New IP laws on the cards

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New IP laws on the cards
Star Business Report

The government plans to frame three new laws to protect intellectual property rights.

The industries ministry has already drafted Patents Act, 2011 and Industrial Designs Act, 2011 for stakeholders’ opinion before finalisation.

Another law on geographical indications will be finalised soon, said Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday.

“Our government has already taken significant steps for creating congenial atmosphere in the country in order to protect and develop IP [intellectual property],” said Barua at a two-day forum on use of IP for technological capacity building for economic growth and development.

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT) under industries ministry jointly organised the programme at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.

The industries minister said the government has already enforced the new Trademarks Act in 2009 to safeguard the intellectual property of businesses and other bodies.

Barua said protection, promotion and management of IP are appearing as important tools for national development in the context of globalisation of trade and commerce and emerging knowledge-based world.

“Intellectual property management is becoming a major element in corporate business management.”

“Companies are forging alliances with each other in order to heighten the value of their IP and to obtain mutually beneficial competitive advantages,” he said, adding IP management, formerly confined to legal departments, is increasingly being handed over to proactive IP departments.

This is especially true in some of the new technology firms which are developing so fast and making huge investments in research and development sectors, Barua said.

He said people of Bangladesh are traditionally innovative, creative and genius. “But due to lack of appropriate technology and IP protection initiative, we cannot utilise our historical talents to achieve the desired level of economic development,” he added.

The minister said the government is trying to strengthen the industrial property administrator DPDT to allow it to play a pivotal role for basic industrial development activities in line with the set target of vision 2021.

He said DPDT has partially been automated under a project and a good number of examiners and staff have also been appointed. Vacant posts of the organisation will be filled up very soon, he added.

Citing example of TRIPS Agreement, Promode Mankin, state minister for cultural affairs, said: “The transition period allowed for LDCs needs to be extended further as no real transfer of technology as envisaged in the agreement has so far been materialised.”

“Therefore we strongly feel that the commitment of the developed countries on transfer of technology should be followed in spirit and in writing,” Mankin said.

Bangladesh should protect its IP to reap greater benefits. He said Bangladesh should frame IP policy in this regard, said Kifle Shenkoru, director of WIPO for the division of least developed countries.

BM Kamal, registrar of DPDT, said the government will take steps to frame rules to protect genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, plant variety and traditional cultural expressions and bio-diversity.

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