Interactive session with university seniors

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) of Daffodil International University (DIU) in collaboration with BIPF organized an interactive session with the graduating students titled “Ways to protect IPR & Combating Cyber Crimes” on June 27, 2013 at the DIU auditorium.

Professor Dr. Syed Akhter Hossain, Head, Department of CSE, DIU, Farhana Helal Mehtab, Associate Professor & Head, Dept. of Law, DIU and Barrister A B M Hamidul Mishbah, Chief Executive and Founder of BIPF chaired the panel as speakers.

Students articulated their experiences with regard to the Intellectual property Rights (IPR) violations and piracy in the information superhighway and expressed their concerns in resisting the prevailing cyber crimes. Besides, participants in the session also expressed their opinions and perception regarding the immediate, practical and efficient implementation of Intellectual Property Law in Bangladesh.

Students believe that mass awareness on IP has now become a bare necessity as Bangladesh is progressing rapidly towards becoming an ICT and innovation driven country. Graduates aspiring to be IT entrepreneurs or professionals thus urged the concerned authorities to come forward and provide them the much needed platform and environment for ICT development.

Students from the Department of CSE and Department of Law and faculty members of DIU and representatives from BIPF attended the session.

IP hours with young learners

Bangladesh Intellectual Property Forum (BIPF) spent some happy hours with young students of grade six to nine of Canadian International School (CIS) exploring Intellectual Property (IP) and explaining the various elements of IP.

It was a different experience altogether for BIPF as for the first time they took IP to the school goers. The young, inquisitive minds were stimulated and highly motivated in embracing IP and its versatile branches it addresses. Barrister Mishbah and his team along with the faculty members of CIS present enjoyed their session thoroughly. The enthusiasm and concern that the students showed was highly appreciable and noteworthy. The basic, elementary level of observations or queries raised by them moved the speaker.

BIPF aims to hold similar sessions on basic knowledge of IP with school-goers throughout the country in the long run.

Experts stress quick enactment of geographical indication law

Minister for Industries Dilip Barua has said the Geographical Indication (GI) Act 2011 will be passed in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) within the earliest possible time. The minister said this in a consultation programme on “Geographical Indications Act 2011” at the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) on 22 March, 2012, Wednesday.

“GI act is a very vital need for protecting local products’ right in the international arena and to enhance their commercial value across the globe,” Barua said.

He added, “To protect the local products' right the ministry would take initiative to pass the act as soon as possible for the greater interest of local products.”

President of DCCI Asif Ibrahim, Registrar of Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Industries, BM Kamal, Sharifa Khan of WTO Cell, Ministry of Commerce, Senior Vice President of DCCI Haider Ahmed Khan and Barrister A B M Hamidul Mishbah, Chief Executive, Bangladesh Intellectual Property Forum were present at the program, among others. read more

Asif Ibrahim hailed the government for taking the initiative to enact a GI Act. He said: “It is a great pleasure that a draft is already on the table under the supervision of the Ministry of Industries.”

“The enactment of the GI Act would help the country establish its right on such items in the international market,” Ibrahim said further.

Updated copyright law soon

The government is set to formulate an updated copyright law amending the existing laws in the country, said Manzurur Rahman, Registrar at Copyright Office.

“As the existing copyright laws have some weaknesses and ambiguities, we will amend the laws to bring them up to international standards, and ensure interests of stake -holders by protecting rights of their intellectual properties,” he said.

Manzurur briefed about the law’s new draft at a workshop jointly organized by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Copyright Office at Shilpakala Academy in the capital on 11 July, 2012. Opinions from stakeholders were gathered on the proposed amended law named Copyright (amended) Act, 2012. The country’s existing law on copyright is Copyright Act 2000 (amended in 2005).

Noted cultural personality and lawmaker Asaduzzaman Nur, Bangladesh Computer Samiti President Mustafa Zabbar, musicians Hamim Ahmed, Maqsudul Haque, Sujit Mostafa singer Momtaz Begum MP, and poet Nurul Huda, among others, spoke at the workshop. read more

Asaduzzaman Nur said he would place a final draft of the law to the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry of cultural affairs by incorporating recommendations of the stake-holders.

Mustafa Zabbar urged the government to remove some problems and inconsistencies in the law before formulating the amended law.

Promoting rights of creativity

With an aim to protect intellectual property and disseminate the message across stakeholders about their rights on their creative output, the Bangladesh Copyright and IP (Industrial Property) Forum launched INTELLECT – a quarterly magazine focusing on intellectual property in different areas.

The magazine was officially launched at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka on May 12, in presence of artists, media personalities and industry insiders. The Chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Zia Ahmed graced the event as chief guest, accompanied by Manzurur Rahman, Registrar of Copyright Office, Wazed Ali Khan Panni, a former Ambassador and Kazi Zahedul Hasan, Chairman of Kazi Farms.

The magazine, a brainchild of Kazi Zahin Hasan, Chairman of BIPF, aims to develop a shared platform for all intellectual property and its concerns. ‘We decided to publish INTELLECT quarterly because we wanted to showcase the different kinds of intellectual properties which are created in Bangladesh,’ says Zahin Hasan as it makes an effort to ‘establish a space where the business of creating and selling different kinds of intellectual properties could be discussed.’ read more

The 64-page magazine contains stories about Bangladeshi art scenario, future of animation, opportunities of open source, music copyright, free media and citizen journalism and Bangladeshi writings in English. Besides offering snippets of news around the world about copyright and intellectual property, the quarterly takes a look at the geographical indication law and collective management organisation aimed at facilitating rights of content ownership and loyalty fees.

‘This (quarterly) is part of our communication campaign,’ says Tamanna Faiz, Executive Editor of INTELLECT, to reach out to target stakeholders with a publication that ‘promotes and seeks to protect creativity’.

With the emancipation of different technologies and their territorial expansion, copyright is often slipped off, say experts. As intellectual property and copyright protection become demand of the time, ‘the BTRC is watchful about it,’ says Zia Ahmed.

‘IP is still at its nascent stage,’ says ABM Hamidul Mishbah, CEO of BIPF. A magazine like INTELLECT will make organisations like BIPF’s awareness building activity lot more easy, he says.

The launching of the magazine was marked as a timely event as intellectual property and copyright surfaces intense debates among different economies and their stakes to protect right of ownership. The evening event was a warm gathering of lawyers, academicians, artists and media professionals.

This op-ed is written by Saad Hammadi, published in the daily New Age.

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