend on the circumstances of each individual case, clearly unfair practices in
respect of secret information include industrial or commercial espionage, breach of contract and
breach of confidence.
Licensing is the practice of leasing a legally protected property (such as a trademarked or
copyrighted name, logo, likeness, character, phrase or design) to another party in conjunction
with a product, service or promotion.
It is based on a contractual agreement between the owner of the property (or its agent) known as
the licensor; and a licensee – normally a manufacturer or retailer. It grants the licensee
permission to use the property subject to specific terms and conditions, which may include the
purpose of use, a defined territory and a defined time period. In exchange for this usage, the
licensor receives financial remuneration - normally in the form of a guaranteed fee and/or royalty
on a percentage of sales.
A payment made for the use of property, especially a patent, copyrighted work, franchise,
or natural resource. The amount is usually a percentage of revenues obtained through its use.