The cabinet on Monday approved the draft ‘Bangladesh Patents Bill 2021’ and the draft ‘Bangladesh Industry-Designs Bill 2021’ replacing the Patents and Designs Act 1911.
The industries ministry placed the drafts in the weekly cabinet meeting virtually chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina from her official Ganabhaban residence. Her cabinet colleagues and secretaries concerned joined it from the secretariat.
‘It was proposed in 2016 to make separate laws — one to deal issues relating to patents and the other relating to designs of industrial products — due to diversification of products, replacing the century old law, which is also a complex one,’ cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told a press briefing at the secretariat after the cabinet meeting.
He said that the cabinet had given the final approval to the patents bill while it had approved in principle the industry-designs bill aimed at protecting the intellectual property rights of any industrial designs.
He said the move to replace the old law was initiated in keeping with the World Trade Organisation’s resolution adopted in its general assembly in 2004.
Any technological innovation would require obtaining patent and there should be a registrar’s office to issue and cancel patents under the proposed law, the cabinet secretary said, adding that the violations of the law would be treated as civil offences.
One would be fined ranging from Tk 5 lakh to Tk 10 lakh in the case of failure to maintain office order under the proposed law, he said, adding that the fine in the existing law ranges from Tk 20,000 to Tk 80,000.
The owners would receive patents of any innovation for 20 years upon application and then it would be made public and the approval for designs would be given for five years initially, he said.
Anwarul said the cases, particularly general rights and compensation related issues, under the proposed law would be treated as civil affairs and the civil courts would deal those cases.
Issues relating to designs would be fixed in the rules to be framed under the proposed law, he mentioned
The same patent registrar office would function as the administrative office for the industrial designs.
Monday’s cabinet approved the proposal for the ratification of the agreement on establishment of ‘International Vaccine Institute’ singed in Seoul on October 28, 1996. ‘We would now be able to produce vaccines at low cost and export them to foreign market,’ the cabinet secretary added.
It also endorsed the draft ‘Bangladesh National Archive Bill, 2021’ updating the National Archive Ordinance, 1983, which was nullified by the High Court as it was a martial law proclamation.
The draft proposed a jail term of one year to five years and a fine ranging from Tk 10,000 to Tk 1 lakh for damaging any official records.
The cabinet also endorsed a draft of the proposed agreement on cultural cooperation for signing between Bangladesh and Qatar.
The cultural affairs ministry apprised the cabinet meeting of the signing of the memorandum of understanding signed between ‘Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum’ and the National Museum in New Delhi of India, said the cabinet secretary.
The cabinet adopted a condolence motion over the death of Ekushey Padak winning actor ATM Shamsuzzaman.
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