United Law Company


Copyright automatically attaches when a work is created, registration is recommended as it affords the copyright holder to enjoy a presumption of validity, exclusive license registration, assignment, etc. Copyright in logo, label, get-up, packing design or writing style of a trademark can be registered as Artistic Work along with the trademark registration.

Pakistan is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 1886 (“Berne Convention”) and the Universal Copyright Convention of 1952. 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 the same treatment as they offer to their own nationals. New amendments are under consideration in order to accommodate the new WTO provisions and more specifically, the highly significant instrument that WTO will now administer i.e., the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights including Trade in Counterfeit Goods (“TRIPS”).

Copyrights are a form of protection provided to the authors of “Original works of Authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Copyrights protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyrights in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyrights. A copyright protects “Original Works of Authorship” that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works include the following categories:

Architectural Works
Dramatic Works, including any Accompanying Music
Literary Works;
Motion Pictures and other Audiovisual Works
Musical Works, including any Accompanying Words
Pictorial, Graphic, and Sculptural Works
Sound Recordings

These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most “Compilations” may be registered as “Literary Works”. A work that was created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author’s life plus an additional 50 years after the author’s death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works the duration of copyrights will be 50 years from publication.

In general, copyrights registration is a legal formality. However, registration is not a condition of copyrights protection, but it establishes prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyrights and of the facts stated in the certificate.

Practice Spotlight:

Copyright Assignments and Licensing

Copyright Dispute Negotiations

Evaluation of Authorship

Infringement Analysis

Originality of Works

Preparation and Filing of Copyright Applications

Counterfeit Product Investigation/Seizure


Portfolio Management.


Area of Practice

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