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Enforcement of IPRs in Djibouti


Enforcement of IPRs
Because of the nascent nature of IP protection, counterfeit products are rarely seized and no statistics on seizures are published There have been reports of seizures of counterfeits; however, the statistics are unavailable.
Clothes, watches, electronics, and bags are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Djibouti.
They are as follows:
  • The Law No. 50/AN/09/6 L on the Protection of Industrial Property
  • The Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Law No.154/AN/06 of July 23, 2006
Patents, trademarks, copyright, and industrial designs are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Djibouti.
Before instituting any proceedings for infringement, it is usual for the trademark owner to make an application to the president of the Court of First Instance for a seizure order. If successful, the order is signed by the president of the court on the day itself, or soon thereafter, of presentation of the petition by the lawyer acting for the trademark owner, and without notice being given to the defendant. Once granted, the seizure order is served by the bailiff on the person suspected of being in possession of counterfeit products. The bailiff will then draw up a report (saisie-description) detailing the nature of the defendant’s activities and the extent of the counterfeiting.
The Code of Criminal Procedure provides for a statute of limitations period for prosecution of 10 years for serious crimes (art. 3), 03 years for ordinary offences (art. 4) and 01 year for minor offences (contraventions) (art. 5).
Djibouti indicates that continuing offences were not subject to a statute of limitations period owing to the application of article 3 of the Criminal Code.
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - No
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
A) Responsible Authority - Public prosecutor’s Office, Civil Commercial and Magistrates Chambers of Courts of First Instance
B) Imprisonment Term - Patents: up to 05 years; Copyright: 01 month to 06 months, but may extend to 05 years in case of repetition; Trademarks: 02 years
C) Monetary Fine - Patents: 10,000,000 FD to 2,000,000 FD; Copyright: 50,000 and 200,000 Djibouti francs, but may extend to 100,000 to 400,000 Djibouti francs on repeated conviction; Trademarks: up to 2,000,000 FD
There is no well-established framework to facilitate dispute resolution through ADR mechanism; however, where the parties mutually agree, the same route may be pursued.
There are no provisions authorizing the Customs to seize the counterfeits. If the suspected counterfeit products are about to enter the country, it will be necessary for court proceedings to be initiated as outlined above. For such proceedings to be effective, full details of the shipment and the location of the counterfeit goods will be necessary.
The applicant must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
Court Proceedings
The administrative measures with respect to ADR are still at a nascent stage. Also, there is no formal method of recording IPRs with the Customs Authority, which is an added disadvantage in controlling counterfeits.