MAURITIUS IP GUIDEEast Africa

Intellectual Property Mauritius
The island of Mauritius lies in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Southern Africa and east of Madagascar.

Area: 1860 km2

Population: 1,262,132

Capital: Port Louis

Currency: Mauritian Rupee

GDP: $ 23.322 billion (2017)

Trade Marks

Mauritius is a member of the Paris Convention and the WTO/TRIPS.

Patents

Mauritius is a member of the Paris Convention and the WTO/TRIPS. Patent protection is available by way of a national filing.

Although Mauritius has not yet acceded to the PCT, the Act has specific provisions referring to the PCT and providing for international applications under PCT to designate Mauritius. However, until Mauritius accedes to the PCT it will not be possible to designate Mauritius in an international application under PCT.

Designs

Mauritius is a member of the Paris Convention and the WTO/TRIPS. Design protection is available by way of a national filing.

Copyright

Mauritius is a member of the Berne Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention and the WTO/TRIPS.

The law provides for copyright in respect of artistic, literary and scientific works, including:

  • books, pamphlets, or other writings
  • illustrations, maps, plans or sketches
  • lectures, addresses, sermons
  • dramatic and dramatico-musical works
  • musical works
  • choreographic works, pantomimes
  • audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • works of art, architecture, painting, drawing, sculpture, engravings, lithography
  • photographic works
  • works of applied art or craft
  • computer programs
  • works of folklore
  • derivative works.

Derivative works include

  • translations, adaptations, arrangements of works
  • collections and compilations of works.

Excluded from protection are:

  • ideas, procedures, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles
  • official texts of laws, decisions by courts, or of administrative bodies.

Plant Breeders' Rights

Currently, no legislative provision for plant breeders’ rights or other sui generis protection for plants is available in Mauritius.

Company Law

There are several forms of companies commonly used by foreign investors:

  • Domestic Companies.
  • Global Business Category 1 Company (GBL1).
  • Global Business Category 2 Company (GBL2).
  • Protected Cell Companies.

Only one shareholder is required to incorporate a company. However, within 6 months of incorporation, the sole shareholder or director must nominate a person to be the secretary. A public company may have more than 25 shareholders but a private company may not have more than 25 shareholders.

Companies can be limited by share, guarantee or both.

Competition Law

Competition Act 25 of 2007.

The Act is enforced by the Competition Commission, based in Port Louis.

Consumer Protection

Mauritius has a Consumer Protection Act in force.

Some of the aspects regulated by it are:

  • Price and supplies control.
  • Product advertisement and promotion.
  • Export control.
  • Price labels.
  • Maximum recommended retail prices of certain products.

Data Protection

The Data Protection Act, 2004 (DPA) regulates the processing of personal information in Mauritius. As a general rule 1 may not process a natural person’s personal information without consent or any other valid legal basis for such processing.

Some of the key principles under the DPA:

  • An organisation which has a database containing personal information must register same under the DPA.
  • One cannot transfer personal information to countries outside Mauritius without the prior written consent in terms of the DPA.

Dispute Resolution

Mauritius has a single-structured judicial system consisting of 2 parts: the Supreme Court and the subordinate Courts. The subordinate Courts consist of the Court of Rodrigues, the District Courts, the Intermediate Court and the Industrial Court, whilst the Supreme Court has various divisions exercising jurisdiction as the Bankruptcy Court, the Court of first instance in civil and criminal matters, the Court of Appeal (to hear and determine civil and criminal appeals from the subordinate Courts), the Court of Civil Appeal and the Court of Criminal Appeal (to hear and determine appeals from the decisions of the Supreme Court sitting as Court of first instance). The Commercial Division of the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to deal with all matters of bankruptcy, insolvency, matters arising out of the Companies Act; banking, insurance, bills of exchange, offshore, Industrial Property, Patents and disputes between traders of a commercial nature.

Employment Law

Governing Legislation

  • Employment Rights Act, 33 of 2008.
  • Employment Relations Act, 2008.
  • Additional Remuneration Act, 2007.

Particulars of employment

An employer who employs more than ten workers must provide workers engaged for more than 1 month with a written contract within 2 weeks of entering into an agreement.

Exchange Control

Exchange control was abolished in July 1994.

Tax Law

Income tax is levied on a company’s profits, which consist of business profits and passive income. Normal business expenses are deductible in calculating taxable income.

Mauritius residents are taxed on Mauritius-source income and foreign income remitted to Mauritius. Non-residents are taxed only on Mauritius-source income. Taxable income includes employment income, pensions, profits from trade and profession, rent and interest.

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