Appearances on all 27 Special 301 Reports of the Office of the US Trade Representative do not paint a rosy picture of the Pakistani IP environment. However, the latest report has at least downgraded the South Asian nation from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List. This improvement is in no small part due to the government’s recent efforts to build meaningful infrastructure for brand owners. Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore have set up specialised IP tribunals staffed by US-trained judges, and the authorities also have plans to revise the patent, trademark and copyright laws. Last year’s launch of an electronic application system for trademarks and copyright further reflects a serious commitment to streamlining IP protection. While progress is being made, brand protection in Pakistan still falls a long way short of international standards, with counterfeits accounting for a substantial percentage of trade.
Ali & AssociatesAlthough it boasts expertise across a range of practice areas, Ali & Associate’s light shines brightest in the IP space. While its contentious prowess is of regional repute – it has abundant experience before the country’s Supreme and High Courts– it also dispenses astute strategic advice and offers comprehensive watch and registration services. The unifying lead behind the offices in Karachi, Lahore, Kabul and Virginia, senior partner Syed Auqil Ali Shah is a statesman of the Pakistani IP scene.
Bharucha & CoOpening its doors soon after Pakistan established independence in 1947, Bharucha & Co has delivered A-to-Z IP services for nearly 70 years. Alongside the dedicated following it has cultivated in the local market, the group has attracted the attentions of some prestigious multinational corporates from all corners of the globe. At the forefront of the practice is Mohammad Fazil Bharucha, a familiar face in the Pakistani High Court and an active member of a veritable alphabet soup of industry organisations.
Khursheed Khan & AssociatesPlaying a crucial role in the reform of the national IP laws at the turn of the century, Khursheed Kahn & Associates casts an imposing shadow on the Pakistani brand protection landscape. Founded in 1985, the full-service outfit meets and exceeds the demands of brand owners across a plethora of markets, including Europe, Japan and the Middle East. The frequent author of commentaries on trademark and life science protection, founding partner Zulfiqar Khan earns warm plaudits from clients worldwide.
Remfry & SonRemfry & Son makes its debut in the WTR 1000 this year thanks to its burgeoning international reputation. The IP-centric group instils supreme confidence in clients, thanks to its lightning-fast response times and high-quality work product. Headquartered in the country’s commercial hub, the Karachi-based outfit draws in instructions from across Asia and beyond.
Sheikh BrothersIn this often challenging jurisdiction, Sheikh Brothers is a safe pair of hands. The market stalwart is a preferred choice for a slew of local and foreign concerns seeking meticulous yet cost-effective trademark registration and enforcement services. While it ably dispatches all manner of civil law mandates, intellectual property is the heart and soul of the Karachi-based practice. Sultan Ahmad Sheikh is a go-to contact.
United Trademark & Patent ServicesBolstered by the firm’s expansive network across the Middle East, the Pakistan contingent of United Trademark & Patent Services truly stands out in the region. Its impressive geographical footprint and international outlook resonate with rights holders in need of joined-up portfolio management and enforcement expertise across borders. Brand owners flock to International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property Pakistan Group president Yawar Irfan Khan for detail-oriented strategy, while contentious maven Hasan Irfan Khan consistently puts in poised performances in the country’s highest courts.
Vellani & VellaniWith a storied legacy dating back to the British colonial era, Vellani & Vellani remains a formidable ally for brand owners keen to establish a foothold in this burgeoning market. The full-service group keeps trademark services at the forefront of its offering, but is also highly regarded for its flawless execution of big-ticket mergers and licensing projects. The client comes first in every trademark engagement for the commercially oriented Badaruddin Vellani, who draws on over 30 years’ experience to secure the right results on every brief.
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