Budget today

June 11, 2008

(For a detailed legal opinion on Finance Act 2008, please contact Al-Latif Corporate Legal Consultants and stay tuned for preliminary report this week)

Outlay likely to be around Rs 2.8 trillion
* Revenue target estimated to be around Rs 1.2 trillion
* Debate on budget to continue from June 14-30

By Sajid Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: Salaries and pensions are likely to increase in the Rs 2.8 trillion federal budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led coalition government will table in the National Assembly today (Wednesday).

Salaries of government employees belonging to grades 1 through 16 are likely to increase by 20 percent, and of those belonging to grade 17 through 22 by 15 percent through a “dearness allowance”, official sources told Daily Times. The Online news agency said a 10 percent increment was also likely in pension of retired government officials.

Finance Minister Syed Naveed Qamar will present the budget in the Lower House at about 6:30pm and his speech will be aired live on television and radio.

The government aims at lowering the budget deficit to around Rs 560 billion or 4.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008-09, after the highest-ever Rs 737.8 billion deficit this fiscal year (2007-08).

The sources said the new government had decided to increase the defence budget by 7.2 percent to Rs 295.5 billion against the Defence Ministry’s Rs 330 billion demand. Considering 10 percent inflation and the rising prices of oil, which accounts for major part of the defence spending, the increase is negligible, they added.

Following protest by the provinces, the government has decided to increase the allocation to the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2008-09 to Rs 541 billion – 4.4 percent of the GDP – compared with Rs 523 billion last year. It will finance the PSDP with foreign loans worth Rs 67 billion.

Revenue target: The tax collection target is likely to be fixed at around Rs 1.2 trillion with an emphasis on increasing taxes and duties on luxury goods and including several un-taxed sectors in the tax net, with a possible amnesty for legalising undisclosed assets by paying taxes ranging from 2 percent to 10 percent.

The coming fiscal year has been termed “the year of fiscal consolidation”, and the government has set an economic growth target of 5.5 percent of the GDP. Economic growth remained 5.8 percent this fiscal year.

Citing official sources, Online said Rs 523 billion would be allocated to the Annual Development Programme in the budget – Rs 373 billion for the federation and Rs 150 billion for the provinces.

It said the government would allocate Rs 34 billion to subsidise essentials for the poor under a Benazir Card scheme. The current account deficit target is likely to be set at 5 percent, it added.

Official sources also told Daily Times the government will set up a Rs 50 billion “pro-poor fund” to provide cash grants to the poor to meet inflationary pressures and challenges.

Debate: Debate on the budget will begin on June 14 and the session will continue until June 30. The National Assembly proceedings will begin at 10am and end at 8:30pm every day during the budget session.

According to the state-run APP news agency, “The budget will focus on infrastructure, human capital and social sector development, poverty reduction, promotion of investments and exports, agriculture sector development and provision of relief to the common man.”

“The government is keen to provide relief to the people in the next budget for which concrete measures are being considered.”

main points

* Benazir Card scheme to provide Rs 34 billion subsidy on essentials

* Defence budget to increase by 7.2 percent to Rs 295.5 billion, against a Rs 330 billion demand

* Salaries of government employees belonging to grades 1 through 16 likely to increase by 20 percent, and grades 17 through 22 by 15 percent

* Pensions to increase by 10 percent

* Emphasis on increasing taxes and duties on luxury goods

* Amnesty for legalising undisclosed assets by paying taxes ranging from 2 percent to 10 percent

* Budget deficit likely to be Rs 560 billion or 4.6 percent of GDP

* Rs 541 billion to be allocated to the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP)

* Rs 523 billion to be allocated to the Annual Development Programme

* Economic growth target set at 5.5 percent of GDP

(This is not a legal opinion. Please contact Al Latif Law Corporate Legal Consultants at 92 300 555 2232 for more information)

Seek the availability of a name proposed for the company from the Registrar of Companies.

