An Act to repeal, amend, consolidate and re-enact the laws
relating to trademarks.
Whereas, it is expedient and necessary to repeal, amend,
consolidate and re-enact the laws relating to trademarks;
It is hereby enacted, as follows :
An Act to repeal, amend, consolidate and re-enact the laws
Bangladesh Trade Marks Journal No. 295 has been published under the direction of the Registrar, Department of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Trade Marks Journal No. 295 has been received by the Registrar, Department of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, Dhaka on June 30, 2020. The prescribed Opposition period for published trademarks of this Journal will expire on August 30, 2020.
The Trade Marks Journal No. 295 has published marks in which the printing fee has been received by the Trademark Office within the period of October 2018 – March 2019.
It contains different provisions relating to computer programs and digital media copyrights, database, rental rights, cinema, literature related rights, dramatic rights, musical rights, artistic rights, cinematograph rights, sound recordings rights, broadcasting rights, performer’s rights, phonograms rights, etc. It also provides a number of provisions for uses of protected works without seeking permission from authors for the purpose of fair dealings, such as private study, private use, research, criticisms, review, reporting current events in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, in cinematograph films by broadcast or by pho-tograph. The law also provides some other provisions to use a protected work without authorization from an author in cases of official gazettes, reports of various commissions, committees’ boards or councils appointed by government or other similar bodies, if it is not expressly prohibited to publish. Similarly, a number of some other provisions also exist in law under which users are given powers to use freely of the protected works in cases of sound recordings, cinematographic film, computer programs under certain exceptional cases. Copyright is a property right that subsists in certain specified types of works as provided in the act for the owner or creator of those specified subsists. The owner of the copyright subsisting in his work the exclusive right to do certain acts in relation to the work such as making a copy, broadcasting or selling copies to the public. These are examples of the acts which are directly restricted by 2P. Narayanan (2001), “Intellectual Property Law (3rd Edition)”, Kolkata-New Delhi: Eastern La
Bangladesh inherited the legal framework on intellectual property (IP) dating back to British India. The Patents, Designs, and Trademarks Act of 1883 is the earliest legislation found to
protect IP. Subsequently, it was repealed and the new Patents and Designs Act was enacted in
1911 and the Trademarks Act in 1940. In 2003, both the Patents and Designs Act, 1911 and the
Trademarks Act, 1940 were amended and the Department of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks
(DPDT) was formed under the Ministry of Industries merging two independently operational
offices – the Patent Office and the Trademark Registry Office.In 2008, the Trademarks
The ordinance was promulgated and in 2009, the Trademarks Act was enacted.
The copyright system in Bangladesh was originated from the British copyright system and later the
copyright ordinance, 1962, an amalgamation of existing different copyright laws was
promulgated. This ordinance was administered up to 1999. After that, the Copyright Act, 2000
was enacted in 2000 and was amended in 2005.
Also, “The Penal Code of Bangladesh” comprises several penal laws against the violations
of various intellectual property rights (IPR).
Bangladesh participated in the convention establishing the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) on May 11, 1985. Bangladesh became a member of the Paris Convention
for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1991 and the Berne Convention for the Protection
of Literary and Artistic Works in 1999.
Bangladesh is a signatory of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which came into force on January 1, 1995.
The TRIPS Agreement sets detailed, compulsory, and common standards for all countries
following the dispute settlement system of the WTO. Being a member of LDCs Bangladesh is
enjoying the extended transition period to bring herself into compliance with its rules.
What Actions Can Be Taken Against Trademark Infringement in Bangladesh? The following remedies are available for trademark infringement. an injunction restraining further use of the infringing mark; damages or an account of profits; and an order for delivery up of infringing labels and marks for destruction or erasure.
Human beings from their civilization used to invent many things for
their comfort of life. In ancient times, in a Greek colony named Sybaris, the
inventor of new food recipe was granted one year exclusive right for the
recipe. 1 With the growth of civilization this ancient form of protection
turned out to be a vital demand of the time. Today the general belief is that
Intellectual Property is crucial to the economic, social and technological
development of a country.
