The Industrial Property Act 2019 has been recently passed by the Mauritius Parliament on 30th July 2019 with an objective of updating and strengthening Intellectual Property Protection in a way that is harmonized to deal with the challenges faced in the present globalized economy. The Act received approval on 9th August 2019 from the Interim President of the Republic of Mauritius and published in the Mauritius Government Gazette on 10th August 2019. The Act shall come into effect from the date of proclamation (as decided by the Parliament) and the dates for the coming into operation of the various section of the Act may be different as well.
The Industrial Property Act 2019 consists of several measures that will make the Mauritian Intellectual Property (IP) system more responsive to the needs of researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs. The new Act has consolidated all IP-related matters in one statute, including:
1. Introduction of The Industrial Property Act 2019
2. Overview of The Industrial Property Act 2019
2. Patents, Utility Models, and Patent Cooperation Treaty
3. Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits
4. Plant Varieties
5. The Industrial Designs
6. The Madrid Protocol (Trademark), Trademarks and Trade Names
7. Geographical Indications
Overview of The Industrial Property Act 2019
REGISTRATION, PROTECTION, AND MANAGEMENT OF IP RIGHTS
The Act aims to promote creativity and innovation, facilitate and encourage both the registration and protection of Industrial Property Rights by further creating better conditions for attracting high-quality investment. It calls for adequate enforcement mechanisms corresponding to both civil and criminal procedures, which shall help the IP holders in cases of violation or infringement of their IP Rights.
ENHANCED INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK
For enhancing the institutional framework and administering the industrial property legislation in Mauritius, the Act provides a department within the Ministry, which shall be named as The Industrial Property Office of Mauritius (IPOM), administered by a Director. The Director will be a public officer appointed by the Public Service Commission and will be responsible for controlling, operating, and managing the daily operations of the department. The new IPOM shall implement and administer the Act and further assist in the development, promotion, and protection of the industrial property governed by the proposed Industrial Property Act 2019.Other responsibilities of the IPOM include implementing strategies and actions for the development of the industrial property, compiling and maintaining a database for the industrial property, devising and assisting in the preparation of educational and sensitization programs on industrial property, and assisting in researching industrial property.
FORMATION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COUNCIL
The Act has also made a provision for the formation of an Intellectual Property Council, an independent overarching institution in Mauritius, looking at all the IP-related issues.
It will regroup representatives from several departments, ministries, and private sectors involved in the generation, enforcement, and protection of IP assets and portfolio services. The Council shall advise the Minister on matters related to Intellectual Property and ensure coordination among the public and private sectors in the formulation of intellectual property
policies, and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
JURISDICTION OF TRIBUNAL
The Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine:
- An appeal by any person who feels aggrieved by a decision of the Director to reject his application for a certificate;
- An appeal by any person who feels aggrieved by a decision of the Director to reject his opposition to the registration of an industrial property;
- An application by any interested person, to the Tribunal, to invalidate the grant of a patent or the protection of a plant variety, or the registration of a utility model,a layout-design, an industrial design, a mark or a geographical indication.