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Enforcement of IPRs in Seychelles


Enforcement of IPRs
The effective detection of counterfeit products constitute a challenge for the authorities. Despite the efforts made to control the borders, Seychelles has many porous borders that make them hard to monitor, which accounts to be a major reason for their presence. Furthermore, research suggests that poor enforcement and low sanctions act as deterrents from registering the IP rights.
Apparel and artistic productions, medications, and electrical appliances are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Seychelles.
The main laws governing intellectual property in Seychelles are as follows:
1. The Industrial Property Act of 2014, which replaces the Patent Act and the Trades Mark Decree;
2. The Copyright Act of 2014, which is a completion of the first law with the same name issued in 1984;
3. The Companies Law and the International Business Companies Act, which have been updated with elements related to the protection of intellectual property;
4. The Consumer Protection Law, the Fair Competition Law, and the Seychelles Investment Act; and
5. The Business Tax Law and the Penal Code also contain provisions related to the protection of intellectual property rights.
Patents, Industrial Designs, Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits, Trademarks, Trade Names, Geographical Indications, and Copyright are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Seychelles.
*Any civil proceeding shall be initiated within 05 years from the date on which the rights holder knew or had reasons to know the infringing acts.
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
A) Responsible Authority – The Supreme Court of Seychelles
B) Imprisonment Term - Industrial Property: up to 05 years; and Copyright: up to 10 years
C) Monetary Fine - Industrial Property: SCR 500,000; Copyright: SCR up to 100,000
The techniques inclusive of alternate dispute resolution, although prevalent, are not frequently adopted. However, where put the parties and the terms of the contract agree to be subjected to such proceedings, they may resort to out of the court settlements by using ADR techniques.
The remedies include destruction and disposal of goods outside the channels of commerce.
The applicant must bear the cost of customs intervention during enforcement.
If the IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures taken by the customs authority in furtherance of the request made or otherwise on the motion, the authority me decide to withhold itself from acting pursuant to the request and allow commercial circulation of such goods.
Court proceedings
IP protection is a new field in Seychelles, but an increasingly important one as the country explores new avenues for economic development At the institutional level, the lack of awareness, weak resources, and the country’s geography make enforcement problematic, which acts as a deterrent for businesses that would otherwise envisage entering the field.