Monday, 30 January 2012

A to Z of African official IP websites no.33: Mauritius

In this, his thirty-third visit to an African state in his trek around official IP websites, Afro-IP's Kingsley Egbuonu reaches the only country in the whole of Africa that has a name which rhymes with "nutritious", "suspicious", "malicious" and "seditious"-- and also "delicous", which is how it looks in comparison with many of its predecessors in this series. This is what Kingsley says:
"Overview

Mauritius is a Contracting Party to a number of treaties on intellectual property (IP) including the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Copyright Office

• The Ministry of Arts and Culture is the competent office responsible for copyright and related rights in Mauritius. 
• The website for this office is http://www.gov.mu/portal/site/mac

Industrial Property Office

• The Industrial Property Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, is the competent office responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights in Mauritius. 
• The website for this office is here.

Social Media Presence

None found

Intellectual Property update in Mauritius

• The United States agreed to provide Mauritius with technical support on intellectual property rights under a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) package concluded this month: see here, here and here.

• The Ministry of Arts and Culture has published the Copyright Bill (2011) on its website.

Conclusion

Apart from social media, the IP offices in Mauritius currently have commendable presence online. Their websites are up to date and helpful for visitors looking to use their services. This can demonstrate that Mauritius values IP as a tool for its social and economic development.

Giventhe inherent challenges, it is widely recognised that an effective knowledge transfer and/or technology licensing policy can leverage developing countries economically (see WIPO references here). In 2007, the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) collaborated with WIPO to explore the benefits and value of IP to its economy especially in the area of technology transfer (here). Again, this shows that it understands the need for a domestic IP strategy based on international best practices but relevant to its peculiar strengths and development needs.

Afro-IP hopes that Mauritius can maintain and improve on this remarkable effort and real commitment to IP".
Kingsley tweets as @IPinAfrica

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