Time to complete:
1 day
Cost to complete:
PKR 200

The company may propose one or more names, in order of preference. The name should not be inappropriate, deceptive, or designed to exploit or offend any religion. It should neither be identical to nor have any close resemblance to any existing company name. The availability of the name can be checked online by searching existing company names. Certain guidelines prohibit the association of the company name with state sponsorship with the national leaders and the like. The official confirmation (or denial) of the name availability is received by email in 24 hours. This confirmation satisfies name search requirements if the name search fee of PKR 200 is paid into the bank account of the regulatory authority.

Step 2.

Pay the fee for procedures 1, 3, and 4, and obtain bank receipt/ copy of treasury challans

Time to complete:
1 day
Cost to complete:
no charge

 The company pays stamp duty to the provincial government. A copy of the original treasury challan in the amount of the registration and filing fee must be deposited with the Habib Bank Ltd. or the State Bank of Pakistan. The amount is payable under the following headings and account numbers at the stated banks: – Account 1200000, Receipts from civil administration and other functions. – Account 1210000, Receipts from general administration. – Account 1213400, Economic regulations (receipts under the companies ordinance). The company picks up the treasury challan forms at the bank counter and completes them for payment purposes, pays the amount due to the official accounts, and obtains a copy of the form. The bank sends another copy to the relevant departments.

Step 3.

Obtain stamp paper on which the Declaration of Compliance will be drafted

Time to complete:
1 day
Cost to complete:
PKR 100

Formerly, the original copy of the memorandum and articles of association had to be stamped according to the Stamp Act of the relevant province of Pakistan in which the company proposed to be registered. Stamp duties vary from province to province. The Stamp Act prescribes the adhesive stamps to be affixed to the first page of the documents before they are executed. The unsigned copy of the memorandum and articles of association is submitted to the Stamp Office of the relevant provincial government agency with the proof of payment to the Treasury bank account. The documents are returned, duly stamped, the same afternoon. The following fees are paid in Sindh: – Memorandum of association without articles of association: PKR 2,000. – Memorandum of association with articles of association: PKR 1,000 if authorized capital is less than PKR 500,000; PKR 2,000 if authorized capital is more than 500,000: Under the Sindh Finance Act, 2006, since July 2006 the rates of stamp duty for the memorandum and articles of association for the Provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Balauchistan, and the Northwest Frontier Provice have been rescinded. However, under the Stamp Act, the fee of PKR 100 for the declaration of compliance on nonjudicial stamp paper still applies.

Step 4.

Register the company at the Registrar of Companies.

Time to complete:
3 days
Cost to complete:
registration fee + PKR 200, filing fee per document, 4 documents + PKR 50 for the Certificate of Registration

The following company incorporation documents are required for a private company: – Form-1, Declaration of compliance. – Form-21, Identifying the location of the office. – Form-29, Particulars of directors, secretary, chief accountant, auditors, and others. Note: Form 1 is to be signed by (a) an advocate entitled to appear before any High Court in Pakistan or the Supreme Court; (b) a qualified chartered accountant (member of ICAP or ICMAP) practicing in Pakistan, or (c) a person named in the articles of association as a director or other officer. Also to be submitted with these documents are the subcriber’s national identity card and four copies of the memorandum and articles of association, with the signature of each member (in presence of a witness) and with a special stamp affixed. It is not mandatory to hire a lawyer or accountant to incorporate a company, but doing so is generally preferred for ease of accomplishment. Any initial subscriber to the memorandum of association has to declare that all the formalities of company incorporation are completed before the certificate of incorporation is issued. The fee of incorporation was reduced recently. Fee schedule for company registration: – Nominal share capital under or at PKR 100,000: fee is PKR 2,500. – Nominal share capital over PKR 100,000: fee is PKR 2,500, along with an additional fee to be determined based on every PKR 100,000, or part thereof, of nominal share capital. The additional fee is PKR 500 for the first PKR 100,000 up to PKR 5,000,000 and PKR 250 after the first PKR 5,000,000. In any case, the total company registration fee must not exceed PKR 10 million.

