INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN MALDIVES
In Maldives, the Ministry of Economic Development deals with all the trademark-related matters. There is no statutory trademark law dealing with the mechanism of trademark registration. In practice, the resident companies, nationals of Maldives, and foreign applicants can obtain trademark protection as mentioned in the points below.
The resident companies and nationals of Maldives can file an in-person trademark application (for their proposed trademarks) before the Ministry of Economic Development to obtain trademark protection. However, before going ahead with trademark registration, the resident companies and nationals must obtain business name registration.
The foreign applicants, on the other hand, are required to publish a TM cautionary notice in the local newspaper in both English and in the vernacular, which is Dhivehi, thereby cautioning the public and trade about the ownership of the trademark.
Trademark renewal involves the publication of the TM cautionary notice in the local newspaper after every 03 years; however, it is highly advisable to publish the registered trademark every year if the owner is willing to establish the use of the mark in Maldives.
The Copyright and Related Rights Act (passed in October 2010 and became effective in April 2011) deals with the mechanism of copyright protection in Maldives.
Maldives is a member of the Berne Convention.
Parties don't need to register their copyright to obtain protection under the Copyright and Related Rights Act. However, the Act allows those parties who desire to register such works to be registered in the allocated government authority. An application can be filed in person with the Ministry of Economic Development. If approved, an official copyright registration certificate is issued.
The standard copyright protection term lasts for the lifetime of the author plus fifty (50) years following his death. However, the duration of copyright protection varies depending on the type of work.
Economic and moral rights are protected during the lifetime of the author and for fifty (50) years after his death.
In the case of collective works (other than the work of applied art) and audio-visual works, the economic and moral rights are protected for fifty (50) years from the date on which the work was either made, first made available to the public, or first published, whichever date is the latest.
In the case of anonymous and pseudonymous works, the rights are protected for fifty (50) years from the date on which the work was made/made available to the public or first published, whichever date is the latest.
In the case of a work of applied art, the economic and moral rights are protected for twenty-five (25) years from the making of the work.