Bangladesh makes good progress in protecting IP rights
Bangladesh has made significant progress in ensuring intellectual property (IP) rights after implementing the related rules in 2019, but there is still much to do for the country to reach global standards in this regard, according to experts.
Shilpi Jha, senior IP legal counsel for South Asia at the US Patent and Trademark Office, said Bangladesh needs faster implementation of IP protection measures and to raise peoples' awareness to this end.
Jha was speaking at a seminar on "IPR Protection and Practice: Driving Economic Growth in Bangladesh", at the Sheraton Dhaka in the capital today.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) organised the seminar, where diplomats, government high-ups, businessmen, manufacturers, and others spoke about IP related issues.
While moderating the seminar, Joseph Giblin, chief of the economic unit of the US Embassy in Dhaka, highlighted the bad impacts of selling and buying counterfeit products in violation of IP rules.
He said not only the economy, but also human lives are affected in many cases because of the use of counterfeit products that were not properly tested in compliance with industry rules.
Hamidul Mishbah, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, spoke about the economic losses that stem from violating rules for protecting IP.
For instance, 27.7 percent of jobs in the US come from IP-intensive industries that contribute 38.2 percent of its GDP.
Annual theft of IP rights amount to between $225 billion and $600 billion, he said.
Mishbah also mentioned a number of unauthorised importers regularly import Samsung branded goods by violating the company's exclusive commercial rights.
So, the high court has to pass a verdict on this issue, he added.
Zakia Sultana, senior secretary to the industries ministry, said Bangladesh has already addressed the issue of counterfeit products in a newly enacted law in this regard.
Protecting and enforcing IP rights is crucial for attracting foreign investors and influencing market entry decisions, according to AmCham President Syed Ershad Ahmed.
"We strongly support a strengthened IP rights regime as a cornerstone for Bangladesh's economic growth and foreign investment," he said.
Such a framework fosters knowledge sharing, technology transfer, and the development of higher value-added products and services.
As such, it would position Bangladesh as an attractive destination for global business, promoting sustainable economic integration and growth, Ahmed added.