Step 5.
Make a company seal
Time to complete:
2 days
Cost to complete:
PKR 1000

The company seal is prepared after the certificate of incorporation is obtained. It is affixed on significant documents according to the provisions of the articles of association.

Apply for a national tax number (NTN) and register for income tax.
Time to complete:
2 days
Cost to complete:
no charge

Companies can check the status of their national tax number (NTN) within 24 hours of application. Since 2002, NTN are issued with a continuous valid term. Companies no longer need to renew their NTN. Income tax is paid on filing the return, which is due in 6 months from the end of the company’s financial year (usually in June). In addition, the Income Tax Department charges a fee of 2.5% for the workers welfare fund at the time of its income tax assessment. The company is also supposed to act as a tax withholding agent for the state and deduct and deposit tax on most payments made in connection with its business activities. For this purposes, the company must file monthly returns with the tax authorities. Every company must obtain the NTN by providing proof of registration, the memorandum and articles of association, the bank account number, the NTN of its directors, and an attestation of the registered business address. All required documents must be submitted to a station by a Class-I of Gazette Officer or an officer of a bank. A company can start its business activities without first obtaining the NTN, but the number is generally required by all the registering authorities: Chambers of Commerce, the Import-Export Regulatory Authority, the utility authority, and the like. The NTN branch (centralized for the entire country) at Islamabad allots a uniform number. The required form, along with the duly-verified documents must be submitted to the same NTN Center after the company is incorporated. The center quickly processes the application and issues the NTN in a week. The certificate is sent to the applicant’s registered address. If it is not delivered at the postal address, it can be obtained from the NTN center over the phone, and its status is communicated instantly. If undelivered, the NTN certificate can be collected from the specified office of the Central Board of Revenue (distinct from the NTN Center).

Step 7.
Register for sales tax
Time to complete:
12 days
Cost to complete:
no charge

The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has simplified the registration process for sales tax by providing two methods to file Form ST-1: 1) Complete Form ST-1 and file it by courier with the registration wing of the Sales Tax Directorate. Application forms may be downloaded at http://www.cbr.gov.pk. 2) Complete Form ST-1 at a local registration office. The form is available at all facilitation counters of local registration offices. To ensure that applicants can monitor the process, applications must be sent by mail with acknowledgment of return receipt due. The same procedure must be followed for deregistration (Form ST-3) and for change of registration (Form ST-2). The local registration office sends the completed application forms to the Central Registration Office in the CBR. Note that the forms must be completed in capital letters with black ink. In either case, there is no need to enclose additional documents with the application form. The Central Registration Office, with online access to the NTN database and the National Database and Registration Authority(NADRA) database, must verify the details the application with database. On verification, the Central Registration Office must generate and issue a registration certificate to the applicant. The system was designed so that it can correct minor mistakes automatically without bothering the taxpayers. Registration status may be checked online at www.cbr.gov.pk.

Step 8.
Register for the Professional Tax with the local tax authority
Time to complete:
7 days (simultaneous with the previous procedure)
Cost to complete:
no charge

In practice, taxpayers do not usually register for the tax voluntarily unless the tax authority prompts them to do so. Companies are not charged local taxes except for professional taxes. A manufacturer owning fixed assets might have to pay certain local levies on its fixed assets. There is no registration for the latter. Professional tax is an annual tax and is paid irrespective of paid up capital or turnover in smaller companies. The department generally obtains the list from the Registrar for the issuance of payment challans. Before a challan is issued, a pro forma notice is served to the company, asking for details used for the assessment. There are no registration fees for the professional tax, which is not deducted at the source but rather paid into the bank account of the concerned department after assessment and issuance of the challan.

Step 9.
Register with the Employee Social Security Institution
Time to complete:
11 days (simultaneous with the previous procedure)
Cost to complete:
no charge

Employment tax or social security registration is not mandatory but is subject to notification in the Official Gazette. The Social Security Institute (SSI) is managed by the provincial government and levies employers, whether incorporated or not, at 7% of wages, up to PKR 3,000 per month. According to the Workers’ Children (Education) Ordinance of 1972 if at any one time during a year an employer employs 10 or more employees, it must pay to the provincial government an education cess of PKR 100 per worker per year. The levy is used to provide free education for two children of every worker employed by the company.

