The Industrial Property Act 2019 came into force in January 2022 in Mauritius
In light of the reform made to the Industrial Property legal framework in Mauritius, we seek to bring to your attention the key changes which are reflected in the new Industrial Property Act 2019.
THE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY ACT 2019, THE REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS
The Industrial Property framework in Mauritius has experienced a significant change in the recent months. The new legislation – The Industrial Property Act 2019 - which came into force on January 31st, 2022 seeks to consolidate the IP structure in Mauritius by encouraging broader protection of IP rights.
The essence underlying the changes in the law is to boost economic growth and international trade in Mauritius.
KEY CHANGES UNDER THE NEW IP LAW
UTILITY MODELS Utility models, also referred to as ‘petty patents’ are now registrable provided that the invention is new and can be made or used in an industry. The registration period of a utility model is 6 years and it may be subsequently renewed for 2 terms of 2 years.
LAYOUT DESIGNS OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
It is now possible to register Layout-designs as long as they are original and had not been commercially exploited, or have been commercially exploited for less than 2 years. The protection period is 10 years.
PROTECTION OF NEW PLANT VARIETIES
A person who has bred, discovered and developed a plant variety, or where applicable his employer or successor, may now be granted rights where the variety is new, distinct, uniform and stable. The protection period is 25 years.
A GI is a sign which is used in relation to goods which originate from a particular geographical area and bear characteristics which are specific to that area. A GI right, therefore, allows the right holder to prevent third parties from using the GI sign if their products do not share the standards, as specific to the geographical origin. The registration period is 10 years; renewable every 10 years.
Being a signatory of the Madrid Protocol since 1976, Mauritius may now initiate the accession to the Protocol under the provisions of the new law. International Trademark registrations via WIPO, designating Mauritius, will therefore be possible in the coming months.
OTHER INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
Under the new law, the accession of Mauritius to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (for patent applications) and the Hague Agreement (for industrial designs) is now possible. The Government of Mauritius has initiated the procedures for the accession to these agreements.
IN A NUTSHELL The changes under the new law reflect promising opportunities for continued economic growth in Mauritius. Having generated USD 4.4 billion in imports in 2021, Mauritius is an important hub given its strategic location, coupled with its international workforce, to accommodate for and encourage international trade.
In light of the growing importance of IP across the world, Mauritius is now equipped with a consolidated legal framework which promotes and facilitates the protection and management of IP assets.