Proposed IP Law To Protect Local Products
Monday, 27 April 2009

The government has moved to enact a geographical indication law to protect intellectual property rights on local products, said industries minister Dilip Barua on Sunday.

"Geographical indication law is very important but it is not enacted in our country. The industries ministry has moved to formulate the law," he said at a seminar to mark World Intellectual Property Day.

The seminar on 'Encouraging Intellectual Property for Attaining Digital Bangladesh' was held at Federation Bhaban, headquarters of the FBCCI, the country's top business body.

FBCCI president Annisul Huq said, "We have to strengthen copyright, patent and design laws to keep pace with the international community."

"We have to preserve the branding of all our products," he added

Dilip Barua stressed the importance of intellectual property rights, and their proper application in business, for socio-economic development.

"It is very sad that Bangladesh has had no comprehensive intellectual property policy," said Barua.

"Our patent and design law dates back to 1911. Trademarks law was formulated in 1940."

"But the current world scenario requires modern legislation," he said.

The minister said the present government had taken initiatives on this since coming to power in January.

"We have already passed the Trademarks Law-2009 and are formulating an updated patent and design law," he said.

Barua mentioned a diversity of cultural products that needed protection, such as hilsha fish, Jamdani saris, rosh malai (a famous sweet).

He also spoke of arts. "Apart from the famous (folksongs) Bhauaiya, Bhatiaali, Jari and Sari, we have inherited age-old cultural legacies like Monipuri dance," the minister said.

"Our indigenous communities also have rich cultures that need protecting," he added.

Bangladesh Computer Association President, Mostafa Jabbar, said that there was absolutely no application of copyright law against piracy.

The music, film and software industries were on the verge of ruination "thanks to piracy", he said.

'To build 'Digital Bangladesh', we must support local talent by protecting intellectual property."

The registrar of the Patent, Design and Trademarks Directorate, Enamul Haq, said he did not have the manpower or resources to handle the applications flooding in.

"So we are lag behind," he said.

The FBCCI chief demanded solutions to the problems regarding intellectual property within a year.

In reply, Barua said, "You will not see such problems by the time next year"

The seminar was jointly organised by FBCCI and the Directorate.


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