Step 10.

Register for old age benefits with Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI).
Time to complete:
11 days (simultaneous with the previous procedure)
Cost to complete:
no charge

The provisions of the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Act, 1976, automatically apply to every industry or company in which 10 or more persons are employed by the employer, directly or through any other person, or were so employed on any day during the preceding 12 months. The act shall continue to apply to every such industry or company even if the number of persons employed by the company is, at any time after the act becomes applicable to it, reduced to fewer than 10. The per-month contribution was increased to PKR 240 for employers and PKR 40 for employees as of July 1, 2006, as announced by the government in Finance Act, 2006. This increase resulted from the increase in the minimum wage from PKR 3,000 to PKR 4,000.

Step 11.
Register with Pakistan Shops and Establishment Ordinance, 1969
Time to complete:
7 days (simultaneous with the previous procedure)
Cost to complete:
PKR 10


Registration of establishment and fee for registration: (1) Every establishment, other than a one man shop, and factories employing clerical staff within the factory premises, shall be registered with the Deputy Chief Inspector for the area within which such establishment is situated. For the purposes of this section, a one-man shop means a shop run by an employer or by any member of his family without engaging an employee. (2) An application for the registration of an establishment shall be made by the employer on Form A and shall be accompanied by a Treasury challan under Head [9][XXXVI-Miscellaneous Departments-G-Miscellaneous-(S)-Receipts under the West Pakistan Shops and Establishments Ordinance of1969] for an amount depending on the number of workers. – 1 to 5 workers: fee is PKR 2. – 6 to 10 workers: PKR 3 – 11 to 20 workers: PKR 5. – More than 20 workers: PKR 10. (3) An application for establishment registration shall be made within 3 months of the ordinance coming into force (for establishments existing at the time) and within 2 months of setting up the establishment or the application of the ordinance to it (if an establishment is set up after the ordinance comes into force or if the provisions of the ordinance are subsequently applied to it). (4) On receipt of the application and the fees specified in Subsection 2, the Deputy Chief Inspector shall, on being satisfied about the correctness of the application, register the establishment in the Register of Establishments to be maintained in Form B and shall issue a registration certificate to the employer in Form C. (5) The registration certificate shall be prominently displayed by the employer at the establishment and shall be renewed every 2 years on depositing the fee prescribed in Subsection 2.

By Muhammad Kamran Sharif LLB LLM

Intellectual Property laws include the copyright laws, patent laws and trademark laws. Intellectual Property is often the most valuable and least protected asset of many businesses and creative individuals. This area of law protects the work of creative individuals and businesses and protects such creation from unauthorized use or exploitation by third parties. By utilizing Intellectual Property laws, creators and innovators can fully protect and benefit from their creations.

Pakistan is a signatory to the Marrakesh Agreement, signed in Marrakech, Morocco, on April 15, 1994, established the World Trade Organization, which came into being upon its entry into force on January 1, 1995 (the “WTO”). The WTO aims to increase international trade by promoting lower trade barriers and providing a platform for the negotiation of trade and to their business. Under the provisions of this agreement all states which subscribe to WTO become bound to a mutual recognition of intellectual property rights at a higher level of protection that the older conventions could offer. However, amendments have now been made in the Pakistani intellectual property laws, to accommodate the new WTO provisions.

Pakistan is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Work of 1886, came into force on December 5, 1887 (the “Berne Convention”), to the Universal Copyright Convention of 1952, came into force on September 16, 1955 (the “UCC Convention”) and to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, came into force on January 1, 1995 (the “TRIPs”). The Berne Convention’s basic requirement is that each member state must follow the principle of national treatment where, in case, the country of origin of a work is a Berne state, other members must accord to the work of the same treatment as they offer to their own national.
The TRIPs is an international treaty administered by the World Trade Organization (the “WTO”) which sets down minimum standards for most forms of intellectual property (the “IP”) regulation within all member countries of the WTO. It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (the “GATT”) treaty in 1994.
Specifically, TRIPs deals with: copyright and related rights, such as rights of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations; geographical indications, including appellations of origin; industrial designs; integrated circuit layout-designs; patents, including the protection of new varieties of plants; trademarks; trade dress; and undisclosed or confidential information, including trade secrets and test data. TRIPs also specify enforcement procedures, remedies, and dispute resolution procedures.

