In an effort to bring the country’s intellectual property (IP) legislation on a par with international standards, Mauritius implemented a new IP law, the Industrial Property Act 2019, with effect from 31 January 2022.
The new law, among other things, excludes computer programs from being patented, provides for employees to seek “appropriate compensation” for an invention if the employer’s economic gains from its patent are “disproportionately high”, and makes provision for substantive examination, opposition and Patent Cooperation Treaty filings. The test for novelty will be absolute for patents and utility models.
The new law limits the protection term for industrial designs to 20 years. Nationals and companies registered in countries that are part of the International Convention for the Protection of Plants (UPOV) can seek protection for their new plant varieties. Under the new law, the definition of trademarks covers “visually perceptible” marks that include colour and shape. It provides for protection of well-known marks and of geographical indications. For administration of IP matters, the new law provides for the formation of three separate bodies, namely, the Intellectual Property Council, the Industrial Property Office and the Industrial Property Tribunal.