Counterfeit goods are readily available in Bangladesh. The government has limited resources to enforce intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. Many U.S. firms, including film studios, fast-moving consumer goods manufacturers, pharmaceutical products, the apparel sector, and software firms, have reported systemic violations of their intellectual property rights. Investors note police are willing to investigate counterfeit goods producers when informed but are unlikely to initiate independent investigations due to insufficient enforcement resources.
U.S. Government Engagement
The United States and Bangladesh engage on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) primarily through the U.S.-Bangladesh Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA). In addition, the United States. and Bangladesh continue to conduct dialogues through various fora and work together towards supporting Bangladesh in developing a stronger IP ecosystem as it seeks to graduate from its status as a Least Developed Country (LDC) by 2026. The U.S. Government through its IP Counselor for South Asia based in New Delhi also interacts with the Department of Patent, Design, and Trademarks (DPDT); Customs; Police; and Judicial officials, as well as industry organizations and the American Chamber of Commerce, to discuss ways to strengthen the IP enforcement ecosystem in Bangladesh.
The Government of Bangladesh has taken several steps toward developing its IP system. Below are some highlights and recent developments:
- In April 2022, the Bangladesh Parliament approved and implemented the Patent Act of 2019. The act aimed to bring the country’s IPR protections into compliance with its obligations before the World Trade Organization (WTO) once it graduates from LDC status, which is anticipated in 2026.
- The Bangladesh Government enacted a Copyright Law in July 2000 (with minor amendments in 2005), a Trademarks Act in 2009 (amended in 2015), and the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act in 2013.
- The Bangladesh Government has again amended its Copyright Act of 2000 to bring it in conformity with WIPO treaties, and presently the amended draft is present with the legal department of Government of Bangladesh for vetting.
- In 2012, the DPDT, in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) initiated a discussion on National IP policy and the same got implemented in 2018. See IP Policy 2018.
- In December 2019, the National Board of Revenue implemented the “Intellectual Property Rights of Receipts of Imports: Rules of Implementation 2018.” See Intellectual Property Rights at http://www.bangladeshcustoms.gov.bd/trade_info/intellectual_property_rights.