Six new items gain GI status

Bangladesh has gained the recognition of its six new products as Geographical Indicator or GI products. Those are ‘Dhakai Muslin’, ‘Rajshahi Silk’, ‘Kalojira Rice’, ‘Kataribhog in Dinajpur’, ‘Sadamati’ and ‘Sataranji’ in Vijaypur (Netrokona).

Bangladesh is now the one and only owner of the six products, said the Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT) official. 

Earlier, Bangladesh got GI certification of three more products like Jamdani, Hilsa and Khirsapati Mango of Chapainawabganj. So, Bangladesh has now got the ownership of  a total of nine GI products. No other country or individual in the world can claim the ownership of these nine products.

Geographical indication (GI) is a special name or symbol used for a material. This name or symbol is determined by the geographical location or source (such as a country, region, or city) of a particular item. Geographically recognized materials ensure certain quality standards or specific manufacturing systems or specialties. The biggest advantage of GI products is the branding of the product in the global market, which puts GI products ahead of any other equivalent product.

When contacted, Md. Abdus Sattar, Registrar of DPDT told the Bangladesh Post “We had planned to distribute certification of the new products on April 26, the day of intellectual property rights, but due to the lockdown, it is not possible. Hope, we will distribute the certificates at a convenient time after the EID, because the certificate has to be given physically.”

“According to the law, claims have to be lodged from home or abroad within two months of the publication of the gazette. But no person or organization has raised any objection regarding these six products. So, these products are now the property of Bangladesh,” he added. 

Abdus Sattar also mentioned that Bangladesh will benefit in many ways from such products. He said, "We have granted GI rights in compliance with all the conditions of the World Intellectual Property Organization or WIPO of the United Nations. All the information of these products has also been given on the website of the organisation. From here, citizens of any country in the world will be able to know about the products. Traders of any country can import these products from Bangladesh as per their choice. As a result, there is a possibility of  an increase in the export of these products.”

According to the DPDT, it has also applied for GI certification for 29 more products. Anabus fish (Kai fish) is one of the notable ones. A few of these may be granted the final GI recognition. 

Jamdani was recognized as the first geographical indicator product in Bangladesh in 2016. Hilsa was given GI recognition in 2017 and Khirsapati mango got GI certification in 2019.

Bangladesh Silk Development Board, Rajshahi, on September 24, 2017, applied for the geographical rights of Rajshahi Silk among the six new GI products. 

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) applied for GI certificate of Kalijira Rice or ‘Bangladesh Kalijira’ on February 7, 2017. BRRI also applied to get the GI certificate of Kataribhog in Dinajpur .Netrokona Deputy Commissioner applied on February 6, 2017 to get GI of Sadamati in Vijaypur.

The application was received on January 2, 2018 to get the GI certificate for Dhakai Muslin by Bangladesh Handloom Board. Apart from this, it also applied for Satranji to get GI certificate.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), established to monitor and liberalize international trade with 23 agreements. One of these is the ‘trade-related intellectual property rights agreement’ or TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). Article 27.3 (b) of the treaty provides for the legal right to patent all living things on earth. The agreement provides for the registration of natural and man-made and agricultural products that have been produced in different countries for a long time by the Geographical Indication Act to establish ownership of the country concerned.