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Enforcement of IPRs in Burundi


Enforcement of IPRs
The presence of technology to enable printing of fake labels and procure methods of adulterating products have resulted in cheaper alternatives for the locals, which is one of the main causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Burundi.
Weak enforcement of the sanctions provided for in the law and the low price of counterfeit products appear to be the main causes of intellectual property violations resulting in counterfeits, fraudulent imitation, and forgery.
Pharmaceuticals, textile, and cosmetics are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Burundi.
They are as follows:
  • The Copyright Act No. 1/021 of 30 December 2005;
  • The Plant breeders’ rights are recognised and governed by Decree No. 100/055 of 23rd March 2016, relating to the protection of plants. Seeds are governed by the Seed sector Act No. 1 /08 of 23 April 2012; and
  • The Law No. 1/13 OF July 28, 2009 Relating To Industrial Property In Burundi.
Patents, utility model certificates, industrial designs, layout designs for integrated circuits, traditional knowledge, crafts objects, and distinctive signs are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Burundi.
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Other civil remedies include delivery-up of any infringing product or article, or any product of which the infringing product forms an inseparable part.
A) Responsible Authority - Minister, High Court.
B) Imprisonment Term - Patents: 01 year to 03 years
C) Monetary Fine - Copyright: 200 to 2,000 BGN, but may extend to 5000 BGN, if repeated; Patents: P5, 000, 00 to P10, 000, 00
ADR measures are not often pursued due to a lack of proper framework; however, they may be resorted by the parties if the same are contractually preferred.
The Customs may act on its own resolve through raids and destroy goods that are found to be of infringing nature.
Court Proceedings
Although the law provides for sanctions and border measures to prevent counterfeit or pirated goods from being imported, application of the measures remains very sketchy or non-existent.