What are the causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Mauritania?
Though the government is in the process of launching reforms related to IP, product certification and accreditation bodies to protect IPR remain fragile, which is the main cause of counterfeiting and piracy in Mauritania.
Which are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Mauritania?
Counterfeit medical products, including antihistamines, corticosteroids, antibiotics, antimalarial tablets, analgesics, pregnancy tests, and vitamin supplements most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Mauritania.
Does Mauritania have a well-established framework for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)?
No; since the regime is moderately new.
What are the specific laws/orders/rules laid down in Mauritania for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights?
They are as follows:
The Decree No. 2017‐126 of November 2, 2017, on Repeal of the Decrees on the Implementation of Law No. 2010‐044 of July 22, 2010, on the Public Procurement Code;
The Law No. 2000‐05 of January 18, 2000, on the Commercial Code (as amended by Law No. 2015‐32 of September 10, 2015);
The Law No. 2010-043 of July 21, 2010, on Higher Education and Scientific Research;
The Law No. 2010-044 of July 22, 2010, on the Public Procurement Code;
The Ordinance No. 83-162 of July 9, 1983, on the Establishment of the Criminal Code; and
The Bangui Agreement.
What are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Mauritania?
Trademarks, Undisclosed Information (Trade Secrets), Copyright and Related Rights, and Geographical Indications are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Mauritania.
What are the general IPR enforcement obligations in Mauritania?
All the intellectual property rights in Mauritania are protected only in the terms of the Bangui agreement by the way of filing with the OAPI Organisation (Africaine de la PropriétéIntellectuelle) intellectual property office. For seeking an action of infringement, registration of the mark is necessary. However, the action of passing-off may be instituted against the alleged infringer where registration has not been obtained.
Where a foreign country allows reciprocal rights, the IP rights holder may be represented by a foreign lawyer. However, where a criminal suit is instituted, the applicant must provide an address for service at the office of a local lawyer.
What are the essential to-dos before an IP rights holder initiates the enforcement proceedings?
It is necessary to prepare all requisite documentation in Arabic/ French since that is the official language of the court. Therefore, a formal translation may be required.
Is there any limitation period for filing an infringement action?
Yes, they are usually subject to a 05-year limitation period.
Which of the following IPR enforcement channels is/are available in Mauritania?
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs -
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 Mauritania?
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Are there any other civil remedies available in Mauritania 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 Mauritania?
The pre-trial stages can take up to a month or two. However, the timeline of the entire civil litigation depends on the facts and circumstances of each case.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in civil litigation?
Are there any disadvantages of civil litigation in Mauritania? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Is criminal prosecution available in Mauritania 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 Mauritania corresponding to the types of criminal remedies available? Also, mention the imprisonment term and the monetary fine.
A) Responsible Authority – Criminal Court, High Court
B) Imprisonment Term – Copyright: It may range from 03 months to 02 years; Patents: 06 months to 05 years, Trademarks: up to 02 years
C) Monetary Fine – Copyright: 50,000 to 5,000,000 CFA francs; Patents: 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 CFA francs
Are there any other criminal remedies available in Mauritania than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
No, there are no other remedies available.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in criminal prosecution?
Are there any disadvantages of criminal prosecution in Mauritania? 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?
The ADR techniques not frequently resorted to, but the law number 2000/06 introduced the Asian Arbitration Code, which applies to all the domestic and international disputes. Institutional and ad hoc arbitration are both virtually non-existent due to the lack of modern rules on the subject matter. However, where both the parties expressed their willingness to resolve their disputes through ADR techniques, they may do so in furtherance of a contract.
Are border control measures (customs) available in Mauritania 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 Mauritania?
Who 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?
Which are the best practices for enforcement of IPRs in Mauritania?
Are there any risks involved in the enforcement of IPRs in Mauritania? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points.
The legal protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is still a relatively new concept in Mauritania, and those seeking legal redress for IP infringements will find very little historical record of cases or legal structures in place to support such claims. Therefore, enforcement of IPR may call for certain risks due to ambiguity.