Gross violation a major concern

Jan 17 - 30, 2005



Gross violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) damaging the market credibility as well as the economy in more than one way which consequently causing huge losses both to the genuine manufacturers as well as the exchequer in Pakistan.

Mohammadmian Soomro, Chairman, Senate while conceding to the growing concerns of the genuine manufacturers over unethical as well as illegal production, marketing and import of counterfeit products of world repute has, however, said that time has come that to weed out these illegal trade with an iron hand.

Recently, a number of leading local and multinational companies including Oxford University Press, Pakistan Tobacco Company, National Foods, Tapal Tea, Rafhan Best Foods, Hilal Confectionery, Efroze Chemicals, PSO, English Biscuit, Procter & Gamble, Pakistan Pepsi Cola, Unilever Pakistan, Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan had jointly organized talk to express their deep concern over violation of IPR in the local market.

Meanwhile, Panasonic, an International producer of electronic goods, has also launched a media drive against counterfeit products being sold under the brand of Panasonic which is damaging the goodwill of the company.

A senior Panasonic spokesman while expressing his concern said that it is a matter of serious concern that despite strong protective measures evolved by the government against the violation of intellectual property rights some unscrupulous manufacturers, importers and traders were deceiving the innocent consumers with forged and counterfeit electronic products under the cover of renowned and internationally reputed trade mark of Panasonic.

Such illegal trade activity, if not weeded out proves damaging in more than one way. It harms the interest of the genuine manufacturers on one hand while it injures the image of the market as well. Hence it is in the interest of the national economy that such elements need to be discouraged and dealt with effectively with strongly evolved corrective measures.

On behalf of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Osaka Japan, he declared that Matsushita is the sole owner and user of Panasonic trade mark which has become a household name of quality products the world over.

Panasonic has been duly registered in Pakistan under the Trademark Act,1940 (now embodied in the trade marks Ordinance, 2001). Matsushita is the manufacturer of a wide range of products such as Color TV, Plasma TV Display Panel, LCD TVs, Audio Video, DVD, Digital Still and Movie Camera, SD Memory Card, Refrigerator, Washing Machine, Vacuum Cleaner, Electric Iron, Microwave Oven, Air Conditioners, health and personal care products and batteries under the brand name of Panasonic.



A market survey in Pakistan revealed that electronic products like Juicer Blender, Blenders, and Electric Irons etc. bearing the counterfeit name and trademark of Panasonic were selling in the market with a false claim that they are original/genuine Panasonic products.

The appearances of the counterfeit products were deceiving innocent consumers, who could hardly draw a line between the false and the fair products unless they go through the bitter experience of the poor quality services of the fake products.

It is necessary to forewarn the consumers of the false Juicer Blender model MI-WI76, MX-110PN and Electric Irons NI-21AWTXJ that these low quality and sub-standard products may lead to untoward incidents like electric short circuits, electric shocks, high consumption of electricity and unreliable performance. In view of frequent complaints received from our valued consumers, the company has decided to launch a three-pronged campaign against fake products.

Primarily it is the social responsibility of a company to protect the interest of the loyal consumers who have a great faith in the quality standards of the Panasonic products. In this respect, print and electronic media can play a significant role by creating awareness among the users.

This media campaign to safeguard the interest of the company as well as of the consumers will focus on the following points:

a. Warning to manufacturers, importers, assemblers, whole sellers and shop keepers for marketing of the counterfeit products by serving legal notices through press.

b. To educate the potential customers and existing consumers about the genuine and counterfeit products by highlighting the salient features of the genuine Panasonic products through media campaign besides proclaiming the names of the authorized dealers.

c. In order to facilitate the consumers, warranty will also be introduced on Panasonic Juicer Blender and Blenders so that the consumers could easily discern and draw a line between the genuine and fake products. The company has also decided to paste warranty card on the product consisting of the genuine Panasonic hologram seal by the end of January 2005.

Besides legal remedy and administrative checks, there is a need of setting up centers on the pattern of 15 for immediate help, where the consumers duped by the racketeers could complaint as soon as they come across the counterfeit products.