What are the remedies for infringement of a trademark in bangladesh?
What actions can be taken against trademark infringement (eg, civil, criminal, administrative), and what are the key features and requirements of each?
The following remedies are available for trademark infringement.
The competent Courts can be moved for grant of relief of-
(a) an injunction restraining the further use of the infringing mark;
(b) damages or an account of profits; and
(c) an order for delivery up of infringing labels and marks for destruction or erasure.
Criminal complaints can also be filed against persons who have infringed the trademark in Bangladesh, in addition to a civil action. Under the Penal Code, the punishment for infringement is imprisonment for up to two years but no less than six months, a fine of up to Tk. 200,000 but no less than Tk. 50,000 or both. For a second or subsequent conviction, the punishment is imprisonment up to three years but no less than one year, a fine of up to Tk. 300,000 but no less than Tk. 100,000 or both. The courts also have the power to set the prison term and the amount of any fine.
Notice of opposition can be filed against trademark applications published in the Trademarks Journal in Bangladesh. Proceedings can be initiated for rectification/cancellation of registered trademarks before the Registrar of Trademarks.
In Bangladesh, all trading activities are regulated by the Ministry of Commerce under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act 1950. Upon receiving a complaint from a rights holder, the relevant customs authority may take steps against any person or entity that imports goods in violation of Sections 15 and 16 of the Customs Act. Section 15 of the Customs Act prohibits the import of goods, whether, by air, land or sea, that fall within the following categories:
(a) goods marketed under a counterfeit trademark or false trade description;
(b) goods made or produced outside Bangladesh and intended for sale under a copyrighted design under the Patents and Designs Act in respect of the class to which the goods belong or any fraudulent or obvious imitation of such design without a license or the rights holder’s written consent; and
(c) goods made or produced outside Bangladesh and marketed under any name or trademark being or purporting to be the name or trademark of any manufacturer, dealer or trader in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh Customs Act, 1969 confers power on the Commissioner of Customs to prohibit importation or exportation of certain goods. In exercise of the powers conferred by that section, the Commissioner of Customs has prohibited the import of those goods that have applied a false trade-mark or a false trade description. The Trademarks Act provides that the proprietor or a licensee of a registered trademark may give notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs to prohibit the importation of any goods if the import of the said goods constitutes infringement under the Act.
As per Section 17 of the Customs Act:
“if any goods bearing registered trademarks are imported into or attempted to be exported out of Bangladesh in violation of the provision of Section 15 or of a notification under Section 16, such goods shall, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the offender may be liable under this act or any other law, be liable to be detained and confiscated and shall be disposed of in such a manner as may be prescribed.”
A rights holder may also approach the High Court Division to obtain an order directing Customs to detain or seize the counterfeit goods.