Mauritius: new year, new beginnings

Mauritius is enjoying a year full of changes and progress, which began with the Industrial Property Act 2019 entering into force on January 31, 2022.

Currently, Mauritius is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Universal Copyright Convention, and the Berne Convention.

Intellectual property is increasingly identified as an economic asset as Mauritius moves towards a knowledge-based economy. On July 30, 2019, the Mauritius Parliament approved the Industrial Property Bill 2019. This bill is part of an IP Development Plan (IPDP) that intends to strengthen the IP system of Mauritius, support the protection, generation, and commercialisation of IP assets, and improve awareness and use of IP as a tool for development.

It was expected to harmonise the legislation in practice and since then, the main objectives have been achieved.

One of the purposes recommended by the IPDP was the accession process to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, Madrid Protocol and Hague Agreement.

With the national legislation already recognising and giving effect to applications in terms of the Madrid Protocol and Hague System following the Industrial Property Act of 2019 already into force, all was according to the IPDP.


Patent Cooperation Treaty for the international registration of patents

The deposit by the government of the Republic of Mauritius of its instrument of accession to the PCT was done on December 15, 2022, and announced by the Director General of WIPO, Daren Tang, on December 21.

Mauritius has become the 157th Contracting State of the PCT and the treaty will enter into force on March 15, 2023. Therefore, any international application filed on or after that date will automatically include the designation of Mauritius.

What is possible now:

  • PCT applications and designation of contracting states are now possible for applicants and inventors in Mauritius.
  • A period of 30/31 months from the earliest priority application to apply for a PCT application.
  • PCT system can be used by foreign applicants and inventors to protect assets in Mauritius by designating the mentioned state in the applications.


Madrid Protocol to facilitate the registration of trademarks

Furthermore, on February 6, 2023, the government of Mauritius deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol which will enter into force on May 6, 2023, thus, becoming the 114th member of the Madrid System.

After this date, Mauritius will join the Madrid System, rounding up the number of countries covered by WIPO’s international trademark system that now covers a total of 130 countries through 114 member IP offices.

Its accession reinforces the Madrid System’s status as a global opportunity for trademark protection, especially in Eastern Africa—a solution that is undoubtedly convenient and cost-effective for registering and managing trademarks worldwide.

What is possible now:

  • Business owners in Mauritius will be able to seek the protection of their trademarks in any of the other 129 countries covered by the Madrid System and benefit from the simple registration process of the Madrid Protocol. This will significantly reduce the costs and efforts during the expansion of trademarks.
  • New applicants of the Madrid System worldwide will be able to designate Mauritius when filing their international applications.
  • Existing applicants of international registrations will be able to expand the geographical scope of protection of their registrations to include Mauritius, by subsequently designating their applications in Mauritius and obtaining protection of their trademarks.

However, the fee for designating applications in Mauritius and other related information is yet to be released by the WIPO.


Hague Agreement for the international registration of industrial designs

Additionally, on the same day as the assession of the Madrid Protocol, the government of Mauritius deposited its instrument of accession to the Hague System.

Mauritius becomes the 70th contracting party to the 1999 Geneva Act and the 78th member of the Hague Union. Also, effective May 6, 2023, design protection in Mauritius can be secured through the Hague System and it will be easier to register industrial designs in Mauritius and the countries that are part of the agreement.


This is a co-published article, which was originally published in the World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR).

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