INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY ACT, 2014

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Treatment of foreigners.

4. Transfer of right and application.

PART II

PATENTS

Chapter 1 - General provisions

5. Patentable inventions.

6. Matters excluded from patent protection.

Chapter 2 - Right to a patent and naming of inventor

7. Right to a patent.

8. The first to file rule.

9. Naming of inventor.

Chapter 3 - Application, examination and granting of patents

10. Application.

11. Unity of invention and division of application.

12. Amendment of application.

13. Right of priority.

14. Information concerning corresponding foreign application for patents.

15. Filing date.

16. Examination of application.

Chapter 4 - Grant of a patent, duration of a patent and annual fees

17. Grant of a patent and changes in a patent.

18. Rights conferred by patent.

19. Limitations of right.

20. Right of a prior user.

21. Duration of patent.

22. Annual fees.

Chapter 5 - Non-voluntary licences

23. Grounds for issuance of a non-voluntary licence.

24. Application for non-voluntary licence.

25. Grant of non-voluntary licence.

26. Rights and obligations of beneficiary of non-voluntary licence.

27. Termination of non-voluntary licence.

Chapter 6 - Termination, surrender and invalidation of a patent

28. Termination of a patent.

29. Surrender of a patent.

30. Invalidation of a patent.

31. Transfer of patent.

PART III

UTILITY MODELS CERTIFICATES

32. Protection of minor inventions.

33. Non-existence of novelty licence.

34. Non-protectable subject matters.

35. Examination.

36. Issuance of utility model certificate.

37. Conversion of patent applications to applications for utility model certificates and vice-versa.

38. Duration of utility model certificate.

39. Application of rules on patents.

PART IV

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS

40. Protection of industrial designs.

41. Unprotectable industrial design.

42. Right to industrial design.

43. Naming of creator.

44. Application.

45. Examination, registration and publication of industrial designs.

46. Rights conferred by registration.

47. Limitation of rights.

48. Duration of industrial design protection.

49. Surrender of industrial design registration certificate.

50. Invalidation.

51. Non-voluntary licences.

52. Licences.

53. Change of ownership.

PART V

LAYOUT-DESIGNS OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS

Chapter 1 - Requirements for protection

54. Subject matter of protection.

55. Originality.

56. Right to protection.

Chapter 2 - Application, examination, registration and scope of protection

57. Application requirements.

58. Registration and publication.

59. Scope of protection and rights granted.

60. Limitation of rights.

61. Commencement and duration of protection.

62. Non-voluntary licences.

63. Invalidation.

PART VI

MARK, CERTIFICATION MARK, COLLECTIVE MARK, TRADE NAME AND
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

Chapter 1 - Acquisition of exclusive rights in a trade mark and its registration

64. Acquisition of rights.

65. Mark inadmissible for registration.

66. Right of prior user.

Chapter 2 - Procedures for registration of mark

67. Application for registration.

68. Right of priority.

69. Exhibition priority.

70. Filing date.

71. Examination.

72. Opposition.

73. Pending cases.

74. Registration of the marks and issuance of certificate.

Chapter 3 - Rights conferred by registration, duration and renewal of registration

75. Rights conferred by registration.

76. Limitation of rights.

77. Duration of registration.

78. Renewal of registration.

Chapter 4 - Renunciation, removal and invalidation of a registered mark

79. Renunciation of right.

80. Removal on grounds of non use.

81. Invalidation of registration.

Chapter 5 - Collective marks, certification marks and trade names

82. Collective marks.

83. Certification mark.

84. Trade name.

Chapter 6 - Special provisions relating to licences and assignments of marks

85. Assignment of a mark.

86. Licensing of marks and collective marks.

Chapter 7 - Geographical indications

87. Homonyms of geographical indications for wines.

88. Geographical indications excluded from protection.

89. Right to file application.

90. Application for registration of geographical indication.

91. Examination of application.

92. Objection.

93. Registration.

94. Right to use a geographical indication.

95. Rights conferred.

96. Duration of protection.

97. Misleading marks.

98. Marks conflicting with a geographical indication for wines and spirits.

99. Relationship between geographical indications and pre-existing trademark rights.

100. Invalidation or amendment of registration.

101. General principles.

102. Confusion with another's enterprise or its activities.

103. Damaging another's goodwill or reputation.

104. Misleading the public.

105. Discrediting another's enterprise or its activities.

106. Unfair competition concerning undisclosed information.

PART VIII

ENFORCEMENT OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Chapter 1 - General provisions

107. General principles.

108. Remedies against infringements of rights.

109. Burden of proof.

110. Evidence.

Chapter 2 - Provisional measures and civil remedies

111. Provisional measures.

112. Damages.

113. Other remedies.

114. Information to rightsholder.

115. Indemnification of defendant.

116. Appeals.

117. Limitation for civil proceedings.

Chapter 3 - Criminal remedies

118. Offence.

119. Penalties.

120. Power to enter, search and seize.

PART IX

MISCELLANEOUS

121. Registers.

122. Correction of errors.

123. Extension of time.

124. Competence of Court and appeals.

125. Regulations.

126. Repeal and savings.

127. Transitional provisions.

7 of 2014.

SI 109 of 2014.

