US law firm hired at $8.25m for obtaining patent right of jute genome – dumkatu
Thursday , January 19 2017
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US law firm hired at $8.25m for obtaining patent right of jute genome

Bangladesh has appointed US law firm Foley Hoag LLP to pursue Bangladesh move to obtain patent right on jute genome sequencing.

According to official sources, Foley Hoag will provide international legal services at a cost of $8.25 million (equivalent to Tk 64.35 crore) until 2024-25 to pursue Bangladesh move to obtain the patent right. The appointment of Foley Hoag was made as per direct procurement method.

The cabinet purchase committee at a meeting on Tuesday approved a proposal of the Foreign Ministry in this regard giving a retrospective effect to the appointment since 2010-11 since as the US law firm remained engaged in the matter from that year.

Official documents, obtained by UNB, revealed thatFoley Hoag was already paid about $555,425 (equivalent to Tk Tk 4.32 crore).

Of the rest of the amount, each year from 2015-16 to 2024-25, the US law firm will get Tk 6 crore as its service fee.

However, the foreign ministry mentioned in the document that it’s not possible to predict how much money will be required to implement the jute genome project as the patent case is very complicated and time consuming.

Sources said the move by the Foreign Ministry came following the invention of jute genome by Bangladeshi scientist team led by Dr Maksudul Alam in 2010. The scientist team also invented a harmful fungus Macrophomina Phaseoline.

The official document said that the foreign ministry initiated the move to register the intellectual property right of jute genome sensing that any neighbouring country may move for registering it as their own intellectual property right.

Following the invention of jute genome, on the basis of scientific research result, Bangladesh so far made applications for 7 patent families out of 15 while process is underway for remaining 8 families.

Of the 7 applications, 2 were made for 12 countries including the USA and some in Europe which Bangladesh is at the doorstep of getting the patent right.

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