Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and protection) act enacted in the year 2013. Before the act, Bangladesh hasn’t any specific regulation about Geographical Indication.
Different international treaties and conventions regulate Geographical Indication. Now Bangladesh has its own tribunal to register the GI’s goods.
Geographical Indication may be constituted by any denomination, expression or sign indicating that a product or service originates in a country or a region or a specific place.
Opportunities for protecting Geographical Indication
Bangladesh has more opportunities to protect its own Geographical Indication. In the world, many famous goods are exported from Bangladesh which has a large number of economic value.
In the meantime, we observe that many other countries trying to destroy some of the important goods’ GIs. Such as, Jamdani Sharee, Ilsh fish, and the Khirsapat mango. Our besides country India claimed that the Jamdani Sharee is their Geographical Indication.
The World Trade Organization TRIPS Agreement, the most comprehensive treaty on intellectual property rights includes mandatory provisions for the protection of Geographical Indication goods.
These provisions are to be implemented by all WTO Members country, except for the LDCs (least developed countries), who currently have a transition period till 2021 for the full implementation of the obligations under TRIPS Agreement.
Bangladesh, although an LDC Member of the WTO, has in light of its national needs and priorities, enacted in November 2013, the national GI legislation known as Geographical Indication Products (Registration and Protection) Act 2013.
However, the implementing rules of the GI Act are yet to be enacted by the rightful authorities. So the debate is not go on far. Now Jamdani saree is the registered product of Bangladesh GI.
By protecting the GI’s goods main opportunities is the promotion of rural development. Second is, the world’s marketing tools will grow up with GI’s goods.
Challenges for protecting Geographical Indication
There are a number of challenges associated with GIs as a tool to protect genetic resources in Bangladesh. Two major challenges are highlighted in this section, namely the use of GI certificates versus patents, and regional trade agreements along with the TRIPS Agreement. Both challenges are explained by drawing on the case study of jamdani Sharee.
It is important to emphasize that GI protection should be based on the same standards for all countries rather than under a multilateral trade framework and not under the bilateral ones.
At the international level, Bangladesh and all other developing and least developed countries should make sure that long-term policy goals and coherence with the multilateral obligations are adequately taken into account.
The multilateral trading system is beneficial for them because of its ability to extend dispute settlements across agreements. Moreover, in the WTO forum, such countries have at least the power of numbers.
By grouping together similarly situated members, they have been able to have a significant impact on the direction of the multilateral trade agenda, whereas such an outcome would not be feasible in a bilateral context.
Bangladesh should thus stress its position to support the multilateral trade rules of the TRIPS Agreement under the auspices of WTO. Bangladesh should actively work more closely together with other GI alliances in order to make the GI issue more public.
The target should be not only to improve the information for consumers of Bangladeshi’s GI’s in the global market but also to raise recognition from all parties about the importance of having domestic GIs being better protected.
In the recent past, the discussion on better IPR protection has taken center stage. Developed countries which produce most of the world’s IPs owing to their high knowledge-based technologies, seek to protect their self interest by trying to the IPR conventions.
Many countries complain about the inadequacy of IPR protection in developing countries and accuse them of IP piracy. Many developing countries. However, accuse the developed countries of biopiracy.
In view of the endless negotiations to extend GI protection to products other than wine and spirits at the multilateral level, together with no ratification of the Convention on biological diversity by the United States.
The main ability of World trade organization to cope with the problem of biopiracy around the globe is weak. Many countries, in particular those which possess GI’s goods, have enacted laws to protect their genetic resources.