And “in this new millennium, the Intellectual Property (IP) community
has entered a new era characterized by the rapid expansion of demand for new
forms of intellectual property protection, greater global coverage and
unprecedented growth in the exploitation and use of intellectual property
rights. Significantly in the knowledge based new economy IP is no longer to
be perceived as a distinct or self- contained domain, but rather as an important
and efficient policy investment that is relevant to a wide range of socioeconomic, technological and political concern. 2 Recent years have witnessed
increased attention to intellectual property considerations in the policy making
mainstream at both international and national levels, in a wide range of legal,
technological, economic, commercial and social fields. Developments in these
fields increasingly effect international co-operation in intellectual property,
which can no longer be viewed as a distinct or self-contained domain.
Moreover, intellectual property issues and concerns are becoming increasingly
integrated with other global issues.
- Intellectual Property Defined
- Shima Zaman, Lecturer of Law, University of Dhaka. 1 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Introduction to Intellectual
Property: Theory and Practice at p. 580. 2 P. G Mankind, Secretary, Dept. Of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of
Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, India. “Building Synergies in the
Modernization of Intellectual Property Administration, Development of skills and
the teaching of Intellectual Property Rights”: Paper presented at WIPO SubRegional Forum on Intellectual Property Cooperation among Member States of the
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, held in March 20 and 21,2001,
110 9:1&2 (2005) Bangladesh Journal of Law
Jeremy Philips & Alison Firth say that intellectual property has two
meanings, one colloquial and other legal. 3 The colloquial description of
intellectual property is that it simply comprises all those things, which
emanate from the exercise of human brain, such as ideas, inventions,
poems, designs etc. The legal description of intellectual property differs
from colloquial one and it focuses on the rights, which are enjoyed in the
produce of mind, rather than upon that produce it. For example, we call a
piece of land or a motor car ‘property’ not because it is solid, but because
individuals or legal entities such as companies can assert a right in it against
other persons. Intellectual property rights may be defined as legal devices,
which guarantee the exclusive right to exploit for a period a time “a
prescribed body of knowledge, signs or symbols.” 4 There are many types
of intellectual property rights, which dominantly include: patents, utility
model, designs, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, trade secretes,
technical know-how etc. According to the list of TRIPS agreement
intellectual property rights cover the following areas: – (a) Copyrights
and related rights (i.e., rights of performers, producer of sound recordings
and broadcasting organizations) (b) Trademarks including service marks (c)
Geographical Indications including appellation of origins (d) Industrial
designs. (e) Patents including protection of new varieties of plants (f)
Layout designs (Topographies) of integrated circuits (g) Protection of
undisclosed information including trade secret and test data.
With the exception of trademarks, the basic function of all types of
intellectual property rights is the same. Regardless of type, the basic
purpose of all IPRs is to encourage creative activity and the development
of goods or knowledge to bring prosperity to the country.
- Obligation to Introduce Intellectual Property System
“The thrust of intellectual property is today usually expressed in
economic terms: the perceived need to enable creators and producers of
knowledge-based commodities to capture the full or at least fuller, benefits
of those commodities. In broad terms there are two models which address
this objective in contemporary legal systems. The first, the protective
model, creates a series of discrete protective laws, which give proprietary
protection on closely defined terms. The second, ‘the state support model’
3 Jeremy Philips & Alison Firth, Introduction to Intellectual Property Law, Third
Edition, Butterworths-London, (1995). 4 Transnational Corporation and Management Division, Intellectual Property Rights
and Foreign Direct Investment. New York: United Nations, (1993) at p. 8.
Development and Necessity of Intellectual Property Laws: 111
gives creators direct support or rewards, in one form or another, but allows
relatively free appropriation by producers. Both models endeavor to
encourage creation and dissemination of intellectual creations.” 5 The
components of Intellectual Property system contribute to the social,
economic and human development of a country. Industrial design
protection encourages people with creative faculty to devote their talent
and energy in developing new designs for products. This is particularly so
in the case of consumer products including toys, garments, furniture and so
on. Protection of trademarks enables consumers to obtain their products
of the right quality, which they are accustomed to get identifying the
product by the mark. Thus generally the IP protection is an incentive to the
inventor or author, and this was the main reason for such protection in the
early society. The enormous technological development of transport and
communications has resulted in the globalization of trade and commerce.
