Is Custom Recordal of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) available in Mauritius?
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs compulsory in Mauritius?
Is it an effective measure to stop the infiltration of illegal and counterfeit products in Mauritius?
Which law forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Mauritius?
The Section 66A-E of the Customs Act 1988 forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Mauritius.
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs effective on import or export of goods or both?
Custom Recordal of IPRs is effective both on the import and export of goods.
What is the role of the customs department/authority? (Kindly give 2-3 points)
The Customs, by its strategic geographical position at the borders, has an important role to play in the fight against the entry and exit of counterfeit products.
Is there a procedure to record IP with the customs department/authority? If yes, then kindly explain it in brief.
Any owner or authorized user of a patent, industrial design, collective mark, or copyright may apply in writing to the Director General to suspend the clearance of any goods being imported or exported on the ground that his patent, industrial design, collective mark, or copyright is being or is likely to be infringed.
What documents are to be submitted along with the application for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
An application should be accompanied by:
Any evidence that the applicant is the owner or the authorized user of the patent, industrial design, collective mark, or the copyright;
A statement of the grounds for the application, and in particular, the primer for Sai evidence showing that his rights have been or are likely to be infringed;
Particulars relating to the description of goods making them readily recognizable by the customs, and the place where such goods are to be found;
Power of attorney duly registered in Mauritius under the registration duty act; and
Catalogue/photographs/sample, if any.
Is the applicant required to execute a bond (against all liabilities and to bear the costs towards destruction, demurrage, and detention charges incurred till the time of destruction or disposal) with the customs department/authority for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
What is the time frame for the customs department/authority to notify the applicants whether their application (for custom recordal of IPRs) is registered or rejected?
It is the duty of the Director General to specify whether the application has been granted or rejected within 07 days. Where the application has been rejected, the reason of rejecting such an application shall be notified to the IP right holder in writing.
Does the customs department/authority have a centralized system or the Custom Recordal is required to be done with each port of entry in Mauritius by land, sea, and air?
The procedure of custom recordal in Mauritius is centralized.
Is there an online system for Custom Recordal in Mauritius?
Yes, there is an online procedure as well. The application for action should be made on the IPR form downloadable from the MRA website on the following link:
Necessary additional sheets can be attached together with the required documents for submission, which will form an integral part of the application.
What is the official fee for Custom Recordal in Mauritius?
There are no administrative costs to be paid for an application.
What is the term of Custom Recordal of IPRs? Can it be further renewed?
The application made shall specify the period not exceeding 02 years during which the Director General may suspend the clearance of goods.
Does the customs department/authority have a right to conduct raids and seize the counterfeit goods within Mauritius?
In which scenario does the customs department/authority suspend the clearance of imported goods?
The customs department shall suspend the clearance of imported goods upon finding that the goods are or may be containing infringing material against the laws of intellectual property rights.
Who bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods?
The applicant is accountable to bear the liabilities and expenses concerning the suspension of the release of infringing goods.
Is the IP rights holder authorized to examine the goods, the clearance of which has been suspended?
Is the IP rights holder authorized to request the information about the personal details of the importer and additional crucial piece of information concerning the consignment, which has been suspended from clearance?
Can the importer or the authorized representative of the goods, which have been suspended from clearance, request the information of the IP rights holder in question?
Within what timeframe the IP rights holder needs to confirm whether the goods are counterfeit or original after suspension?
The confirmation has to be made within 10 working days; however, where the goods relate to refrigerated goods, the confirmation has to be made within 03 days. Failure to do so shall result in the release of the goods forthwith.
Is the IP rights holder required to produce an injunction order or evidence of court proceedings to detain the goods?
If the answer to the above question is 'Yes,' then what is the deadline to do so?
The Director General should be informed in writing that the legal proceedings have been initiated by the applicant within a period of 10 working days, which may be further extended by another 10 days on providing a substantial reason of not reverting in the original stipulated time.
Does the IP rights holder need to pay an additional bond for the detention of goods?
If the answer to the above question is 'Yes,' then to what extent and how is the valuation calculated?
The applicant should furnish adequate security to protect the Director General for any loss or damage that may result from the suspension of the clearance of the goods and to cover any reasonable expense that is likely to be incurred as a result of such suspension. The initial security in the form of bank guarantee usually amounts to Rs.20, 000 for each mark/copyright.
In the scenario where the goods detained or seized are found to be infringing the IPRs of the IP rights holder in question, what steps does the customs department/authority take?
The customs authority informs the counterparts, the IP rights holder as well as the alleged infringer that the goods have been detained and the same contain goods, which may be infringing in nature as per the laws of IP. In furtherance of the said proceedings, the customs officials are authorized to inspect the goods and also remove samples for examination, testing, and analysis.
Does the customs authority invite the rights holder and importer to join the proceedings? Are there any consequences of failure to join such proceeding, if any?
Yes, the customs authority invites the rights holder and importer to join the proceedings. Failure to do so shall result in the release of goods forthwith. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of an out-of-court settlement.
Before disposal/destruction of infringing goods, does the rights holder need to submit a ‘no objection’ or concurrence document?
Are there any disadvantages of Custom Recordal of IPRs in Mauritius? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
There are no disadvantages of custom procedures in Mauritius.
If an IP rights holder is not satisfied with the action taken by the customs department/authority, can he/she initiate separate legal proceedings to enforce his/her IP rights?
To establish if the goods are counterfeit before the court of justice, will the affidavit by the IP rights holder suffice or any other documentary requirement is there?
The court may require the submission of other documents to establish the rights of each party in the given case.
Upon conclusion of proceedings before the Court of Justice, what are the possible remedies awarded by the court?
The court may order the destruction of goods as well as a claim for civil damages as the remedies.
Is the rights holder under an obligation to inform customs authority when his Intellectual Property Right ceases to be valid/ he ceases to be the owner of such IPR?