Immense endeavors have been taken to bring the copyright laws of Pakistan inconformity with these conventions in order to protect the literary and artistic work. The definition of “literary work”, inter alia, now includes:
“compilations and computer programmes, that is to say programmes recorded on any disc, tape, perforted media or other information storage device, which, if fed into or located in a computer or computer-based equipment is capable of reproducing any information.”
“Audio-visual work” is defined as:
“a work which consists of a series of related images which are intrinsically intended to be shown by the use of a machine or device, such as a project, viewer or electronic equipment, together with accompanying sound, if any, regardless of the nature of the material object, such as film or tape, in which the work is embodied.”


The copyright shall subsist in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph) published within the life time of the author until fifty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies.


The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work, subject to provisions of law, may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally of subject to limitations and either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof by reducing such assignment into writing and by duly signing it.


The Federal Government by notification in the official gazette direct that all or any of the provision of the Pakistani Copyright Ordinance shall apply to works first published in a foreign country to which the order relates in like manner as if they were first published within Pakistan provided that reciprocal arrangements exist which entitle protection to works protected under the Copyrights Ordinance in the foreign jurisdiction.

Owner of the exclusive licensee of copyright, shall in case of an infringement, be entitled to all such remedies by way of injunction, damages, accounts and otherwise as are conferred by law for the infringement of a right. However, if the defendant could prove that he was not aware of the subsistence of copyright in a work the owner may be entitled to only an injunction and a decree for the whole or part of the profits made by the defendant by the sale of the infringing copies.
Where copyright in any work has been infringed and the owner of the copyright is unable to institute immediate regular legal proceedings for sufficient cause, the owner, may apply to the Court for immediate provisional orders to prevent infringement of the copyrights in such work and for preservation any evidence relating to such infringement in spite of the fact that regular proceedings in the form of a suit or other Civil proceedings have not yet been initiated by the owner.
The act of infringement of copyright has been made a cognizable and non-bailable criminal offence tri-able by a first class magistrate where under any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in a work shall be punished with imprisonment or with fine or both as provided under the copyright laws.


Pakistan as a member of WTO and signatory to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the “TRIPs”) undertook to amend its patent law in conformity with TRIPs. However, it is important to mention here that Pakistan has signed the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (the “Paris Convention”) on July 22nd, 2004.
On December 2, 2000 the President of Pakistan promulgated the Patents Ordnance, 2000 (the “Ordinance”). Immense endeavors have been taken to bring the Ordinance in conformity with the requirements of TRIP’s and Paris Conventions, as well as, it corresponds to the regime of new patent laws promulgated around the globe. The Ordinance repealed the Patent and Design Act, 1911 (II of 1911).


The Ordinance defines invention as “any new and useful product, including chemical products, art, process, method or manner of manufacture, machine, apparatus or other article; substance or article or product produced by manufacture and includes any new and useful improvement of any of them and an alleged invention”.

