Provides advice on IPR protection, including information on the registration of patents and trademarks.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) in Mauritius are protected by the 2019 Industrial Property Act, the 2014 Copyrights Act, and the 2002 Protection Against Unfair Practices (Industrial Property Rights) Act. The 2019 Industrial Property act and accompanying regulations entered into force in January 2022. This act consolidates all industrial property-related issues in one statute. The protection framework covers patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, layout-designs of integrated circuits, plant varieties, trade names, and geographic indications.
The Industrial Property Act also allows international filing of trademarks under the Madrid Protocol, international filing of industrial designs under the Hague Agreement, and filing of patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. However, Mauritius has not yet acceded to these international instruments. In 2017, the Copyright Act was amended to redefine and better safeguard the interests of copyright owners and to put in place a new regulatory framework for the Mauritius Society of Authors (MASA). MASA is responsible for collection of copyright fees and for administering the economic rights of copyright owners.
Mauritius is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and party to the Paris and Bern Conventions for the protection of industrial property and the Universal Copyright Convention. Mauritius is a member of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO). However, as Mauritius has not yet acceded to the Harare or Banjul Protocols, it cannot be designated in patent, trademark or design applications filed via the ARIPO system. The Industrial Property Act complies with the WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Industrial Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. A trademark is initially registered for 10 years and may be renewed for another 10 years. A patent expires 20 years after the application filing date. While IP legislation in Mauritius is consistent with international norms, enforcement is relatively weak. In practice, police will take action against IP infringements only in cases where the IP owner has an official representative in Mauritius, as the courts require a representative to testify that the products seized are counterfeit.
The Customs Department requires owners or authorized users of patents, industrial designs, collective marks, marks or copyrights to apply in writing to the Director General to suspend clearance of any suspicious goods. Once an application is approved, it remains valid for two years.
In any foreign market, companies should consider several general principles for effective protection of their intellectual property. For background, link to our article on Protecting Intellectual Property and Stopfakes.gov for more resources.
To access Mauritius’ ICS, which includes information on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement website.
IP Contact for Mauritius
4th Floor, Rogers House, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis
Tel: +230 2024400