BIP Asia: ASEAN supports IP commercialization and technology transfer06 December 2022
In the recently concluded 12th Business of IP Asia Forum held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on December 1 and 2, Rowel Barba, chair of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) and who is also director general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) shared that under the current ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2016-2025, ASEAN has several initiatives supporting IP Commercialization and Technology Transfer.
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People and places
Bangladesh is ranked 116th of 132 countries in the 2021 Global Innovation In-dex released in September 2021. In 2019 and 2020, the country also ranked 116th in the index.
Recent years have seen Bangladesh re-defining its standards in accordance with global norms in intellectual property and establish the country as IP rights-friendly. Developments in Bangladesh’s IP scene reflect this resolve.
One of these is the passage of the Bangladesh Patent Act 2022. The act, which updates the country’s previous patents law which dates back to a century ago, was passed by Parliament in April 2022.
The Patent Act 2022 extends the duration for patent protection from 16 years to 20 years. It also extends the examination time of 36 months from the filing date to an additional three months for special cases. Another salient point of the act is that it secures the rights of the inventor’s successor by allowing such patent rights to be transferred or handed over to the successor.
The act is also poised to facilitate compliance with agreements on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other global standards relating to patent and innovation.The Bangladesh government also increased its official fees for registration of trademark, patent and industrial design. Said increase became effective on December 5, 2021.
Lawyers at A Hossain & Associates regularly review contracts and advise on the permissibility of company names, copyright, patents and trademarks. Senior partner Ajmalul Hossain, the first Queen’s Counsel in England of Bangladeshi origin, is also a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He practices in London from Selborne Chambers, and from A Hossain & Associates in Bangladesh and Singapore. Associate Syed Ahrarul Hossain is a contact for the firm’s IP practice.
Accord Chambers in Dhaka bills itself as a “reformist law firm” working for domestic and international clients, including its work in litigious and non-litigious intellectual property and trademarks work. Mohammad Saiful Haque is a key IP contact; Haque has represented British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BAT) as its legal counsel in multiple litigations in the District Courts across Bangladesh and an international VoIP calling services provider in a litigation against the government-owned Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) arising from a telecom law dispute.
Advocates IP Law Alliance, which was named Bangladesh IP firm of the year at the 2021 Asia IP Awards, is a leading IP firm in Dhaka that provides global clients the expertise required to protect their names, trademarks and patents. Delwar Hossain is the key contact of the firm. The firm has acted for some of the largest regional and global companies on IP matters, including well-known names such as Carlton & United Breweries, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Paper Australia, Kmart Australia, H.J. Heinz, Visa International, Liz Claiborne, Kraft Foods and Novo Nordisk. The firm also does extensive work for IP law firms in other countries around the region, and around the world.
Amir & Amir Law Associates is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Bangladesh. Many of the firm’s lawyers have gone on to hold constitutional and public offices, including the office of the chief justice and speaker of the Parliament. The firm’s partners have contributed to the redrafting of legislation and have also been involved in a number of landmark cases. Advocate KM Nurul Islam is a key IP contact.
Attorneys & Associates of IP Laws is based in Dhaka specializing in patent and trademark registrations, as well as other forms of IP protection such as copyright. The firm is run by seven partners, with every one of them having over 15 years of experience working in the IP sector. Partner Mirza Zahiruddin Ahmed is a key contact of the firm.
Barristers & Associates of IP Laws is an internationally reputed intellectual property law firm in Bangladesh, which has been providing legal service in the following areas: registration of trademarks, patents, industrial design, copyright and domain names in Bangladesh and abroad. Its lawyers are enrolled with the Bangladesh Bar Council to practice from Lower Courts to the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Md. Jaber Parvez is a key practitioner.
With over a decade of experience, Bepary & Bepary specializes in IP protection of all kinds, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs and domain names as well as contentious proceedings and litigation. With a robust team composed of lawyers, advocates and IP professionals, the firm ably and effectively assists clients around the world for their IP rights prosecution and protection. Such client base runs the full spectrum, from individual entrepreneurs to leading educational institutions to multinational companies, some of which are among the largest business enterprises in the world. They include Kia, Perfetti van Melle, Wipro, Moderna and Queen’s University Belfast.
Doulah & Doulah is one of the oldest law firms in Bangladesh. Established in 1965, the full-service firm today handles a wide variety of matters for a diverse mix of Fortune 500 companies, local companies and large law firms. The firm has worked with clients including Nokia, Sony, Toshiba, McDonalds, the New Zealand Dairy Board, Gillette, and British American Tobacco on large-scale infringement matters. A.B.M. Shamsud Doulah, advocate and senior partner, is a well-known figure on corporate matters including litigation and arbitration pertaining to intellectual property and commercial law.
Dr. Kamal Hossain & Associates is a full-service firm based in Dhaka. The firm is experienced in conducting litigation arising out of and in connection with trademarks, patents and copyright disputes both in the Supreme Court as well as before trial courts and concerned authorities. Partner Sharif Bhuiyan and Md. Ramzan Ali Sikder have experience in intellectual property, corporate and commercial work.
