The Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) of Pakistan and Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) joined hands by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to initiate and promote cooperation in commercialisation of inventions and innovations on Monday. IPO Chairman Mujib Ahmed Khan and PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations. Through this collaboration, both parties will conduct joint awareness raising sessions regarding intellectual property issues and topics by holding seminars, conferences and workshops. Both parties will also engage in research programmes/projects regarding intellectual property issues and topics, allowing reciprocal access to research facilities like libraries, electronic resources, etc.On this occasion, Dr Umar Saif said that this collaboration would create synergistic effect to hoist innovation culture in Pakistan to promote and commercialise our inventions and it would add value creation in national products. This MoU would also give assistance on all intellectual property matters to the incubating units being supported by PITB under Plan 9 Project, he added. He further stated that one of the important missing pieces of the startup ecosystem in Pakistan was protection of intellectual property in Pakistan while MoU with IPO would facilitate registration of patents, trademarks and copyrights, including a one-window at Plan 9 and an automated platform to streamline the process for everyone applying for patents, copyrights and trademarks.Mujib Ahmed Khan explained that the MoU enabled both organisations to collaboratively work on a plan for building out a successful long term relationship with the intent of creating impact both in Pakistan and in the world. Mujib further said that that the biggest challenge IPO faced was access to data of patents all across Pakistan. World Intellectual Property Organisation has provided them with access to more than 9,000 patents all across the country while it was difficult to get that information in Pakistan. PITB would be given access to the portal having access to information of 9,000 patents all across the country as “we were working for the promotion of knowledge based economy by establishing strong liaison between public intuitions, academia and the industry”, he said.IPO was looking for technical help from PITB to initiate an incubator to train their officials for using technology by generating one window solution for registration of patents, trademarks and copyrights including one window at Plan 9 and an automated platform to streamline the process for everyone applying to patents, copyrights and trademarks, he added. IPO sought assistance from PITB to provide expertise in automation of their data and turn the data into verifiable digital form. PITB will further provide assistance in developing the system where data of registered trademark can be scanned and digitised to future convenience.Published in Daily Times, September 11th 2018.