Summary

After the independence in 1971, Bangladesh inherited the Merchandise Marks Act 1889 and Trademarks Act 1940 from Pakistan. Since 1971, these two laws used to ensure the trademarks protection in Bangladesh. In 2008, these two laws were repealed by the Trademark Ordinance 2008 and in 2009 the Trademarks Ordinance was also repealed by Trademarks Act 2009. In 2015, Trademarks Act was amended and Trademarks Rules 2015 was brought into force in addition with Trademarks Act 2009. So now in Bangladesh Trademarks are protected by Trademark Act 2009 (amended in 2015) & Trademark Rules 2015 in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the Trademark Department is regulated by the Ministry of Industry.

Bangladesh is also the signatory of WIPO since May 1985, of Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property since March 1991 and of TRIPS Agreement since January 1995. Bangladesh primarily follows the international classification of goods and services under NICE Agreement (Ninth Edition). From this agreement, Class 01-45 are in force in Bangladesh. Registration of Service Marks System has also been included in Trademarks Act 2009.

After the application, usually it takes 1 year to get the examination report. If it gives the negative examination report, then the applicant will have to answer the notice and it will again take 3-4 months more to resolve this matter. If there is no objection found against the logo then it is permitted to publish in the journal and then the applicant will be notified through TMR-5 notice to pay the prescribed fees for publication. If the fee is paid within due time then the applied mark will be sent to BG Press for publication. If the fee is not paid within next one month by the applicant then the applied mark will be rejected after serving a notice.

After publication, it gives 2 months to the discontented party to legally challenge this. If there is no legal action against the applied mark within these 2 months opposition period then the applicant has to pay for Trademark Registration Certificate and normally it takes 3 months to get the certificate. Usually it takes around 48 months to  get Trademark Certificate after the application.

In case of foreign applicant, application must be submitted by a local Attorney or Agent. It is also important to mention that under the Paris Convention; International Priority is available in Bangladesh but it must be claimed at the time of filing the registration and this registration has to be done within the 6 months of first registration in member country.

Trademark protection will be given for Infinite period of time subject to the renewal. First time trademark will have to be renewed after 7 years of trademark registration and later on every time trademark will have to be renewed every 10 years.

In case of registered trademarks, the assignee has to apply for registration of assignment and on receipt of application and sufficient proof of title the assignee can be registered as proprietor of assigned mark. But if the validity of assignment is in dispute between parties then the assignment cannot be registered until the dispute is settled by the competent court.

Indeed, there is no alternative of trademarks protection in respect of smooth industrial development and Bangladesh is not exception in this regard. In Bangladesh, right of trademarks can only be protected by registration as per Article 16.1 of TRIPS Agreement. The person, other than registered owner, can also get protection as like as registered user through the grant of license or by means of assignment. In this regard, the statutory provision of infringement and falsification plays a big role in ensuring the protection to trademark owner. This 2009 Act also protects the unregistered mark provided it is well-known according to Article 16.2 and Article 16.3 of TRIPS Agreement.

Trademarks Act 2009 protects the common law concept of ‘Passing off’ by virtue of Sections 24(2), 96(4) and 97. Unauthorized use of registered mark will raise the infringement of trademark rights of trademark owner. Following the Paris convention and TRIPS Agreement, Bangladesh also provides Civil {Section 24(1)}and Criminal Remedies(Chapter 10) for infringement.

Address:

Manama Urban Forest, House No.: 108 (3rd Floor, 3A), Road No: 12, Block: E, Banani, Dhaka-1213, Bangladesh

P.O. Box: Dhaka-1213, Bangladesh
Telephone: (+88) 02 48810757 Mobile: (+88) 01777333919
Fax: (+88) 02 48810758
Email: bangladesh@agip.com
Contact: C.M.Aminul Islam (Mr.)

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