Mauritius Intellectual Property Rights

Category: About Mauritius

Ownership of Ideas

The Copyright Act of 2014 and the Industrial Property Act of 2019 serve to safeguard the ownership of original works of literary or artistic creation. The various forms of intellectual property rights (utility models, patents on integrated circuit layout-designs, breeders' rights, trade names, industrial designs, and geographical indications) are unified under the Industrial Property Act. It also allows Mauritius to join other treaties overseen by WIPO, such as the PCT for international patent registration, the Hague Agreement for international industrial design registration, and the Madrid Protocol for international trademark registration.

A new regulatory framework for the Mauritius Society of Authors was established, and the Copyright Act was updated in 2017 to better protect the rights of copyright holders (MASA). MASA is responsible for the collection of copyright fees and the management of copyright owners' economic rights. The Supreme Court's website contains updated versions of the Copyright Act. The Paris and Bern Conventions for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Universal Copyright Convention all count Mauritius as a contracting party. The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement of the World Trade Organization is met by the Industrial Property Act. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of application and can be renewed for an additional 10 years. The term of a patent is 20 years from the date the application was first filed.

Despite having IP laws that are in line with international standards, enforcement in Mauritius is not particularly strong. The courts in Mauritius require an official representative of the IPR owner to testify that the products seized are counterfeit or otherwise legally problematic, so the authorities will only act in cases where the IPR owner has such a representative present. To request a temporary halt to the clearance of any goods that may infringe on a patent, industrial design, collective mark, mark, or copyright, the owner or authorized user must submit a written request to the Director General of the Customs Department. An approved application will be good for another two years.

#IPR #copyright #trademark #patent

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