Parliament on Sunday passed the Bangladesh Patents Bill to extend the duration of patents to 20 years from the existing 16 years.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun placed the bill which was passed by voice vote.
The government has taken the initiative to enact two time-befitting separate laws – patents law and industry-design law – by splitting the century-old "Patents and Designs Act, 1911".
On the same day, the parliament also passed another bill titled "Boilers Bill" to check boiler-related accidents.
According to the Bangladesh Patents Bill, a patent holder will be the sole owner of the intellectual property for 20 years and later the patent will be considered a public domain.
The bill also has provisions to cancel anyone's patent for particular reasons. It also says inventions, scientific theories and mathematical methods, business methods, rules or methods of performing purely mental work or sports and any such computer programme will not be patent-protected.
"If anyone registers or gets registered for a false patent, he will be fined Tk20,000. Besides, a Tk50,000 fine would be applicable, in case anyone falsely claims to have a patent or applied for a patient," the bill says.
"The cases, particularly general rights and compensation-related issues under the law, will be treated as civil affairs and be tried by civil courts. But cheating and similar offences will be dealt with under the penal code," it adds.
Boilers Bill to check accidents
The Boilers Bill, also tabled by the industries minister, was passed by voice vote to check boiler-related accidents and ensure a safer work environment in industrial mills through the use of standard boilers.
The bill will replace the Boiler Act, 1923.
As per the bill, if anyone sets up or operates boilers violating the rules, he will face a maximum two-year imprisonment or a fine of Tk2 lakh or both.
Boiler users, operators or assigned persons will be responsible for any accident, the bill says, and they will have to pay compensation accordingly. However, if they take measures to prevent accidents, they will not be fined.
The bill also says there will be a chief boiler inspector and boiler inspectors to ensure the implementation of the law. After hearing from victims and people concerned, the chief inspector can fine Tk1 lakh and double the fine for the second time.