Bangladesh needs to expedite establishment of an appropriate regulatory framework to secure the rights of its heritage products with Geographical Indication (GI).
Concerned stakeholders should take steps to raise awareness on the issue through media and public forum to notify the relevant government authority to prioritise formulation of the rules under the draft Geographical Indication Act.
The observations emerged from an in-house discussion on the recent international developments regarding GI and its implications and opportunities for Bangladesh, held at CPD Office on Sunday, 2 August 2015.
Ms Alexandra Bhattacharya, an international Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer, laid out the multilateral legal framework for GI Protection, the positions of WTO and WIPO, recent developments in global GI regime and experience from the LDCs.
Regarding the GI claim over Jamdani as a heritage product, it was discussed that Bangladesh would have to go for sui generis or national level initiative for which the registration process and necessary arrangements must take place first.
With empirical research, CPD has earlier established the ground for claiming the right of Jamdani and now concerted efforts to follow up relevant developments towards GI registration process should be the agenda.
Issues concerning operationalisation of the regulatory framework of GI, resource allocation, inordinate delays in drafting the rules, consultation status of relevant government ministries, legal measures in the context of the LDCs, overall community involvement and awareness, consolidation of Bangladesh’s potential GI products, welfare of Jamdani weavers from the perspective of global and distributive justice were put on the table for discussion.
Legal experts, IP and trade professionals, academics, crafts council and customs specialists attended the event with CPD senior and junior researchers.