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Enforcement of IPRs in Senegal


Enforcement of IPRs
Counterfeiting is the most common offence in Senegal since there is a disparity in the law and legal practice. The administration and enforcement measures are quite weak to detect and intercept the counterfeit imports and exports.
Medicinal products and medicines most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Senegal.
They are as follows:
  • The Bangui Agreement
  • The Decree No. 2009-1380 of 2 December 2009
Trademarks, Patents, Industrial Designs, and Copyright are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Senegal.
Yes, the statute of limitation is 10 years for civil actions, commencing from the date when the owner knows or should have known about the existence of the infringement. However, in the case where the owner starts the proceedings with an infringement seizure, he has 30 days starting from the date of the seizure to refer the case to court, and if not, the release of the seizure can be obtained.
The statute of limitation is 03 years for criminal actions. In principle, the starting point is when the infringing activity has ceased.
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - No
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Other civil remedies available in Senegal include the display and publication of the judgment or extracts of the judgment.
A) Responsible Authority - Court
B) Imprisonment Term - Copyright: 06 months to 02 years; Patents: 06 months to 05 years; Trademarks: up to 02 years
C) Monetary Fine - Copyright: 01 million to 05 million CFA francs; Patents: 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 CFA francs; Trademarks: 1,000,000 to 6,000,000 CFA francs
Other criminal remedies in Senegal include the display and publication of the judgment or extracts of the judgment.
Senegal has been party to the following International Agreements and Conventions:
  • The 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards; and
  • The 1965 Washington International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
On such lines, the laws mentioned below have been enforced:
  • The OHADA Uniform Act on Arbitration dated 11th March 1999, which derives from an international treaty in force in the 17 OHADA countries, including Senegal. OHADA refers to the ‘Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires,’ formed in 1993. Article 35 provides that the Uniform Act on Arbitration is considered as the national arbitration law of each member state;
  • The Decree No 98-492, which replaces articles 795 to 820 of the Code of Civil Procedure; and
  • The Arbitration Act No 98-30 dated 14th April 1998 (‘Arbitration Act’), which provides the specifics for arbitration in Senegal, in line with the principles stated in the OHADA Uniform Act on Arbitration. The Senegalese Arbitration Act is mostly based on the UNCITRAL Model Law.
Although, the route of ADR is not frequently opted for; however, it may be resorted to in the event where both the parties consent to adhere to the norms of ADR techniques.
There is no recordal of customs possible; however, where the Customs detain or find on inspection any goods of infringing nature, they may report the same to the rights holder who may then institute court proceedings in the appropriate court of law.
Court Proceedings
The lack of customs measures and recordal mechanism is a serious drawback hindering the foreign enterprises from enforcing their IPRs without using courts as their primary choice of resolving disputes.