Vellani & Vellani updates

Six fruit juice manufacturers investigated for deceptive marketing practices
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • December 07 2017

The Competition Commission recently initiated an enquiry into six fruit juice manufacturers for misleading consumers and engaging in deceptive marketing practices under the Competition Act. The enquiry committee concluded that the respondents' marketing of their fruit juice brands to consumers using unjustified claims amounted to the distribution of false and misleading information to the general public, which could harm the business interests of other undertakings in the same industry.

Intellectual Property Organisation consults with enforcement agencies to improve Pakistan's IP image
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • October 16 2017

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.

Inconspicuous disclaimers and claims lacking reasonable basis: are they deceptive marketing practices?
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • September 28 2017

The Competition Commission recently conducted an enquiry and initiated proceedings against Proctor & Gamble Pakistan (Private) Limited following a complaint for deceptive marketing practices filed by Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Limited. The commission found that the respondent had violated Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010 and imposed a penalty of PRs10 million.

High court uses 'moron in a hurry', Lapp and classic trinity tests to decide trademark infringement case
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • July 31 2017

When deciding an appeal regarding infringement and passing off of the appellant's mark, the Sindh High Court applied the standard 'moron in a hurry', Lapp and classic trinity tests to determine the get-up and similarity of the marks in question. The high court decided in favour of the appellant and overruled the lower court's decision by disallowing registration of the defendant's competing mark.

Competition Commission finds that online shopping platform violates Competition Act
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • June 29 2017

Following a complaint filed by an individual against Kaymu (an online shopping platform) for deceptive marketing practices, the Competition Commission conducted an enquiry and found that Kaymu had been involved in the dissemination of false and misleading information to consumers. These actions had resulted in Kaymu having a competitive advantage over other undertakings in the same line of business, leading to a prima facie violation of the Competition Act.

Customs Rules 2001 amended to introduce new chapter on IP rights enforcement
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • April 24 2017

A new chapter regarding IP rights enforcement has been added to the Customs Rules 2001. The new chapter provides a mechanism by which rights holders with valid grounds for suspicion that infringing goods are being imported into Pakistan can make an application (in the prescribed format) to the Directorate General of IP Rights when the goods arrive at the notified customs station.

Draft geographical indication bill published for review
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • January 23 2017

Following consultation with stakeholders, the Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan recently published the Draft Geographical Indication Protection Bill 2016 on its website for discussion. As there are minimal provisions relating to geographical indication protection in existing IP legislation, there is a need for comprehensive legislation to provide improved protection and public awareness of geographical indication products in Pakistan.

Overview of recent Competition Commission activities
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • December 22 2016

The Competition Commission recently launched its Competition Advocacy Academia Drive campaign, which aims to promote awareness of competition law among university students and faculty members. The commission has also issued a show cause notice against the Pharma Bureau for alleged collusive activities, launched an enquiry into alleged deceptive marketing practices and issued a policy note regarding competition rules in the telecoms sector.

Commission finds that similar logos not always anti-competitive
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • September 22 2016

The Competition Commission recently conducted an enquiry into a complaint of deceptive market practices relating to the use of similar logos by motorcycle companies. It found that none of the accused could be held responsible for the alleged deceptive marketing practices, as their conduct and use of the objectionable logos did not amount to the distribution of false or misleading information within the meaning of Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010.

Federal Board of Revenue unveils rules for improved IP enforcement
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • September 05 2016

The Intellectual Property Organisation recently announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Board of Revenue for data sharing and further cooperation. The memorandum of understanding marks a major collaboration with the Federal Board of Review's IP rights enforcement agencies and aims to address the violation of IP rights and issues of piracy and counterfeiting in Pakistan.

Pakistan Engineering Council found guilty of restricting competition in insurance market
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • July 07 2016

The Competition Commission recently initiated proceedings against the Pakistan Engineering Council following a complaint that it had restricted competition in the insurance market for public civil works. The bidding documents that the council prepared for public sector engineering projects contained provisions restricting insurance cover for public civil works to AA-rated insurers.

Dominant features and trademark protection
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • April 18 2016

A recent Supreme Court case found that adding a prefix to an existing trademark or the dominant feature of an existing trademark is not enough to prevent a trademark registration being refused. The court noted a growing tendency to misappropriate trademark rights by seeking protection under copyright law. The decision highlights the proactive approach that the Pakistan judiciary has adopted towards protecting IP rights in trademarks.

Competition Commission imposes highest-ever penalty for deceptive marketing practices
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • April 14 2016

The Competition Act 2010 does not cover the concept of parasitic copying or copycat packaging. However, in its recent order against Dawn Foods, the commission broadened the scope of deceptive marketing practices by recognising unfair competition through the practice of parasitic copying and copycat packaging for the first time in Pakistan.

IP tribunals established
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • February 01 2016

The federal government recently established IP tribunals in Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory to adjudicate on IP disputes under presiding officers selected from high court, district and session court judges or attorneys who qualify for appointment through their expert knowledge of IP law. The act also provides that in cases of a technical nature, tribunals may be assisted by IP rights experts.

Competition law road show
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • January 28 2016

The Competition Commission has established a road show, including seminars in 20 major cities, to help stakeholders to understand the importance of the Competition Act 2010. The commission aims to help companies improve their business practices, which in turn will create fairness for all businesses to compete, innovate and become profitable, and thus help to improve the economy.

Commission approves integration of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • December 10 2015

The integration of the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges was recently approved during a hearing of the Phase 2 review of the pre-merger application following the order that the commission had passed in the Phase 1 review. During the hearing, all parties responded at length to the concerns raised in the order and to additional queries posed by the bench. A detailed order providing the commission's reasoning will follow in due course.

Policy note on imposition of duty on steel billet imports reviewed
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • December 03 2015

The Competition Commission recently examined a statutory regulatory order issued by the federal government imposing a 15% regulatory duty on imported steel billets. The commission concluded that this regulatory duty on the import of steel billets affected the cascading nature of the tariff structure and recommended a reduction to create a level playing field in the market for steel products.

Commission examines fare increases by private airlines
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • November 26 2015

The Competition Commission recently examined increases in air fares by certain private airlines, which appear to have taken advantage of the ongoing dispute between Pakistan International Airlines and the Airline Pilots Association. The commission will investigate whether the private airlines have abused their dominant position or engaged in anti-competitive practices by taking advantage of the crisis at Pakistan International Airlines.

Recommendations on price control mechanism for essential foodstuffs
Vellani & Vellani
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • Pakistan
  • November 19 2015

The Competition Commission recently announced details of a meeting regarding recommendations on the price control mechanism for essential food commodities. The commission will now finalise its recommendations based on the suggestions received from stakeholders and present them at the next meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee.

Aldo unsuccessful in securing interim injunction against local company
Vellani & Vellani
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pakistan
  • October 26 2015

The Sindh High Court recently refused to grant interim injunctive relief to Aldo and allowed a local company to sell shoes under the brand The Aldo Shoes. In its decision, the court gave due weight to the fact that Aldo has no stores in Pakistan and that the defendant's shoes are sold only through its own store; therefore, the goods concerned reach the market through different trade channels.

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