Formulation of the Intellectual Property Policy for Bangladesh: Challenges and Prospects
- Khondoker Md. Nazmul Huda Shamim[i]
Protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) has become an issue of rising interest in both industrialized and developing countries (South). The controversies tend to center on the relatively new Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement of the Uruguay round of GATT, which has called for a standardization of IPR protection among all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and potential new entrants. It requires developing countries to raise their intellectual property protection level to the standard in ...view middle of the document...
Until recently, nations enjoyed extensive discretion in the adoption and implementation of domestic IP regulation that suited their comparative advantages in either imitation or innovation. The multilateral conventions governing IP protection - the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, and the Berne Convention for copyrights - only set minimum standards that signatories had to uphold. By contrast, the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IP Protection ("TRIPS") introduced a brand new era that extends the global reach of IP regulation based on the concepts of protection and exclusion rather than dissemination and competition. Unlike the earlier conventions, TRIPS does not merely circumscribe the range of acceptable policies governments may practice, but "obliges governments to take positive action to protect IP rights[v]. Bangladesh has become member of the WTO and is considered as the original member automatically as per article XI(1) of the agreement establishing the WTO[vi].
Now it is time of global economy. Development agenda and international relationship have got different dimensions. International relationship is mostly based on economic diplomacy. Adoption of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement was one of the major successes in this event. As a member of the WTO, TRIPS brought many challenges for Bangladesh in the field of development, economy and international cooperation. Under the TRIPS obligation Bangladesh is under pressure to amend or modify existing laws related to Intellectual Property Rights. Bangladesh needs to enact new laws on geographical indication and utility model law. But we have most important challenge to introduce an Intellectual Property Policy for the country.
Need for Intellectual Property Policy for Bangladesh:
As a member of the World Trade Organization and a member of the TRIPS Agreement, Bangladesh is under obligation to follow the provisions of this Agreement. It is widely anticipated that the entry into the WTO will speed up the economic development while providing foreign investors free access to domestic markets and for more favorable environment for our export-oriented industries. However the accession to the WTO raises some potential legal challenges and to take the full advantage of the world trading system, implementation of the WTO agreements is a must. Although presently Bangladesh has around 1200 laws, which are more than even many developed countries, most of them are century old and lack effective enforcement mechanisms. For this reason Bangladesh Government has taken some initiatives to amend or repealed a number of laws. Still we have lack of some laws to meet up the requirements of WTO and TRIPS provisions. But still we have no Intellectual Property Policy in Bangladesh. This is a vital issue in the field of protection and promotion of Intellectual Property Rights in the country. The Industries Minister of Bangladesh in a...