The “Office Malgache des Propriétés Industrielles (OMAPI),” Madagascar’s authority for intellectual property rights, publishes the titles it grants in the Official Gazette of Industrial Property (GOPI) and provides the public with industrial property documentation such as patent documents, industrial property legislation in various countries, and multilateral treaties on industrial property. The “Office Malgache des Droits d’Auteurs (OMDA),” protects authors’ rights and copyrights. OMDA’s mission is to ensure the exclusive protection, defense, and management of the economic interests of Malagasy and foreign authors, performers, and their successors concerning the use of scientific, literary, and artistic works.
Officially, these authorities protect against IP infringement, but enforcement capacity is limited due to resource constraints including poor digitalization, weakness of the judicial system, and lack of awareness of intellectual property rights among businesses and consumers. Due to these constraints, international investors have faced difficulties defending their interests. Madagascar neither tracks nor reports seizures of counterfeit goods, which are easily available in local markets, as are unauthorized copies of famous brands, songs, and videos.
New IP laws have stalled for years due to inaction by Parliament and the Office of the Prime Minister. The proposed legislation incorporates The Hague (international registration of industrial designs), and Lisbon (protection of origin appellation and international registration) agreements, and other international treaty classifications. The adoption of these bills would substantially improve the IP rights in Madagascar, provided OMAPI has sufficient funding for enforcement.
Despite Madagascar’s challenges with IP rights enforcement, it is not listed in USTR’s Special 301 report, which highlights online and physical markets that engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. Madagascar is also not listed on USTR’s Notorious Market Report which targets countries with large-scale intellectual property rights infringement.