Thursday, 4 February 2016

Bangladesh: Intellectual Property trends in Bangladesh (2004-2014)

The Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Bangladesh has recently released the statistics for trademarks, patents and designs filings and registrations in Bangladesh, giving statistical data for the year 2014.

Our research team has compiled and analyzed 10 years of empirical data for the trademarks, patents and designs filings and registrations in Bangladesh from 1994 to 2014, by way of graphical representation as under.

Trade Marks Filing and Registration Trends

In terms of trademarks filing and registration trends in Bangladesh, from only 28 total applications in 1971, there has been a drastic increase to a total of 11,541 applications in 2014. From the total figure of 6357 in 2004, the number of trademarks filings has almost doubled in 2014. Therefore, there has been a drastic increase in trademarks prosecution over a period of 10 years. Simultaneously, an equally progressive growth can be seen in the number of trademarks registrations each year. As per the statistics released, the number of trademarks registrations granted in Bangladesh has increased from 326 in 2004 to a staggering 4172 in 2014 i.e. almost 13 times higher. Thus, there seems to be a highly increasing proactive approach by the Bangladeshi Trade Marks Office in examining trademark applications and consequently granting registrations.

Trademarks Applications received vs Certificates Issued

Interestingly, although the total number of applications received from Bangladesh residents is much higher than that from non-resident/ foreigners, the number of registrations granted to foreign entities (3307) is almost four-fold higher than that to residents (865) in 2014.

Trademarks Applications received: Residents vs Non–Residents

Trademarks Registrations granted: Residents vs Non–Residents

Patents Filing and Registration Trends
In terms of patents filing and registration trends in Bangladesh, there has been a decline in the total number of patent applications from 316 in 2004 to 293 in 2014. Over the past 10 years, there has not been any major increase in the patent filing trends, and only minor fluctuations can be observed. Meanwhile, the number of patent grants have also declined from 230 in 2004 to 121 in 2014, and similar to the filing statistics, there has been no steady increase or decrease in the patent grant trends, and only fluctuations are observed over the decade.

Patent Applications received vs Patents granted

As per the released statistics, the number of patent applications are still dominated by foreign entities with almost a staggering 85% of the patent filings coming from them. Even in terms of granted patents, foreign entities are leading with 80% of the total patents granted in Bangladesh being those belonging to them.

Patent Applications received: Resident vs Non-resident

Patents granted: Resident vs Non-Resident

Industrial Designs Filing and Registration Trends

In terms of applications for Designs registration and the number of Designs registered in Bangladesh, from only 14 total applications in 1972, the total number of designs applications in 2014 were 1,379. Over the past 10 years, the number of designs applications has almost doubled from 794 in 2004 to 1,379 in 2014. Therefore, there is a clear increase in designs prosecution over a period of 10 years, with minor fluctuations in between. Meanwhile, the total number of designs registered in 2014 is 802 as opposed to the 460 designs registrations in 2004. Further, over a period of 10 years, the total number of designs registered from 2004 to 2014 was about 60-70% of the total filings.

Designs Applications Received vs Designs Registered

In contrast to Trademarks and Patents filing and registration trends, the number of Designs applications and registrations of foreign entities is much less than that of Bangladesh residents. As opposed to the 1245 designs applications filed by residents in 2014, only a mere 134 applications were filed by foreign entities. Further, in contrast to the 677 designs registered in favour of Bangladeshi residents in 2014, only 125 registrations were granted to foreign entities. Over a period 10 years from 2004 to 2014, only about 6-8% of the designs applications received were from foreign entities, and the rest from Bangladeshi residents. Meanwhile, over the same period, about 9% of the total designs registered were of foreign entities, and a staggering 91% were of residents.

Applications received: Residents vs Non – Residents

Designs Registered: Residents vs Non – Residents

Concluding Remarks

Between 2004 and 2014, Bangladesh had an average GDP growth rate of 6%. The Bangladeshi economy is increasingly dominated by export-oriented industrialization. The textile industry in Bangladesh is the second-largest in the world. Other key sectors in the Bangladesh market include pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, ceramics, leather goods and electronics. Bangladesh is situated in one of the most fertile regions, hence, agriculture is a crucial industry. Meanwhile, Bangladesh ranks fifth in the global production of fish and seafood. The telecommunication industry in Bangladesh has also witnessed rapid growth over the years and is mostly dominated by foreign investors. Located at the crossroads of SAARC, the ASEAN+3, BIMSTEC and the Indian Ocean, Bangladesh has the potential to emerge as a regional economic and logistics hub.

Rights pertaining to intellectual property require spread of awareness, especially in developing countries like Bangladesh. The development of IP laws and an IP conducive regime inevitably help in the economic and social development of any jurisdiction.

From the detailed empirical data available from 1972 – 2014, it can be observed that Bangladesh is increasingly becoming an IP aware country, and may become the next IP hub in Asia.

Source: Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Bangladesh

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