MOZAMBIQUE IP GUIDESouthern Africa

Intellectual Property Mozambique
The Republic of Mozambique is located on the south-east coast of Africa, bordered in the north by Tanzania; on the west by Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe; on the south-west and south by South Africa and Swaziland; and on the east by the Indian Ocean.

Area: 799 380km2

Population: 24,692,144 million

Capital: Maputo

Currency: Meticais

GDP: $37.321 billion (2017)

Trade Marks

Mozambique is a member of the Paris Convention, the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol, the Nice Agreement on Classification of Marks and the WTO/TRIPS.

Provision is made for the registration of product and service marks, as well as for collective and certification marks. Trade mark applications may be filed as national applications, claiming convention priority in terms of the Paris Convention when appropriate; or Mozambique may be designated in international applications filed in terms of the Madrid Agreement.

Patents

Mozambique is a member of the Paris Convention, ARIPO (Harare Protocol), the PCT and the WTO/TRIPS.

Patent protection is available via a national filing or an ARIPO or a PCT application designating Mozambique. Mozambique has implemented both the PCT and the Harare Protocol (which regulates patent and design filings in ARIPO) in its national laws, thereby giving enforceable rights to patents obtained via ARIPO and the PCT.

Foreign applicants must be represented by an accredited local agent.

Designs

Mozambique is a member of the Paris Convention, ARIPO (Harare Protocol) and the WTO/TRIPS.

Design protection is available by a national filing or via an ARIPO application designating Mozambique. Mozambique has implemented the Harare Protocol (which regulates patent and design filings in ARIPO) in its national laws, thereby giving effective protection to ARIPO designs in Mozambique.

Copyright

Mozambique is a member of the Berne Convention, as well as WTO/TRIPS.

The law provides for copyright in respect of literary, artistic and scientific works, that are original intellectual creations in the literary, artistic and scientific fields, including:

  • written works, including computer programs
  • lectures, addresses, sermons and other works consisting of words expressed orally
  • musical works
  • dramatic and dramatico-musical works
  • choreographic works, mimed works
  • audiovisual works
  • works of fine art, including painting, drawing, sculpture, engravings, lithographs
  • works of architecture
  • photographic works
  • works of applied art or craft
  • illustrations, maps, plans, sketches, three-dimensional works relating to geography, topography, architecture
  • expressions of folklore.

The Decree also applies to derived works which constitute intellectual creations, namely

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

Excluded from protection are:

  • daily news and accounts of events purely for information
  • official texts of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature
  • simple facts and data

ideas, processes, operational methods, mathematical concepts.

Plant Breeders' Rights

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

Company Law

Business vehicles

There are two main types of companies commonly used by foreign investors:

  • Sociedade por Quotas (equity is referred to as quota).
  • Sociedade Anónima de Responsabilidade Limitada which is loosely equivalent to a joint stock company.

Competition Law

Law No 10/2013.

The Act will be enforced by the Competition Regulatory Authority (a body which is yet to be formed) and sector regulatory bodies.

Consumer Protection

Consumer protection is regulated by the Consumer Rights Law No. 22/2009 (CRL). The primary purpose of the CRL is to set out the rights of consumers as well as the reciprocal obligations of suppliers.

Data Protection

Currently Mozambique does not have any specific data protection laws. However, there are various constitutional privacy protection provisions which are interpreted in conjunction with the Mozambique Civil Code’s provisions so as to provide an effective personal data protection framework.

Dispute Resolution

The Mozambican legal system is made up of the Administrative Court, Constitutional Council and the Judicial Courts. The Administrative Court is tasked with holding public power accountable and reviews the legality of administrative acts and public spending.

The Constitutional Council reviews the constitutionality of Mozambican legislation and the will consider the constitutionality and legality of the Mozambican Executive. The Judicial Courts include the Supreme Court and the Appeal Regional Court which are known as the Superior Courts, and District Court and Courts of the Province which are known as Lower Courts.

Employment Law

Governing legislation

Labour Law No 23/2007.

Particulars of employment

Certain contracts of employment must be in writing.

Exchange Control

The Mozambican Central Bank controls all foreign direct investment and inward and outward payments. In addition, remittance of profits and repatriation of proceeds from the sale of and liquidation of an investment in Mozambique is permitted for duly approved foreign investment projects.

Foreign investors with approved investments are entitled to transfer abroad up to the whole amount of the profits accruing in each financial year, provided that their tax obligations have been satisfied. Remittances may only be affected through the local banking system upon presentation of tax clearance from the Ministry of Finance.

Tax Law

A company is deemed to be a resident if its head office or place of effective management is in Mozambique, or if the business is registered in Mozambique.

A resident company is taxed on its worldwide income and a non-resident company is taxed only on its Mozambique-source income.

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