Intellectual property rights in Bangladesh
In 2003 The DPDT, Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks was formed under the Ministry of Industries. The DPDT merged Patent Office and the Trademark Registry Office, which were two separate operational offices before . In 2008, the Trademarks Ordinance was promulgated and in 2009, the Trademarks Act was enacted.
Copyright laws in Bangladesh was originated from mainly two sources, the copy right ordinance 1962, which was an coalescence of existing copyrights law and the British copyright system. This ordinance was the operating authority up until 1999. After that, the Copyright Act, 2000 was enacted in 2000 and then it was amended five years later in 2005. Additionally, “The Penal Code of Bangladesh” encompasses various penal laws against the infringement of various intellectual property rights (IPR).
In regards to International law of Copyrights, Bangladesh participated in the convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization also is a signatory member of the TRIPS agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Other international compliances of Bangladesh in relation to intellectually property includes Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1991 and of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1999.
There are wide ranges of Intellectual property services available in Bangladesh. Patent , registrations, renewals, Trade Mark, and Copyrights infringement the substantial areas of IP law in Bangladesh.
Patent, Registration & Renewals
According to WIPO, A patent is a barring right granted for a product or a process that provides or describes a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. If an invention were to receive this exclusive right of a patent, in a patent application technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public. The Patents and Designs Act, 1911- according to this act the right provides 16 years of protections. The Patent and Design Act is divided into three parts. Part 1 deals with the relating to patents, in part 2 it deals with the law related to designs, and finally general provisions have been included in the third part.
Based on the current patent law, a patent application is required to be accompanied with either a complete or provisional specification. If an applicant applies with a provisional specification, then to submit the complete specification the applicant will have nine months of time. If the complete specification doesn’t get submitted within this period, after a period of ten months the application is considered to be abandoned.
A complete specification is required to have following set of information, such as: The name and address of the inventor, a description of the invention , the title of the invention, an abstract or summary of the invention, the process of invention with drawings and a claim or claims defining the scope of the invention for which protection is sought.
The application is then sent to an examiner for examination. After evaluating the complete specification the examiner will reach one of three following outcomes : (1) the specification is correct and the invention is patent‐worthy, or (2) the specification is not reflected any new invention and is rejected, or (3) the specification is accepted with modification or amendment. If the examiner raises no objections, the specification is published in the Gazette. It’s pertinent to note, interested parties who wish to intervene, will have four months to submit their objection based on that particular patent.
Trade Mark and Copyrights infringement
The Trademark Act 2009 regulates the law relating to trademark in Bangladesh, which replaced the previous statutory authority, the Trademark act of 1940. A trademark is any symbol, word, number, phrase, design, or any combination thereof which is used to identify the source of goods or services. The Trademarks Act, 2009 defines the term in Section 2(8), and it classified mark into three different heads, registered trademark, mark and certification trademark.
Procedural rules for registration:
Any individual claiming to be the owner of a mark may apply for the registration of the mark for his goods & services. The application should be submitted in Trade Mark office Dhaka. Then Trademarks Registry in Dhaka examines the same application on its intrinsic registration or whether it shows any resemblance with existing marks, after filing the trademark request. If any objection is raised, the Trademarks Registry will issue an official review report. It is essential to file a reply to the examination report together with the supporting papers displaying the marks as used to resolve the objection.
- Acceptance and Advertisement:
If the registrar is satisfied, he will issue a Letter of Acceptance to advertise the mark for opposition reasons in the Trademarks Journal. Otherwise, the Registry raised notice of objection or refusal and sought written response to objections or notice of rejection (non-smooth case). After the conditional or absolute acceptance of the application, the Registrar may advertise the application in the prescribed manner along with the prescribed fees.
Within 2 months of the application’s advertising date, any individual may object to oppose the proposed trademark by sending the Registrar due notice via TM-5 form, together with the prescribed charges (2000 taka).He shall also serve the applicant a copy of the same within 1 month from the date of receipt of the notification.
If the request is approved or the notice of resistance has expired or after opposition the judgment was in favor of the applicant, the registrar shall register the mark. The length of the mark shall be seven years and may be renewed from time to time by paying the prescribed charges. The registrar may renew the trademark registration on request by the applicant for 10 years from the expiry date of the initial registration or the last updated registration.
Rights granted by registration :
Without the consent of the registered owner, no person except the registered owner of the mark shall use the same for the goods and services for which it is registered under the Act.
Like Indian law, the Act also includes in its Section 24 the common law remedy of “Passing Off.” It offers that for an unregistered trade mark, no violation action shall be instituted. Secondly, nothing in the Act shall be considered to impact any person’s right of action for the transfer of another person’s products or services and any other associated remedies.
Infringement & Penalty:
Section 26 deals with trademark infringement. The Trade Mark was considered to be infringed by a individual other than a licensed owner of identical or similar trademarks. Section 27, on the other side, deals with acts which are not an infringement. The chapter provides lawful users, allowed use, etc.
The penalties under the act are:
Penalty for falsification or falsification of Trademark: Imprisonment may extend to 2 years, but not less than 6 months, and/or the penalty may extend to 2 lac taka, but not less than 50,000 taka. The imprisonment would range from a minimum of 1 year to 3 years for a second or subsequent conviction and/or a fine of up to 3 lac taka, but not less than 1 lac taka.
Penalty for good with false Trademark: Penalty for selling products that are covered by a fake trademark or trade description: imprisonment for up to 2 years and/or fine. Imprisonment for up to 3 years and/or fine for a second or subsequent conviction.
Due to the evident complexities in Intellectual property law, it’s important to delicate the matter through expert legal professionals. Furthermore, Experienced attorneys in CLP provide litigation services for any breach of Intellectual Property Law which includes issuing and/or reply legal notices for any infringement of the Intellectual Property rights, filing litigation, attending hearing etc.
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