Intellectual Property Services in Mauritius
Why Does a Business Need Intellectual Property Services?
Intellectual property services play a very important role as they act as safeguards and protect one’s assets from being copied. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to come with a unique idea and concretize it, so who wouldn’t want to claim their piece of work as their property. Holding an IP right gives a person/company the power to put restrictions on copying or using their creativity in any way and penalize anyone for such a violation or offense. In this way, one always has one’s property solely to one’s name and thus can protect their invention from getting plagiarized.
Intellectual Property Protection in Mauritius
The framework established for the protection of intellectual property rights in Mauritius comprises 5 legislations:
- The Patent Industrial Designs and Trademark Act, 2002 (PIDTA)
- The Protection Against Unfair Practice Act, 2002 (PAUP)
- The Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuit Act, 2002 (Layout Designs Act)
- The Geographical Indications Act, 2002 (GI Act)
- The Copyright Act, 2014 (Copyright Act)
Following is a brief description of the various types of intellectual properties in Mauritius which can be protected under these Intellectual Property Protection Acts.
A trademark is a seal, sign, symbol or logo which differentiates the goods or services of one trader from those of others. In Mauritius, a distinction has been made between a trademark and a service mark, wherein a trademark is a sign which is capable of distinguishing goods and a service mark is a sign which is capable of distinguishing service. On registration, a trademark can be protected for an initial period of 10 years which can be further renewed for a span of 10 years.
Patent is a type of intellectual property which protects technical innovations. In Mauritius, the Ministry of Industry and International Trade is the authority responsible for patent protection. On registration of a patent, it can be protected for a period of 20 years from the date of filing. Also, it is to be noted that a certain amount of annual fee must be paid in order to maintain the patent which upon failure gives the relevant authority the right to consider that the patent has been withdrawn.
From copyright emanates the law which protects one’s piece of creativity or work. Such work may be books, software, musical compositions, plays, photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptures, sound recordings, films, broadcasts and cable programmes. Work materials available on the internet are also subject to copyright. In Mauritius, the law on copyright is governed by the Copyright Act 1997 which translates into the national legislation of the provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement, which, in turn, is built upon the provisions of the Berne Convention. Mauritius has different protection periods for different types of works.
|Type of Work||Duration before Expiry|
|The work of an author||50 years after their death|
|Anonymous work||50 years from the date of making|
|Audio-visual work||50 years from the date of making|
|Photographic work||25 years from the date of making|
|Commissioned work||50 years from the date of publication|
4. Industrial Design
An Industrial Design is a type of intellectual property which protects the outward appearance – such as shape, configuration, pattern, or special design – which has been applied to a product through an industrial process. In Mauritius, for availing IP protection for industrial design, one needs to file an application to the controller of the Industrial Property Office and on approval, they can protect their industrial design for a period of 5 years from the filing date which can be further renewed for a period of 5 years to a maximum of 30 years.
5. Geographical Indication
A mark imprinted on products which implies a particular geographical origination or specific qualities or reputation of that origin is known as Geographical Indication (GI). In Mauritius, protection for geographical indications can be obtained without the need of registration. The nation also possesses a prior use exception scheme wherein a person who has been using a geographical indication for at least 10 years since 1994 in a continuous manner may use that GI.
6. Layout Design of Integrated Circuits
A layout-design of an integrated circuit is the 3D arrangement of the elements of an integrated circuit and some or all of the interconnections of the integrated circuit or such 3D arrangement prepared for an integrated circuit which is meant to be manufactured. In Mauritius, the Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits Act, 2002 provides for the protection of semiconductor integrated circuits layout designs.
7. Trade Secret
Any information which is not readily known among people or is readily accessible to people who usually deal with the same kind of information is considered as a trade secret. The purpose of the protection of trade secrets is to save the know-how of a product.
8. Plant Varieties Protection
Also known as the plant breeders’ right, plant varieties right is a type of intellectual property protection wherein the owner, i.e., the plant breeder has the exclusive rights to authorize the reproduction of their new plant variety. In order to get the protection, the plant variety must be new, recognizably different in nature, homogenous and stable. On registration, the plant varieties can be protected for a minimum duration of 20 years from the granting date whereas, for vines and trees, the duration is 25 years.
Our Intellectual Property Services in Mauritius
- Registering trademarks, patents, and copyrights
- Resolving intellectual property disputes
- Litigating in case of infringement of IP rights
- Assuring IP protection overseas
- Brand valuation
Business Setup Worldwide is a platform that offers a broad spectrum of services related to company expansion and business setup in foreign lands. We assist in clearing all the legal proceedings that are essential to establish business foundations, protect intellectual properties, taxation policies, etc. Our business experts take care of the necessities and build the framework to provide the required intellectual property services. Apart from dealing with the legal aspects, our business experts also handle the financial front required to establish a business.