Intellectual Property Rights – Protection and Practices in Bangladesh


Considering the safety measures amidst the ongoing spread of COVID-19, we’ve arranged the program online

AmCham Virtual Panel Discussion
CHIEF GUEST: Ms. JoAnne Wagner, Chargé d’ Affaires, the United States Embassy in Bangladesh
SESSION CHAIR: Mr. Syed Ershad Ahmed, President – AmCham.
SPECIAL GUESTS: Mr. Md. Abdus Sattar, Registrar, Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT), Mr. John Cabeca, IP counselor for South Asia, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
PANELISTS: Mr. Showkat Ali Sarkar, Country Manager – Huntsman Bangladesh Pte Ltd & ExCo Member – AmCham Bangladesh, Mr. Ashraf Bin Taj, Managing Director, International Distribution Company Bangladesh (IDC) & Member – AmCham Bangladesh, Ms. Shilpi Jha, Senior Commercial Specialist & IP Policy Advisor-South Asia, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Mr. Jeff Dirks, Economic/Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy, Dhaka
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Barrister ABM Hamidul Mishbah, Managing Partner – Old Bailey Chambers & Member – AmCham Bangladesh
MODERATOR: Mr. Syed Mohammad Kamal, Vice President, AmCham Bangladesh

Since Bangladesh economy is in growing status, Intellectual Property (IP) has become a significant factor in productivity and economic growth. Strong and effective IP protection is a particularly powerful incentive for firms to invest in generating new technology in sectors where the returns to technological investment are very long term, involve high risks and are easy to copy. IP rights provide a further impetus to innovation in that they require an inventor who seeks time-limited protection to publish the knowledge embodied in a product or process. Moreover, IPRs are essential to achieve market diversification and to shift towards higher value-added products and services. A well-balanced IPR system that takes into account a wider public interest is conducive to Bangladesh’s current and future socioeconomic development (particular in the light of the following fast developing. Sectors such as Textile and RMG, Telecommunication, Shipbuilding, Leather, Pharmaceuticals, Construction, Transportation, etc., and with regard to the cultural heritage).

The protection of IPR encourages innovation, contributes to a sound business environment and increases Bangladesh’s ability to attract foreign investment, know-how and modern technology. IPR-specific key challenges that need to be addressed to strengthen Bangladesh’s IP system include the establishment of a policy-and legal framework. Up to now IP protection is not adequately integrated into the country’s development strategies/policies. The legal framework is still incomplete, but currently amendment process is going on. In particular, there is an urgent need for basic capacity building. Awareness on IPRs among most institutions, businesses, researchers and the public is limited. Consequently, the enforcement of IPRs remains weak.

The complexity of these challenges requires a multi-faceted policy response since the next phase could be much more challenging. It is crucial that the government, private sector, and concerned stakeholders in Bangladesh all step up and work together to adapt as best we can. We at AmCham Bangladesh with a diverse membership base and outlook focusing on global, national or business ecosystem at large, attempt to develop an approach that might help the business & regulatory leadership set the priorities on right strategies making rapid and inevitable remedies.

A good number of AmCham members including the Executive Committee Members, foreign dignitaries, business leaders, media representatives and other distinguished guests attended.

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