• (230) 4278861, 4260399

Enforcement of IPRs in Rwanda

Rwanda

Enforcement of IPRs
Counterfeits and substandard goods are cheap as they are mostly smuggled into Rwanda without paying taxes. This creates unfair competition in the market as law abiding and genuine traders, and manufacturers make losses and hence stifle the industrial growth. There is a need for some law that makes counterfeiting or dealing in fake and substandard goods a very expensive and risky business. Besides sabotaging government programmes and compromising public health, fake goods affect revenue collection, target and hinder the growth of local industries, to name a few. These account to be the major causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Rwanda.
Pharmaceutical and illicit cosmetics most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Rwanda.
Yes
THE LAW N° 31/2009 OF 26/10/2009 ON THE PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – deals with the enforcement of IPRs in Rwanda.
Patents of Invention, Utility Model Certificates, Copyright, Industrial Designs and Models, Layout Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits, Marks - Collective Marks, Certification Marks, Trade Names, and Geographical Indications are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Rwanda.
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
No
No
Yes
Yes
A) Responsible Authority - Commercial Court branch of the High Court of Rwanda
B) Imprisonment Term - 01 to 05 years
C) Monetary Fine - For an act of forgery of industrial property, there is a maximum fine of fifty thousand Rwandan Francs (50,000) to five hundred millions Rwandan Francs (500.000.000). For extraction of IP in a fraudulent manner: a fine of five to ten times the value of profits is attributable to the infringement
No
No
Arbitration is not a commonly followed routine in cases of dispute since it is relatively recent in Rwanda. Rwanda expressed its need to introduce such techniques in its revised policy on intellectual property in 2018 as well. Where the parties to a suit mutually agree to resolve their dispute by adhering to the needs for out of the court settlement, they may do the same.
Yes
Yes
The remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Rwanda include the disposal of infringing goods outside the channels of commerce in Rwanda or their destruction, payment of damages, and adequate compensation. Other criminal penalties, including a fine of 50,000 Rwanda francs to Rwanda Francs 500 million or imprisonment of up to 05 years may also apply, depending on the nature of the case.
The cost of customs intervention is paid by the applicant unless otherwise decided by the tribunal.
If the IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in custom recordal of intellectual property rights, the customs may withhold themselves from taking any pre-emptive measures to act in furtherance of the application made to restrain the import or export of counterfeit or infringing goods.
Court Proceedings
No