KARACHI: Four people were reportedly booked on Wednesday for violating copyright and intellectual property laws after allegations of plagiarising source code for a financial information startup surfaced.
The entrepreneurs behind Investor's Lounge, Baqar Abbas Jafri, Sennen D’Souza, Hammad Ali Hashmi and Waqar Ehsan, have been accused by their former employer ─ Mir Muhammad Ali Khan of AMZ MAK Capital Ltd ─ of stealing firm’s source code to launch their own startup in an incubation programme at The Nest I/O, claimed AMZ MAK Capital Ltd in a statement released earlier.
The case is an unprecedented one in Pakistan, where intellectual property rights are not regularly enforced.
According to The Nest I/O press release, Investor’s Lounge was launched six months ago with an undisclosed six-digit dollar funding from Arpatech after emerging as a runner-up in the startup category in the P@SHA ICT Awards 2015.
Jehan Ara, the chair of P@SHA and head of The Nest I/O, said Investor’s Lounge was developed before her eyes when it was incubated at The Nest.
“It’s only an accusation and it’s false in my opinion. These guys are no longer connected with The Nest I/O but they are very upright people who have worked very hard to get to where they are. I have no doubt that in time these accusations will be proven wrong.”
Jehan added there was no doubt in her mind of their innocence, and that The Nest would stand by them and support them through this difficult time. She also said all the content being used by Investor’s Lounge is licensed.
A First Incident Report (FIR) was lodged in the presence of Sindh Rangers at Darakshan Police station and a raid was conducted at Investor's Lounge offices, claimed the statement released by AMZ.
“There are also some inaccuracies. Like there are three founders not four, and only the CEO [Baqar Jafri] was arrested, not all founders as claimed,” she said.
“There was also no raid carried out on their office premises as suggested in AMZ's press release," added Jehan.
Pakistan was recently removed from a US intellectual property shame list upgraded to the regular watch list after it created specialised intellectual property courts, established a timeline for improving its legal framework and improved border security.
With additional input by Hussain Jalaluddin.