FIFA & IP in Bangladesh: How Does It Tie Together?

Wolora Afrin was the first female to be appointed as providing legal services in the Copyright Office Bangladesh, after its establishment in 45 years. Creating awareness, conducting seminars, recommending policies, and also helping copyright sector in Bangladesh to prosper are among her greatest challenges. She shares more with us about IP law in Bangladesh and its progression.

How does disregarding important IP compliances cause problems in Bangladesh?

Disregarding issues like awareness, IPR education, signing of Treaties, staffing and human resources development plans, ensuing royalties to copyright holders, specialised IPR courts or tribunals and not amending the old pre-existing IPR laws, are the main concerns for Bangladesh. Further, many patent applications get rejected due to lack of expertise in drafting such applications, which causes many great innovations to go in vain. The Government is also deprived of earning huge revenues for lack of monitoring such issues and also for not providing adequate facilities to protect IPR, frustrating innovative minds and creating miscarriage of justice.

 

You advised on buying Media Rights regarding FIFA World Cup 2018 after the availability of 4G internet in Bangladesh. How did it occur?

Yes, it was the first time that exercising Media Rights in Bangladesh for such a show like FIFA World Cup 2018, and it was a big concern. Many illegal mobile apps, websites and live streaming sites were made, which was reported to the Cyber Security Office, Ministry of Information, ICT Division and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulation Commission, for them to take immediate action. Filing of criminal and civil cases were eventually initiated, and the Government took great initiative to stop the illegal broadcasting and selling of counterfeit jerseys and other products using the FIFA logo.

 

What three things do you think clients should consider when thinking to trademark their business?

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), on average, approximately five million trademark applications are filed every year worldwide. Creative and thoughtful branding are key to many businesses.  Trademarks allow you to distinguish the product and service from those of the competitors, symbolising the business reputation and distinguishing with other businesses.

Every client should firstly, understand the importance of trademark and its applications in the market and bear in mind that trademark registration has no immediate edit button.

Secondly, selecting a distinctive term for their brand name. The more unique the trademark is, the easier it is to protect and enforce the rights on it.

Thirdly, the business needs to be forward thinking and broad enough to accommodate any potential future changes the business may encounter to avoid any hurdles and additional costs.

 

How do you expect to see the world of IP in the upcoming years?

Bangladesh is a country which has high potential for investment. IPR is still new in Bangladesh but its emerging. In future enforcing IPR and complying with it would be inevitable. As such the future of IP in Bangladesh is very demanding as recommendations are constantly being made tailoring to eradicate the IPR system constraints.

 

Wolora Afrin

Managing Partner

Wolora Ashfaque & Associates

5-b/15 (ground floor) Sohid Solimullah Road, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207 Bangladesh

Mobile +8801970000770,  +8801711873438, TNT-+88029104013

FAX- +88028150556

Website – www.woloraashfaque.com

Email- legalsolutions@woloraashfaque.co

 

Wolora Afrin is a young dynamic lawyer in the field of intellectual property law. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012.

She is the Managing Partner at Wolora Ashfaque & Associates, a boutique law firm in Bangladesh, providing specialised services in various legal sectors. Wolora is mostly involved in providing legal services regarding intellectual property law, technology transfer, media & communication, and alternative dispute resolution.

Her passion as a lawyer does not limit her in pursuing her dreams. She is also a female entrepreneur involved in social activities creating awareness in the legal infrastructure to ensure the protection and utilization of IPR for the development of ‘knowledge economy’. At this young age, she has also achieved remarkable success in her career. She is currently the President of a Collective Management Organisation (CMO) namely, Licensing & Collecting Society for Cinematograph film (LCSCF) the first proper functioning CMO for the collection of royalties in audio-visual sector licenced by Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangladesh.

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