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.

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.

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.

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.

IPR awareness workshop for judiciary officials

Bangladesh Copyright and Industrial Property Forum (BIPF) has taken fresh initiative to give pro bono legal advice to the inventors in different fields to protect their Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). BIPF announced this at the launching event of ‘IP Plus Law Clinic’ at a city hotel on Saturday.

Under this initiative, IP Plus Law Clinic will serve the start-up business, innovators and creative communities for settling their sector relevant legal and business issues.

Organisers said innovative people are deprived of getting proper value of their creations due to lack of strict enforcement of the IPRs Act. Extensive infringement of IPRs have discouraged creativity and deprived artistic works of their real economic value and protection of originality, they mentioned.

‘We will provide the intellectual property holders with legal and consultancy support. We have many creative minds in our country and implementation of the proposed copyright law will help us to boost more innovations,’ said forum’s president Kazi Zahin Hassan at a briefing at the Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.

IP Plus executive director ABM Hamidul Mishbah said the creative people were less aware of the legal system and they needed support to make their innovation sustainable.

Stop piracy to protect our music industry, urge musicians

Local lead musicians and music composers called upon fellow artistes, fans and media to support their fight against the widespread culture of music piracy in Bangladesh. The call came at an event titled “Music Piracy in Bangladesh: Challenges and Remedy” organised by BIPF, Bangladesh Musical Bands Association (Bamba) and LCS (lyricists, composers, singers) Guild, on 14 September, 2013 at the EMK Centre, Dhaka.

Representatives from various organisations attended, including LCS Guild’s President, singer and composer Alauddin Ali, BIPF Chairman Kazi Zahin Hasan and CE ABM Hamidul Mizbah, Bamba President Hamin Ahmed, Co-President Fuad Nasser Babu and former president Maqsoodul Haque. Haque said, since 2007, major bands had stopped releasing albums because they were not given the proper rights to their music.

Music piracy in Bangladesh currently costs the industry $180m (nearly Tk14bn) in lost earnings, with only 5-10% of the total market consisting of legal music purchases, according to a 2008 research by Havocscope, a global black market data provider.

The debate swings both ways, with retailers often claiming they have full rights over the music, if it is bought by them from musicians. On the other hand, musicians and composers argue it is their exclusive property, and so, the credit must be attributed at all times.

“Our right to creativity is absolute and you must acknowledge them,” said Hamin Ahmed. “Just because we give them the rights to sell, [it] does not give them ownership over our work.” Fuad Nasser pointed out that due emphasis on the existing laws could protect musicians’ rights.

Speakers, however, lauded a recent report on the music trade by Channel 24, which documented details of how musicians are robbed of due credit to their music. Copyright Adviser Manzurur Rahman focused on the lack of awareness about the issue, and urged fans and the media to collaborate with the BIPF to support artistes to retain their rights to their creative works.

Source: Dhaka Tribune