Intellectual property (IP) plays an important role towards economic growth, especially in the modern knowledge-based economies. The IP regime deals with protection of trademarks and copyrights and granting patents. Foreign companies take into consideration the IP regime of a country before setting up business. In Pakistan, protection against violation of intellectual property is weak. Currently, International Property Rights Index (IPRI) ranks Pakistan at 117 among 129 countries. As of late, some progress has been made as USA has moved Pakistan to its watch list from priority list in 2016. However, major issues are still lagging such as the twin problems of copyright violations and enforcements of IP rights laws. If these problems persist, Pakistan will be deprived of a sizeable amount of foreign direct investment. Especially now, as Pakistan is expecting high foreign investment pouring into the country as a result of CPEC and an emerging market status, issues of intellectual property rights have become crucial to our development designs. This report explores the issue of intellectual property rights in Pakistan and attempts to highlight issues around IP rights that can discourage international businesses coming into Pakistan. Its negative impact on innovation by local businesses is also discussed.
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