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Enforcement of IPRs in Morocco

Morocco

Enforcement of IPRs
An OECD study concluded that the Moroccan free zones, which benefit from lower taxes and lighter customs controls, are the main cause of counterfeiting and piracy in Morocco.
Luxury apparel and accessories most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Morocco.
Yes
They are as follows:
  • The Law No. 23-13 amending and supplementing the Law No. 17-97 on the Protection of Industrial Property (promulgated by Dahir No.1.14.188 of 27 muharram 1436 (November 21, 2014))
  • The Law No. 2-00 on Copyright and Related Rights as amended in 2006.)
  • The Law no. 17/97 relating to the protection of industrial property
Patents, Trademarks, Designs, Copyright, and Industrial Models are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Morocco.
Natural or legal persons holding copyright or neighbouring rights and not having their domicile or registered office in Morocco are not required to appoint an agent having his domicile or registered office in Morocco (as it is the case for holders of industrial property rights) as they may be represented by the Moroccan Copyright Office.
However, for taking part in the court proceedings, all holders of intellectual property rights must have themselves represented by an attorney on the roll of one of Morocco's bar associations.
For being represented in the court, it is necessary to have either French/ Arabic translation of legal documents in hand since French is usually used for administrative conduct and transaction while other major work is conducted in Arabic. Therefore, hiring a local counsel also deems appropriate to ensure the ease of enforcement.
Yes
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
Yes
Yes
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Other civil remedies in Morocco are as follows:
  • Destruction of the suspected goods, along with their packaging and equipment used to commit the infringing acts may be ordered by the court as well as the disposal outside the channels of commerce of the infringing goods so as to minimize the risk of further infringements, without any compensation of any kind to the defendant; and
  • Publication of the court decision in one or more local newspapers designated by the court may be at the expense of the convicted person ordered, provided that the cost of publication does not exceed the maximum fine incurred.
No
Yes
Yes
A) Responsible Authority - Court of First Instance, High Court
B) Monetary Fine - Patents: 50,000 to 500,000 Dirhams (may be doubled in case of recidivism); Integrated Circuits, Trademarks: 25,000 to 250,000 Dirhams; Copyright: The court decides the same according to the merits of each case and many vary from 10,000 to 100,000 Dirham, but may extend to 600, 00 Dirhams
C) Imprisonment Term - Patents, Integrated Circuits, and Trademarks: 01 month to 02 years, but where the state security is hampered, it may extend up to 05 years; Copyright: 06 months to 05 years
Other criminal remedies in Morocco are as follows:
  • Destruction of the suspected goods, along with their packaging and equipment used to commit the infringing acts may be ordered by the court as well as the disposal outside the channels of commerce of the infringing goods so as to minimize the risk of further infringements, without any compensation of any kind to the defendant; and
  • Publication of the court decision in one or more local newspapers designated by the court may be at the expense of the convicted person ordered, provided that the cost of publication does not exceed the maximum fine incurred.
No
ADR Methods are not frequently resorted to; however, they may be preferred if both the parties agree to adopt such a measure.
Yes
Yes
If the court, in its final decision, affirms that the suspected suspended goods are counterfeit or pirated goods, then destruction of these goods should be ordered except in exceptional circumstances. The aforementioned goods shall not, under any circumstances, be subject to re-exportation or to any other customs procedures, other than in exceptional circumstances.
The applicant must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
The Customs authority may release the goods from the place of detention if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in Custom Recordal of IPRs.
Court proceedings
No