We have already discussed the changes to the industrial property legislation in Mauritius in previous articles, which appeared in April 2017 and September 2019. The new Industrial Property Act 2019, which was proclaimed on 31 January 2022 and the new regulations that were published on the same day, introduced the protection of Geographical Indications (GI) and New Varieties of Plants, and makes provision for the accommodation of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Madrid Protocol on Trade Marks and the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement on Industrial Designs.

To recap, the Industrial Property Act 2019 consolidates all industrial property-related issues in one statute. The framework for the protection of the Act consists of the following five pieces of legislation:

  1. Patent, Utility Models, Patent Cooperation Treaty;
  2. Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits;
  3. Protection of New Varieties of Plants;
  4. Industrial Designs governed by the Hague Agreement;
  5. Marks, Trade Names, Geographical Indications, Madrid Protocol.

Another critical action for the Mauritius authorities will be to ratify some of the most important IP treaties, such as the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, as well as the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, which we understand is imminent.

Although Mauritius acceded to the Lusaka Agreement and became a member of ARIPO in 2020, it has not yet acceded to the Harare or Banjul Protocols and therefore cannot yet be designated in applications filed via the ARIPO system. The new Act does not have any provisions relating to ARIPO, which will presumably be included if and when Mauritius accedes to the Harare or Banjul Protocols.

Reviewed by Ilse du Plessis, an Executive in ENSafrica's IP department.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.