The Competition Commission recently conducted an inquiry into alleged discriminatory practices that the Defence Officers Housing Authority Islamabad-Rawalpindi (DHA) had undertaken against Nayatel (Private) Limited in respect of the provision of cable internet and telephony services. The inquiry committee found that the DHA held a dominant position in the relevant market and had abused this position by effectively and constrictively refusing to deal with Nayatel.
The Competition Commission recently conducted an enquiry following a complaint filed by Pakistan Services Limited against a number of other hotel operators for fraudulently using the complainant's registered trademark for the branding of their hotels. The commission found that the respondents had resorted to deceptive marketing practices by adopting marks that were identical or deceptively similar to the complainant's registered marks.
Pursuant to a complaint filed by Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, the Competition Commission recently started an enquiry into Neucon Pakistan for deceptive marketing practices under the Competition Act. The respondent's behaviour was judged to have been capable of deceiving consumers, which could in turn damage the complainant's business interests. In the interest of the general public, it was recommended that proceedings be initiated against Neucon for deceptive marketing practices.
The Competition Commission recently found that an enquiry into deceptive marketing practices did not comply with Section 37(2) of the Competition Act, which allows the commission to conduct enquiries only after receiving written complaints from an undertaking or registered association of consumers. As a result, proceedings could not be initiated against the company under investigation.
The Competition Commission recently initiated proceedings against nine animal and livestock feed manufacturers for engaging in deceptive marketing practices under the Competition Act 2010. The commission imposed a penalty of PRs2.7 million on the respondents and ordered them to cease their unauthorised use of the complainant's registered trademark and copycat packaging and file individual compliance reports.
The High Court of Sindh recently allowed an appeal filed by Novartis AG against Nabiqasim Industries (Private) Limited and restrained the latter from using the trademark DESCOL on account of its similarity with Novartis's prior registered trademark LESCOL. The court's appellate bench asserted that in the case of pharmaceutical products, the public must be protected from the possibility of confusion at all times.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides the best option for obtaining an international patent. Pakistan plans to accede to the Madrid Protocol in 2019 and become a contracting member of the PCT in 2020. In this regard, the Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan is in the process of updating its IP laws, including the Patent Ordinance 2000, to incorporate the relevant PCT provisions.
In a recent case, the appellant challenged the Additional District Court's decision to dismiss a permanent injunction issued against the respondent for its adoption of a mark that was confusingly similar to that of the appellant. The decision reflects that unregistered trademark rights can be protected through a passing-off claim where it can be established that the trademark has gained distinctiveness as a result of its continuous use over time.
An appellant filed an appeal in the High Court challenging a district judge's decision dismissing an application for the grant of a temporary injunction against the respondent's use of a trademark. The appellant had registered a similar mark subject to a disclaimer regarding exclusivity. However, the court found that such a disclaimer limits the extent of the exclusive rights that a registration may provide a rights holder and dismissed the appeal.
IP enforcement agencies recently held a meeting at the Intellectual Property Organisation to discuss how to improve Pakistan's international IP image. At the meeting, certain proactive approaches were adopted, including improving coordination between different government organisations and providing timely IP reports to Pakistan's missions abroad. These measures will allow Pakistan to keep up to date with progress in the protection of IP rights and provide a basis for comparison with other international standards.