Process is defied as “any art, process or method of new manufacture of a product and includes a new use of a known process or a product”. Similarly, product is defined to include “any substance, article, apparatus, machine or a chemical product”.
Published means “made available to the public whether in Pakistan or elsewhere and a document shall be taken to be published under any provision of this Ordinance, if it can be inspected as of right at any place in Pakistan by members of public, whether on payment or free of cost.”
To qualify grant of patent, the Ordinance requires an invention to be new (state of the art), involving an inventive step, and be capable of industrial application. The Ordinance provides that “an invention shall be considered to be new if it does not form part of the state of art”.
State of art is defined to include
(a) everything disclosed to the public anywhere in the world, by publication in tangible form or by oral disclosure, by use or in any other way, prior to the filing or, where appropriate, the priority date, of the application claiming the invention, or
(b) contents of complete specification and priority documents published under the Ordinance.
(c) traditionally developed or existing knowledge available or in possession of a local or indigenous community.
Inventive step is defined with its traditional meaning of non-obviousness to a person skilled in the art. Industrial application is defined to include capability of the invention to be used in any kind of industry. The Ordinance emphasizes that “the industry shall be understood in its broadest sense”. The Ordinance clarifies that “a product consisting of a substance or composition shall not be prevented from being treated as capable of industrial application merely because it was invented for use in such a method”.
Though under the Ordinance, patents are not to be granted for “animals or plants other than micro-organisms and essentially biological process for the production of animals or plants”, however, the Ordinance clarifies that this probation shall not apply to “micro-biological processes or products of such processes”.
The Ordinance requires every application for the patent to be on the prescribed form and shall be filed at the Patent Office in the prescribed manner and shall contain a declaration to the effect that the applicant is in possession of an invention of which he, or in the case of joint application, at least one of the applicants, claims to be the true and the first inventor of or the legal representative or assignee of such inventor. The Ordinance requires each application to be in respect of one invention only or to be in respect of a group of inventions so linked as to form a single inventive concept. Complete or provisional specifications are required to accompany the application. Every complete specification is required:-
(a) to fully and particularly describe the invention and the method by which it is to be performed;
(b) disclose the invention; and
(c) end with a claim or claims defining the scope of the invention for which protection is claimed.

The claim or claims of a complete specification are required to relate to a single invention, to be succinct and to be fairly based on the matter disclosed in the specification. An abstract is also required to be furnished.
The Ordinance requires each application to be accepted or refused in eighteen months (or twenty-one months, in case an application for extension of time is filed) from the date of the filing. Once accepted, each application will be open for opposition within four months from the date of its publication in the official Gazette.
Additional information and documents relating to foreign applications:
The Ordinance empowers the Controller to require foreign applicants to furnish date and number of any application for patent filed by the foreign applicant abroad relating to the same or essentially the same invention as that claimed in the application filed in Pakistan. The applicant, when required by the Controller, is required to furnish with the following documents relating to foreign application(s):-
(a) a copy of any communication received by the applicant concerning the results of any search or examination carried out in respect of the foreign application(s);
(b) a copy of the patent granted on the basis of the foreign application(s); and
(c) a copy of any final decision rejecting the foreign application(s).


The term of Patent under the Ordinance shall be twenty years from the filing dated. Under the previous law, the term of patent was sixteen years.
Under the Ordinance, the holder of a valid patent in Pakistan shall have the right to prevent the third parties, not having owner’s consent, from the acts of making, using, offering for sale, seling, or importing and having the right to assign, or transfer by succession, the patent and to conclude licensing contracts.
In addition to any other rights, remedies or action available to him under the Ordinance, the owner of the patent shall have the right to institute Court proceedings against any person who infringes the patent.

The Ordinance empowers the Court to grant relief in any suit for infringement of patent, which includes granting relief by way of damages, injunctions or accounts provided that where permitted. The court is also empowered to order prompt and effective provisional measures.

Under the Ordinance, the Federal Government has the powers to declare a country to be a convention country, with a view to fulfill the requirements of a treaty, convention or arrangement between Pakistan and any other country, in addition to the members of the WTO, for the purposes of the Ordinance or any provisions thereof.
The Ordinance requires that in case a convention application is made under the Ordinance, the applicant shall furnish, in addition to the complete specifications, copies of the specification or corresponding documents filed or deposited by the applicant in the patent office of the convention country in which the relevant application was made, certified by the official chief or head of the patent relevant application was made, certified by the official chief or head of the patent office of the convention country, or other wise verified to the satisfaction of the controller, along with the application or within three months thereafter, or within such further period as the controller may on good cause allow. It further prescribes that if any such specification or other documents in a foreign language, a translation into English of the specification or document, verified by affidavit or otherwise to the satisfaction of the controller, shall be annexed to the document or specification.

