IPO needs competent staff
By: Karimullah Adeni
THE world over, three offices dealing with trademark, patent and copyright are required to provide quality services. In Pakistan, the mentioned offices were brought under the administrative control of Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) which is considered to be run by incompetent staff.
The trademark registry office operates without any legitimate registrar or deputy registrar. More than 50pc of the examiners have already been retired and about 30pc more will retire within one year. More than 50pc staff has retired and many of the above are going to retire. There is no planning for their placement in the trademark registry department.
Positions also exist in the copyright department where there is no registrar and only one deputy registrar is looking after office affairs. Other officials are nearing retirement.
In the Patent office, the controller who is working under the current charge in BS-18 is going to retire within six months. The future of IP protection in Pakistan needs utmost attention which is a very serious international commitment towards foreign direct investment and also local investment. It is hindering the opportunities of trade in Pakistan.
The Cabinet Division is the only authority under law which can appoint registrar and a deputy registrar and examiners in the offices by advertising in the national dailies. They should select the rightful candidates through a selection committee headed by secretary cabinet division or additional secretary.
IPO Pakistan is also working without a chairman and a director general. A competent, knowledgeable and sincere grade 21 officer for the post of director general is urgently needed to save this important organisation from total failure.
The chairman IPO should have sufficient qualification but should be appointed purely on merit.