What are the causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Ghana?
The main reason for medicinal counterfeits is that there is a lack of availability, and on finding cheaper alternative, the consumers may be easily lured into buying such products. Also, authors, performers, innovators, designers, and other persons in the creative industry in Ghana are not aware of their rights to commence a legal action if their IPRs are infringed upon. As a result, some offenders go unpunished.
Which are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Ghana?
Pharmaceuticals, mobile phones, and medicinal products are most affected when it comes to counterfeiting and piracy in Ghana.
Does Ghana have a well-established framework for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)?
What are the specific laws/orders/rules laid down in Ghana for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights?
They are as follows:
They are as follows:
Protection against Unfair Competition Act, 2000 (Act 589);
The Industrial Designs Act, 2003 (Act 660);
The Geographical Indications Act, 2003 (Act 659);
The Patents Act, 2003 (Act 657);
The Trademarks Act, 2004 (Act 664);
The Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits Act, 2004 (Act 667); and
The Copyrights Act, 2005 (Act 690).
What are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Ghana?
Designs, GIs, Patents, Trademarks, Topographies of Integrated Circuits, and Copyright are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Ghana.
What are the general IPR enforcement obligations in Ghana?
What are the essential to-dos before an IP rights holder initiates the enforcement proceedings?
Firstly, it is important to have an overall strategy to protect your IP. Secondly, the IP may be protected differently in Ghana than in different jurisdictions since IPRs are territorial in nature. Thirdly, the rights must be registered and enforced in Ghana under the local laws.
Is there any limitation period for filing an infringement action?
Yes; actions are barred generally after 02 years; however, where the action is founded on tort, simple contract, quasi-contract, enforcing a recognizance, enforcing an award where the arbitration is under any enactment other than the ADR Act, and recovering any sum recoverable by virtue of any enactment, it may be extended to 06 years.
Which of the following IPR enforcement channels is/are available in Ghana?
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
Are civil actions available for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in civil litigation?
Which of the following types of civil remedies is/are available in Ghana?
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Are there any other civil remedies available in Ghana than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
What is the approximate timeline of civil litigation related to IPR enforcement in Ghana?
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in civil litigation?
Are there any disadvantages of civil litigation in Ghana? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Is criminal prosecution available in Ghana for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in criminal prosecution?
Which is the responsible authority in Ghana corresponding to the types of criminal remedies available? Also, mention the imprisonment term and the monetary fine.
A) Responsible Authority - The standard High Courts, the “fast track” High Courts, and the commercial High Courts
B) Imprisonment Term - Trademarks: up to 02 years; Copyright: up to 03 years; Patents: up to 02 years.
C) Monetary Fine - Trademarks: A fine not exceeding 500 penalty units; Copyright: a fine of up to 1000 penalty units (currently 1 penalty unit = GHC 12.00, the current maximum fine is GHC 12,000.000); Patents: a fine not exceeding 2000 penalty units (currently, a penalty unit is equal to GHC 12.00; the maximum fine is GHC 24,000.00).
Are there any other criminal remedies available in Ghana than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in criminal prosecution?
Are there any disadvantages of criminal prosecution in Ghana? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Are there any alternative dispute resolution mechanisms which allow parties to resolve their dispute out of court?
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), particularly negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, is gaining prominence as a preferable alternative to litigation due to the cost, delay, and alienation associated with litigation. The courts, under the Courts Act 1993 (Act 459) and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act 2010 (Act 798) (ADR Act), can propose amicable settlement of disputes among litigants, and this has been widely received, particularly by parties with large commercial disputes.
Are border control measures (customs) available in Ghana for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to the customs authority/department to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party/importer of counterfeit goods?
What are the remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Ghana?
The remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Ghana include destruction of infringing goods.
Who must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement?
The applicant must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in Custom Recordal of IPRs?
If the IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures taken by the Customs, the authority may release goods from detention and withhold taking further action to remove such goods.
Which are the best practices for enforcement of IPRs in Ghana?
Are there any risks involved in the enforcement of IPRs in Ghana? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points.