IP lawyer says Bangladesh Patent Act 2022 will raise country’s ranking in Global Innovation Index
25 May 2022
A.B.M. Shamsud Doulah, senior partner and head of the intellectual property section at Doulah & Doulah in Dhaka, said their firm believes the Bangladesh Patent Act 2022 will improve Bangladesh’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index and promote foreign investments.
Bangladesh is ranked 116th out of 132 countries in the 2021 Global Innovation Index released in September last year. In 2019 and 2020, the country also ranked 116th in the list.
Passed by the Parliament of Bangladesh last April, Patent Act 2022 updates the country’s previous patents law which dates back to a century ago.
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.
“This Act will protect the ideas and innovations of the patent holder which will help to increase Bangladesh’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index significantly,” said Doulah.
“Indeed, it’s a good initiative in comparison to the other countries. The new patent law will facilitate compliance with agreements on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other global standards relating to patent and innovation. The right balance between pharmaceutical innovation and access to medicine following the introduction of any pharmaceutical products is ensured in this new law,” Doulah added.
However, he also admitted that the Bangladesh Patent Act 2022 does have some flaws.
“A patent examination will start 12 months from the filing date. An examination procedure must be in a speedy process. The foreign investors fear about [other parties] copying their innovation as this is a lengthy system of registration accompanied by a verification system of Bangladeshi databases with global databases,” Doulah explained.
Another flaw, he said, is that the compensation claim is not sufficient in comparison with other developed countries.
These gaps need to be pointed out, Doulah said, to allow for further modification in the future.
“In recent times, Bangladesh has been trying to establish itself as an IP rights-friendly nation in the world, by defining its standards as per global IP norms. This has been clearly reflected in some of the latest developments in the laws related to IP rights in Bangladesh,” he said.
Espie Angelica A. de Leon