Bangladesh and Intellectual Property Rights
To respect intellectual property rights (IPR), Bangladesh has enacted intellectual property laws. It has incorporated the relevant provisions from international standards in this regard.
Bangladesh has enacted the following laws on IPR:
- Copyright Act, 2000 (amended in 2005)
- Patent and Design Act, 1911
- Trademarks Act, 2009
- Geographical Indication (Registration and Protection) Act, 2013
The Patents and Designs Act, 1911: Under this act, the Department of Patents, Design and Trademark (DPDT) provides patent protection (registration) to the patent holders for 16 years on payment of prescribed fees. Duration of protection may be renewed for a further period. A patent confers on the patentee the exclusive privilege of making, selling and using the invention throughout Bangladesh and of authorizing others to do so. For details and updated information on protection of patents and design,visit www.dpdt.gov.bd
Trade Marks: Under the Trade Marks Act, 2009, protection is granted for seven (7) years and it can be renewed after every expiry for further ten (10) years on payment of renewal fees.
For details and updated information on Trademarks, visit www.dpdt.gov.bd
Copyright: The Copyrights Act, 2000 (amended in 2005) provides protection to authors, artists or dramatists. Copyright law protects only the form of expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. In order to get a copyright, the owner has to show that the work is original. For details on Copyright protection in Bangladesh, visit www.copyrightoffice.gov.bd
Industrial Design/ Design: Under the Patents and Designs Act, 1911, any person claiming to be the proprietor of any new or original design not previously published in Bangladesh may register the design. The registered proprietor of the design shall have copyright in the design for five (5) years from the date of registration. For details and updated information on Patents and Designs, visit www.dpdt.gov.bd
Geographical Indication: Bangladesh has enacted ‘The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 2013’. In order to implement the Act, the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2015 has been enacted Registration of GI goods shall remain valid for indefinite period unless it is rescinded or otherwise declared void.
In the GI Act there are also provisions for producers/gatherers/manufacturers/processors of GI products to be registered as authorized users of these products. The duration of registration of authorized users of GI goods will be five (5) years and is renewable for a further period of 3 (three) years. For details and updated information on Geographical Indications of Goods, visit www.dpdt.gov.bd.
Bangladesh and Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO).Its aim is to ensure protection of IP rights of intellectual property owners from the WTO member countries. The areas of intellectual property that are covered under the TRIPS Agreement are:
- Patents including the protection of new varieties of plants
- copyright and related rights (i.e. the rights of performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations);
- trademarks including service marks;
- geographical indications including appellations of origin;
- industrial designs;
- the layout-designs of integrated circuits; and
- Undisclosed information including trade secrets and test data.
Although the obligations under TRIPS apply equally to all member states, however developing countries and least developmed countries (LDCs) were allowed extra time to implement the applicable changes to their national laws. The transition period for developing countries expired in 2005. But the transition period for LDCs to implement TRIPS in general was extended to 2021, and for pharmaceutical patents the same has been extended until 1 January 2033.
For details on TRIPS Agreement, Click Here.
Bangladesh Customs’ role in the enforcement of TRIPS Agreement provisions
The National Board of Revenue has taken steps to incorporate necessary provisions under its Customs legislation. For example, Section 15 under Chapter IV (Prohibition and Restriction of Importation and Exportation) of the Customs Act, 1969 provides the enforcement mechanism to deal with the infringement of TRIPS provisions in relation to importation and exportation. Such measures, as provided for under Section 15, are highlighted below:
(d) goods having applied thereto a counterfeit trade mark within the meaning of the Penal Code, 1860, or a false trade description within the meaning of the Trademarks Act, 2009;
(e) goods made or produced outside Bangladesh and having applied thereto any name or trade mark, being or purporting to be the name or trade mark of any manufacturer, dealer or trader in Bangladesh unless-
(i) the name or trade mark is, as to every application thereof, accompanied by a definite indication of the goods having been made or produced in a place outside Bangladesh; and
(ii) the country in which that place is situated is in that indication shown in letters as large and conspicuous as any letter in the name or trade mark, and in the same language and character as the name or trade mark;
(g) goods made or produced outside Bangladesh and intended for sale, and having applied thereto, a design in which copyright exists under the Patents And Designs Act, 1911 and in respect of the class to which the goods belong and any fraudulent or obvious imitation of such design except when the application of such design has been made with the license or written consent of the registered proprietor of the design; and
(h) goods or items produced outside Bangladesh involving infringement of Copyright Act, 2000 or infringement of layout design of integrated circuit that are intended for sale or use for commercial purposes within the territory of Bangladesh.”
Section 17 of the Act provides for detention and confiscation of goods imported or exported in breach of Section 15.
The penalty provisions for any infringement of such IPRs are also incorporated in the Customs Act in Clause 9 under Section 156(1). According to Clause 9, for such violation or infringement in relation to an imported or exported goods, “such goods shall be liable to confiscation; and any person concerned in the offence shall also be liable to a penalty not exceeding two times the value of the goods”.