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Enforcement of IPRs in Dominica


Enforcement of IPRs
The major cause of counterfeiting and piracy is the level of sophistication of such technology, which makes it difficult to trace and differentiate the fake goods from the original ones. Another reason could be blemished administrative procedures, which enable the entry of such goods.
Apparel and accessories most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Dominica.
The laws include:
  • The Marks, Collective Marks, and Trade Names Act, 1999 (Act 12 of 1999)
  • The Geographical Indications (Amendment) Act, 2008 (Act 13 of 2008)
  • The Industrial Designs (Amendment) Act, 2008 (Act 15 of 2008)
  • The Industrial Designs Act, 1998 (Act 2 of 1998)
  • The Patents Act, 1999 (Act 8 of 1999)
  • The Protection of Geographical Indications Act, 1999 (Act 13 of 1999)
  • The Protection of Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits Act, 1999 (Act 11 of 1999)
  • The Protection of New Plant Varieties Act, 1999 (Act 14 of 1999)
  • The Copyright Act 2003 (Act 5 of 2003)
Trademarks, graphical indications, industrial designs, patents, topography of integrated circuits, and copyright are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Dominica.
Yes - Prosecution for an offence under this Act shall not be commenced after the expiration of 05 years upon the commission of the offence or 01 year after the discovery thereof, whichever date occurs first.
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
A) Responsible Authority - High Court
B) Imprisonment Term - Trademarks, Patents, or Unfair Competition: 03 years to 10 years (in grave circumstances, it may be 12 years); Copyright: 06 months to 12 months
C) Monetary Fine - Trademarks, Patents, or Unfair Competition: $10,000 to 30,000 in grave circumstances, it may be $40,000); Copyright: $500 to $15,000
The mechanism of ADR is fairly weak, and therefore, the effectiveness of the same in the field of IPR is still questionable since much importance is given to court resolution processes rather than other out of the court settlement practices.
Any person who imports into the state any product or article bearing a forged mark or a collective mark or any other infringing product or article, commits an offence under the trademarks act, which is liable to fine of not less than $15,000, but not more than $40,000, or to imprisonment for not less than 05 years, but not more than 12 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
The applicant must bear the costs of the custom intervention during enforcement.
Where the IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in the recordal intellectual property rights with the customs, the customs shall withdraw and abandon the request made to them to act in furtherance of the same to ensure that the rights of the proprietor are not infringed upon.
Court Proceedings