This globalization has made the intellectual property a subject matter of
The international character of IP is recognized in the various
international conventions, i.e., The Bern Convention, the Paris convention,
The Universal Copyright Convention, The TRIPS Agreement, The Patent
Cooperation Treaty etc. Among all these Conventions the TRIPS
Agreement is the most important and vital one.
The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects and Intellectual property
Rights (TRIPS Agreement) has marked the emergence of intellectual
property rights as an issue in multilateral trade negotiations. The link
between the intellectual property system and the global trade has been
brought into sharp focus by the TRIPS Agreement. Consequently
unprecedented levels of growth and changes have been experienced about
the demands on an effective internal intellectual property system, its
explosion and development, its potential to serve economic and social
TRIPS is the aspiration of the industrialized countries of the world.
They forced the developing countries to initiate regulation with the clear
objective of universalizing the standards of IPR protection, which they had
incorporated in their legislation. The developing countries negotiated to get
benefits from other trade-related issues and acquiesced in making
important concessions in terms of reforms of their intellectual property
5 DAVID I. BAIN BRIDGE, Cases & Materials in Intellectual Property Law, pp. 3-4.
112 9:1&2 (2005) Bangladesh Journal of Law
legislation. 6 The developing countries thought that the benefits of the
agreement would outweigh the economic and social costs of the TRIPS
Agreement. However, the wave of globalization created by the New World
trading system is continuously forcing most of the developing and least
developed countries of the world to implement IP legislation. Under the
TRIPS Agreement as a member of Least Developed Country Bangladesh is
obliged to implement IP laws by the 2006.
- Main Fields of Application of IP Rights:
Types of IPR Subject Main Fields
Patents New, non-obvious,
Chemicals, drugs, plastics,
engines, turbines, electronics,
industrial control & scientific
Trade Marks Signs or symbols to
identify goods and
Copyright Original works of
Printing, entertainment (audio,
video, motion pictures), software,
Integrated circuits Original layout designs Micro-electronics industry
Breeder’s rights New, stable,
Agriculture and food industry
Trade secrets Secret business
Geographical origin of
goods and services
Wines, sprits, cheese and other
Industrial designs Ornamental designs Clothing, automobiles,
Utility models Functional models/
Source: South Centre (2000), The TRIPS Agreement: A Guide for the South.
- Intellectual Property Laws in Bangladesh:
Being one of the founder members of WTO, Bangladesh must
introduce an Intellectual Property Rights Protection system in compliance
with the TRIPS Agreement. Problem is with Bangladesh’s capacity and
economic condition to bear the onslaught of intellectual property right.
6 Carlos M. Correa, Intellectual Property Rights, the WTO and Developing
Countries, The TRIPS Agreement and Policy Option. at p. 3.
Development and Necessity of Intellectual Property Laws: 113
The technological efforts in Bangladesh are negligible, which raises dispute
about implementation of strong IP rights. Many claim that, if a country has
no meaningful technological activity then for that country Intellectual
Property Rights are irrelevant and not cost effective.
However, the fact is, TRIPS is not a mere legal document. It comprises
economic, environmental and social issues, and certain measures are
necessary to cope with IP issues, TRIPS Agreement and WTO obligation.
Bangladesh has few IP laws. All these IP laws are the enactment of the
British colonial system and in a very premature form. All these laws
provide for national treatment for its citizens as well as for foreigners who
have filed an application for protection. But all these laws specially the
patent law, do not specifically describe the inventions which will be given
protection. Moreover in many cases the implementation process as
suggested in the particular law is not effective leaving a concern of the
international community. During the post liberation period no measure
was taken to remove the anomalies. The reason may be that the amount of
technological invention in Bangladesh is negligible and demands no
attraction. But with the emergence of the TRIPS Agreement it is obligatory
to amend IP laws.
The Copyright Ordinance of 1962 has been replaced by the Copyright
Act of 2000. This Act of 2000 is the final step in the TRIPS
implementation process. Copyrights are protected in most cases for 60
years. Under this Act the government is under an obligation to establish a
Copyright Office and a 6 member Copyright Board headed by a person
qualified to be the judge of the High Court Division. This Act provides
punishment for international violation of Copyright, which may extend
from fine to imprisonment.
