Protecting craftsmanship

To encourage a dialogue among students about the concept, its implementation and protection of Intellectual Property laws, the Bangladesh Copyright and Industrial Property Forum (BIPF) and Media Studies and Journalism department of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) jointly organised a seminar titled ‘Intellectual property issues in branding’ at the university auditorium on March 8, 2012.

Students as well as media professionals pointed out that a major barrier for protecting intellectual property and copyright currently exists because of poor economic status of the mainstream population. Given the disparity of prices between the original and pirated copies, the latter always wins the economic viability. Emphasising on moral, ethical and legal grounds, speakers at the event urged students and participants to show respect to intellectual property as both users and producers of ideas.

‘Bangladesh has branded itself to the world as a major exporter of garments,’ says Sharifa Khan, director of WTO cell under the commerce ministry. ‘We can have greater exposure to the world community by improving the industries. What we now need is mobilising intellectual property laws to aware the youths about their benefits.’

Professor Imran Rahman, the Vice-Chancellor of ULAB, mentioned the importance of branding in intellectual property bearing example of ‘Bata’, which became popular among people through its brand. Soon afterwards, similar products entered the market copying the symbol of the brand or changing the name slightly.

The speakers encouraged all to use open source software as alternatives to using copyright contents for greater social interest. ‘We should develop a practice of using open source software products to refrain from using pirated copies,’ said Kazi Zahin Hasan, President of BIPF.

ABM Hamidul Mishbah, the Chief Executive of BIPF presented the keynote paper in the seminar where Peter Anthony Dindial, CEO of GPIT Ltd said, ‘Implementation of intellectual property laws can contribute significantly in social and economic development.’

Professor Syed Ferhat Anwar, Chief Advisor of Bangladesh Brand Forum, Kazi Zahin Hasan, president of BIPF also spoke in the seminar which was moderated by Manzurur Rahman, Registrar of Copyright Office.

This article was written by Mahfuzul Haque, published in the daily New Age.