Chapter XIX of the Ordinance deals with penalties. If any applicant/person contravene the provisions relating to certain inventions, or make a false entry in any register kept under the Ordinance, or make false representation, or wrongfully use the word “patent office”, or refused or failed to supply information required under the Ordinance, or deceitfully represent himself
as registered patent agent such applicant/person shall be punished with imprisonment or fine or both according to the provision of the Ordinance.
The much-awaited trademark law was enforced in Pakistan on April 13, 2001. It is called The Trade Mark Ordinance, 2001 (the “Ordinance”). The new law has brought numerous reforms which are intended to comply with Pakistan’s obligation as a World Trade Organization (the “WTO”) member. The new law embodies new trends and concepts in Pakistan Trademark Law which were not there in the earlier Act of 1940. The Ordinance includes provisions which are likely to extend the scope of protection, and simplify enforcement and registration procedure.
The definition of “mark” under the new law has been broadened, which includes:-
“in particular, a device, brand, heading label, ticket, name including personal name, signature, word, letter, numeral, figurative element, colour, sound or any combination thereof”.
“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 undertakings”

Under the Ordinance, it is possible to file service mark applications; thus, making it easier for brand owners in service industry to seek statutory protection. An application for registration of trade mark is to be made to the Registrar in the manners prescribed by the Ordinance. Provisions have also been made for filing collective marks and certification marks and for registration of a domain name as a trade mark.

The Ordinance provides that a trade mark shall be registered for a period of ten years from the date of registration.
A proprietor of a trade mark may request for the renewal of a trade mark to the Registrar in the manners prescribed by the Ordinance. The registration may be renewed for a further period of ten years. Renewal shall take effect from the expiry of the previous registration. The renewal of the registration of a trade mark shall be published in the Journal governed under the authority, conferred by the Ordinance, of the Registrar.
Registration of a trade make, by following the manners prescribed under the Ordinance, shall entitle the proprietor of the trade mark for its ownership being personal property. The proprietor of a registered trade mark shall have exclusive rights in the trade mark. The infringement of the registered trade mark shall entitled its proprietor without prejudice to the rights to obtain any relief, by way of damages, injunctions, accounts or otherwise as is available in respect of the infringement of any other property right, under any law for the time being in force, the proprietor shall also have the right to obtain relief under the Ordinance if the trade mark is infringed.

It is now possible to file convention priority applications in Pakistan. Also, six months priority is available to any person who exhibits his goods at an officially recognized exhibition. Convention application means an application duly made by a person for registration of a trade mark in one or more than one convention country. A convention country means a country other than Pakistan which is a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, come into force on March 20, 1883 (the “Paris Convention”).

The Ordinance has recognized the theory of dilution of well-known marks and statutory protection for well-known marks. In determining whether a trademark is well- known mark, the law provides that use and reputation has to be examined in global context without insisting on use of a mark in Pakistan. The provisions of the Ordinance which contains protection of well known marks clarifies that criteria laid down under the Paris Convention for determining whether a mark is a well known mark shall apply.

New rights have been introduced enabling IP holders to seek custom authorities assistance to stop infringing and/or counterfeit goods from entering Pakistan has been introduced. However, such a remedy is only available to IP holders, who have registered their mark in Pakistan. The definition of infringement has been broadened to cover use of a mark:
i. for same or similar goods or services;
ii. as a trade name;
iii. as a domain name.
iv. on “signboards”, “advertisements”, “business documents”

The Ordinance gives specific power to the Court to order erasure of offending marks, delivery-up of goods and/or destruction of goods in case of infringement.
The Ordinance is a comprehensive legislation and is likely to attract foreign brand owners to invest in Pakistan. However, in order for the law to be effective the enforcement authorities and judiciary will need to fully embrace these changes. The Trade Marks Office will also need more resources and training to deal with the expected increase in filing.