Two other Acts are The Patent and Design Act, 1911 and The Trade
marks Act of 1940. Here patent rights are granted for industrially
applicable inventions that utilize a law of nature. Under this Act there must
be a Patent Office, which shall be under the control of the Controller of
Patents. However this Act is in rudimentary form and has not yet been
amended as per TRIPS Agreement. To be noted, for the protection of
patent right there exists in Bangladesh an amended Patent and Design Act
- The draft of the proposed Patent Act based on the TRIPS
Agreement is still in the process of examination. It is not sure when the law
will be finalized. However, information reveals that a draft has been
prepared and submitted to WIPO (World Intellectual Property
Organization). In the international periphery, as has already been
mentioned earlier, Bangladesh is a member of TRIPS Agreement, WTO
114 9:1&2 (2005) Bangladesh Journal of Law
and also of WIPO. Bangladesh also acceded to The Bern Convention, but
has not yet signed the Patent Co-operation Treaty.
The government has completed the task of updating and revising the
TradeMarks Act 1940. The draft of the Act provides provisions for nonregistration of any mark, which is contrary to any existing law or is likely to
hurt the religious sentiment of any communities in Bangladesh. The draft
also put emphasis on the regulation of the mark in Bangladesh for
protection. The Law Commission has prepared the draft but the
government has not yet taken, prepared steps to enact it.
As a member of the group of least developed countries, the provisions
of the TRIPS have to be implemented by 2005. It is not still clear whether
review and updating of the laws would be completed by 2005. Few
problems are very much associated with the whole process: firstly, level of
skill and awareness of public in general, government officials and
professionals is very low. Secondly, whether it would be sufficiently
appreciated and supported by the economists and NGOs who are not so
much expectant about the positive impact of TRIPS Agreement.
Furthermore, certain provisions of TRIPS have given rise to
widespread apprehension for Bangladesh, especially Article 27 which
defines the patentable subject matter. Surprisingly, TRIPS Agreement
does not constitute a uniform law. It provides a number of minimum
standards that will substantially increase the degree of harmonization of
intellectual property protection on almost a universal scale, leaving a
considerable room for national laws to define a number of important
- Challenges for Bangladesh
The developing and least developed countries expect that they should
be benefited because of the synergistic impact of free trade and the
consequence globalization. They thought that the benefits of different UR
Agreements would outweigh the onslaught of the TRIPS Agreement. But
the practical scenario is totally different. Confusion has overclouded the
hope mainly because of the new interdependence generated in TRIPS. The
concept of globalization propounded here does not necessarily reflect
equal opportunities for all (scientific and technological experience differs
from nation to nation) countries. The common apprehension is that
implementation of TRIPS will be burdensome for the developing countries
whose IP system is in a very rudimentary stage. So the developing
7 Ibid, at p. 97.
Development and Necessity of Intellectual Property Laws: 115
countries like Bangladesh is needed to be ensured that implementation of
TRIPS provisions will not lead to further deterioration in the economic
situation of the country. Being a member of WTO, TRIPS and WIPO
Bangladesh is committed to incorporate the TRIPS provisions in its legal
system consequently she incurs an obligation to implement the TRIPS
Agreement by 2005. Now it is still a question whether the review and
updating of the laws would be possible within the specified period. The
main points of concern for Bangladesh are- (1) TRIPS related obligation
might lead to asymmetrical financial burden on the nation. (2)
Pharmaceutical components may mark up the prices of their products
many times compared to the cost of production taking advantage of the
patent rights. (3) It is apprehended that TRIPS related regulations would
become a new tool for exploitation of the developing countries. (4) If a
country has no meaningful technological activity, where costs are likely to
outweigh the benefits, then for that country IPRs seems to become
irrelevant and Bangladesh is not out of this situation.
With the proliferation of knowledge and technology circumscribed by
the rapid process of globalization intellectual property law has been the
fastest growing part of law. This aspect of law bears significance for
Bangladesh. Though we have some updated laws on the point yet they are
not sufficient. The challenge thrown by the TRIPS agreement needs to be
very cautiously dealt with. There should be a consensus and transparent
idea about the real impact of the TRIPS agreement.