PRCS and Abrarul Haq accused of stealing the idea of ‘Mohafiz’ mobile application for their new app
Continuous attempts were made by Fahd to contact Abrarul Haq formally and informally to discuss the collaboration but he was ignored.
Leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Reed Crescent Society (PRCS) Chairman Abrarul Haq allegedly stole the idea of the ‘Muhafiz’ mobile application. The application was launched by PRCS on 4th April 2020 and is an emergency response application that has been recently developed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic
According to reports, PRC’s Muhafiz has been copied on the model of a pre-existing application developed by ‘Humaneteck’ back in 2015. The original application is named ‘Mohafiz’ and provides emergency management services.
Mohafiz was developed by Humanetek CEO Fahd Mahmood after the attack on Army Public School (APS) Peshawar. The aim was to establish an emergency response service like 911.
The application combines a pool of first responders from the government, non-government organizations or the private sector and notifies the closest emergency to respond when a user is in need of help.
Mohafiz had signed MoUs with numerous government agencies and due to its work nature, it also signed an MoU with PRCS in 2016. Even though the MoU had expired, Fahd says that they continued to work with PRCS on various projects.
On April 4, 2020, Fahd Mahmood Khan met with Abrarul Haq for a possible collaboration with PRCS to use his Mohafiz application as a response initiative against COVID-19.
While talking to a news outlet, the CEO said that Haq showed the willingness to work together but rumors started surfacing that they had already started working on a similar application.
‘’They replicated what we were doing, and surprisingly they launched it with the same name – Muhafiz. The only difference in the name is of a vowel’’, he said.
Continuous attempts were made by Fahd to contact Abrarul Haq formally and informally to discuss the collaboration but he was ignored. This raised suspicion that the rumors may be true.
A formal letter was also sent to PRCS to not launch the app or change the name of the application. But, it was launched nonetheless.
“Humanetek holds the trademark and copyright registration of the application and already has over 80,000 downloads’’, said Fahd.
On the other hand, PRCS denied any violation of intellectual property rights in the launch of ‘PRC Muhafiz’ application.
A spokesperson for PRCS clarified that the app was launched on a non-commercial and humanitarian basis. In a statement, PRCS said that their application is in no way similar to ‘Mohafiz’ – in terms of logo, name, features or usage.
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