Bangladesh has passed a law titled the Geographical Indicative Products Act 2013 to protect our claim on our traditional and indigenous products. This is a wise move from the Industries Ministry as it will not only safeguard truly Bangladeshi goods from foreign claimants, but will also enhance Bangladesh as a brand for the rest of the world.
The products protected by this patent act are those that are instantly recognisable as being indigenous to Bangladesh. These include: hilsa fish, Jamdani saris, nakshi kantha and Fazli mangoes. The Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks says it may take another “three or four” months to implement this act.
Unfortunately, India has already laid claims to Jamdani saris, nakshi kantha and Fazli mangoes through their Geographical Indications Registry. However, since these products are also indigenous to Bangladesh, they can still be registered here under different nomenclature. For example, India’s claim on Uppada Jamdani does not preclude Bangladesh from patenting our local product under the name Dhakai Jamdani.
The image and reputation of Bangladesh relies heavily on things that are unique to us. This includes our absolute advantage in the production of certain goods and services, as no other country in the world, with the exception of complicated examples like India, can produce our inimitable creations like Jamdani.
There are many intangible factors at play when it comes to improving our national brand. Protecting our economically viable commodities through patent laws is a tangible and necessary one.
Source: Dhaka Tribune