Press Room

Seminar on 'Trademark Registration Challenges and IP Issues in Afghanistan

02 October 2008

By Marriott Hotel, Karachi

(KARACHI) “It is vital to register Trade brand or Trade Mark before engaging into business activities”. This was stated by Mr. Ali Kabir Shah while speaking at a seminar organized by PAJCCI in collaboration with Ali & Associates. He added that trade balance between Pakistan and Afghanistan is immense and in this context it is highly important that companies should focus on Trade Mark registration on prompt basis else their identities may be misused or registered by other parties on first mover advantage.

Ali further elaborated that this law has been into implementation since 2008 only therefore still Afghanistan does not have solidified forum to eradicate fake registrations. At this instance, Mr. Zeeshan Ibrahimi, Commercial Attache – Afghan Consulate in Karachi specified that official trade figures between the two countries is $ 2.5 billion but actual trade goes beyond $ 5 billion therefore it’s imperative that such issues may be dealt with proactively so that trade between the two is not harmed. He stated that Afghan government and relevant ministries are working zealously to curb this menace and developing proper policies to stop arrival of fake products.

Mr. Karimullah Adani, Partner, Ali & Associates requested Commercial Attache to facilitate them in accessing trade journals depicting registered Trade Marks in Afghanistan. As in most of the countries this information is available online but in Afghanistan it is released in form of trade journal which is only in Dari language making it difficult and time-consuming to decipher the information. In case any registration is to be challenged on behalf of the client, lawyers and consultants face immense difficulties as the time to challenge is only one month that is spent in accessing the trade journal first then translation is proceeded with which reduces the available time at hand. In other countries, though, time available to challenge is 2 months plus 2 months, depending on the scenario.

Ms. Faiza, Secretary General PAJCCI concluded the session by elaborating on cases faced by PAJCCI members in Afghanistan and related arbitrations conducted by PAJCCI in this context. PAJCCI intends to continue with such sessions in future in Peshawar, Lahore and Quetta.