Expert Law Solutions is one of the newest law firms in Bangladesh, being operational for just over five years. Its team of over 40 professional attorneys deliver top-notch service in intellectual property infringement investigations, trademark applications and registrations, trademark searches and clearance, patents, trademark assignments and design law, among others. With regard to patents, the team has expertise in drafting patent clarifications of all types before examiners and tribunals, including, but not limited to, trademarks tribunals, district courts and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
Three partners, 12 associates, eight other legal professionals and five support staff comprise FM Associates, which provides legal support to all kinds of companies in Bangladesh. Its IP services include registration, renewal and rectification of trademark, patent as well as copyright. The team also provides litigation services for any breach of intellectual property which includes issuing and/or reply legal notices for any infringement of the intellectual property rights, filing litigation, attending hearings, and others. Key contacts include Al Amin Rahman, Sarjean Rahman Lian, Md Habebur Rahman and Ahmed Nadim Abdullah.
Founded in 1957, H & H Company offers a full range of services in connection with trademark, patent, design and copyright matters. The firm also performs searches, renewals and monitoring of its clients’ patents, trademarks and registered designs; advises on registrability of copyrights; files and prosecutes copyright applications; conducts infringement searches; files and conducts oppositions to client’s copyright; negotiates and settles copyright disputes, among others. The firm has its main office in Dhaka plus two other branch offices at Chittagong and Khulna cities. Partner M. Rezwanul Haque is a key contact for IP matters.
Managing partner Kazi F. Bari holds the helm at Chittagong-based KA Bari & Co. The IP specialist firm is noted for its IP litigation work in trial and appellate courts across the country. The firm has 26 attorneys who are experts in patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret law, design law and related contract, license, unfair competition, antitrust law and IT law. The attorneys are registered to practice before the Trade Mark Registry & Patent Office of Bangladesh.
Providing services in the fields of trademark, industrial design, patent, copyright and domain name, Munshi & Associates is a leading IP law firm established in 2004 under the supervision of Md. Solaiman Munshi, advocate at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. More specifically, the firm handles filing, registration, prosecution and enforcement of trademarks, patents, designs and copyright; as well as drafting agreements for clients’ commercial intellectual property transactions.
NB & Associates is an IP and business law firm in Dhaka delivering services for patents, trademarks, copyright, design and geographical design. Nabendu Bhattacharjee is a partner at the firm and a key contact.
Rahman’s Chambers is a large, full-service law firm comprising of 17 lawyers and additional support staff serving clients from six different locations in Dhaka, Chittagong and Dinajpur. The firm handles IP and information technology law, as well as a host of commercial law matters. The firm’s IP practice has advised Unitex Group on several franchise agreements involving “Unigas” as a franchisor. It has handled trademark registration matters for numerous clients and has drafted franchise agreements for numerous companies. IP clients include Unitex, Music Group IP, Sabrostar Fruit and the UAE Bangladesh Investment Co., Ltd. (UBICO).
Remfry & Son traces its roots to 1827 in British India; the firm has been advising on matters of law in Bangladesh since the country’s formation in 1971. The firm is noted for its work in trademark, patent, copyright, design and domain name management. Its clientele is made up of small local businesses, FTSE companies and large organizations. Among them are Honda, BMW, KFC, Suzuki, Google, Facebook, Twitter, New Zealand Dairy, LG, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi.
S Hossain & Associates is a full-service law firm whose IP practice helps national and international clients with their IP related matters including managing trademark registrations under the Trade Marks Act 2009 and pursuing infringement and passing off claims. Managing partner Md. Sanwar Hossain is experienced in foreign investment and litigation cases and is a researcher on South Asian legal regimes at the Yunnan University in Kunming.
Sattar & Co. is a high-calibre, full-service law firm with specializations in IP; media, entertainment and gaming laws; telecommunications law; and information and cyber law, as well as general corporate law. Consultant Md. Rafiqul Alam is a key contact for IP matters. Head of firm Sameer Sattar is a world class litigator and dispute resolution expert who has worked on arbitration conducted in all major venues arising out of a broad range of transactions.
SUPREMEiP Law Firm provides services centered on patent, trademark, copyrights, industrial design rights as well as brand protection and enforcement. In the last 12 months, the firm has submitted more than 2,500 new trademark applications, most of them for world-renowned brands. Among its big-ticket clients are Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and WD-40. IP attorney Md. Joynal Abedin Chaudhury is the firm’s CEO. Chaudhury has a solid expertise in trademarks, patents, IPR enforcement and litigation.
Dhaka-based Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed & Associates is a leading law firm in Bangladesh established by the late Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed, a barrister and senior advocate of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and a revered figure in the country’s legal arena. Its client portfolio covers a wide expanse of industry sectors – telecommunication, textiles, oil and gas, hospitality, finance and banking, power and energy, shipping, real estate, aviation, among others. Managing partner Syed Afzal Hasan Uddin is a key contact for media, telecommunications and technology law.
Tanjib Alam & Associates are particularly known for their work on patents, having performed patent assessments in a wide variety of contexts, including for both offensive and defensive litigation purposes, freedom to operate, in- and out-licensing and IP due diligence in mergers and acquisitions. The firm has experts in virtually every field of technology. The firm also prosecutes trademark applications, and has litigators experienced in both trademark and patent matters. Senior associate Kazi Ershadul Alam is a key intellectual property contact at the firm.