AN ACT to provide for the adequate protection and enforcement of industrial property rights in order to encourage local inventive and innovative activities, stimulate transfer of foreign technology, promote foreign direct investment, create competitive business environment, discourage unfair practices, enhance free and fair practice and thereby foster socio-economic development and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of commencement: 1st March 2015]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Industrial Property Act, 2014.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“authorised officer” means a police officer or any officer or class or description of officers appointed by the Minister to exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred and imposed on an authorised officer by this Act.

“certification mark” means any mark that distinguishes goods or services that are certified by the owner of the certification mark in relation to origin, material, mode of manufacture of goods on performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics from other goods or services not so certified.

“collective mark” means any mark that belongs to a collective entity such as a cooperative, an association or a federation of industries, producers or traders and that distinguishes the goods or services of the members of the collective entity from the goods or services of other enterprises;

“counterfeit goods” means any goods, including packaging, bearing without authorisation a mark which is identical to the mark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a mark, and which thereby infringes the right protected under this Act;

“Court” means the Supreme Court of Seychelles;

“export” means the act of taking any goods out of Seychelles;

“foreigner” means a person who is not domiciled or has no registered business in Seychelles;

“geographical indication” means an indication that identifies goods as originating in the territory of a country; or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of the goods is essentially attributable to its place of origin;

“goods” means any natural or agricultural product or any product of handicraft or industry;

“goods infringing industrial property rights” means any goods which are made, reproduced, put into circulation or otherwise used in breach of the industrial property Act and without the consent of the rightsholder or a person duly authorised to do so by the rightsholder;

“import” means the act of bringing or causing any goods to be brought into Seychelles;

“industrial design” means any composition of lines or colours or any three dimensional form whether or not associated with lines or colours, provided that such composition or form gives a special appearance to a product of industry or handicraft and can serve as a pattern for a product of industry or handicraft;

“industrial property rights” means rights related to patents, utility models, industrial designs, certification mark, collective mark, mark, lay out designs, and geographical indications protected under this Act;

“infringement of industrial property rights” means performance of any of the acts, which is exclusively reserved for the rightsholder under the provisions of this Act, without the authorisation of the rightsholder;

“integrated circuit” means a product in its final form or intermediate form, in which the elements, at least one of which is an active element, and some or all of the inter-connections are integrally formed in or on a piece of material and which is intended to perform an electronic function;

“international classification” means the classification according to the Locarno Agreement establishing an international Classification for Industrial Designs, of October, 1968;

“interested person” means a person engaged in, or in promoting, research in a field to which the invention relates, or with a commercial or other interest in a mark, trade name or geographical indication;

“invention” means an idea of an inventor, which permits in practice the solution to a specific problem in the field of technology which may relate to a product or a process;

“layout-design” means the three dimensional disposition, however expressed, of the elements of an integrated circuit, at least one of which element is active, and some or all the interconnections of an integrated circuit, or such a three dimensional disposition prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacture;

“mark” means any sign capable of distinguishing goods (“trademark”) or services (“service mark”) of one enterprise from those of other enterprises;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Legal Affairs;

“non-voluntary licence” means an authorisation given by the Registrar to a person to exploit a technology that is protected by a patent or a utility model, a registered industrial design or layout-design of an integrated circuit in Seychelles without the approval of the rightsholder;

“Paris Convention” means the Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property signed at Paris on 20th March 1883 as revised at Brussels on December 14, 1900, at Washington on June 2, 1911, at The Hague on November 6, 1925, at London on June 2, 1934, at Lisbon on October 31, 1958, and at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, and as amended on September 28, 1979;

“patent” means a patent of any invention granted under this Act;

“Patent Cooperation Treaty” means the Patent Cooperation Treaty, done at Washington on June 19, 1970, amended on September 28, 1979, modified on February 3, 1984, and October 3, 2001;

“patentee” means the owner of a patent;

“person” includes any public body, company or association or any body of persons, corporate or unincorporated;

“prescribed” means prescribed by Regulations;

“priority date” means the date of filing of an earlier foreign application that serves as the basis for claiming right of priority;

“Registrar” means the person appointed by the President to be the Registrar-General of Patents and Trademarks for the purposes of this Act;

“Regulations” means the regulations made under this Act;

“rightsholder” means the owner of a protected industrial property right or his or her successors in title;

“trade name” means the name or designation identifying and distinguishing an enterprise;

“utility model certificate” means a title granted to protect a minor invention, which may not meet the stringent requirements of patentability of inventions;

“well-known mark” means a mark considered by the competent authority in the country of registration or use to be well-known in that country;

“World Trade Organisation” means the World Trade Organisation established on 1st January, 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement.

3. Treatment of foreigners.

(1) Any person who is a national or is domiciled or has real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a country which is a party to the Paris Convention or any other treaty that embodies the principle of national treatment to which Seychelles may be a party shall be treated in the same way as Seychellois except requirements that may be explicitly provided for purposes of administrative and judicial procedures.

(2) Any other foreign person that may not be covered under subsection (1) shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of a treaty between Seychelles and the country of the foreign person and in the absence of such a treaty or agreement based on the principle of reciprocity.

4. Transfer of right and application.

(1) Any patent, utility model certificate, industrial design registration certificate, registered mark, certification mark, collective mark, trade name and layout-design or application which may be transferred by sale or inheritance or any other means in accordance with this Act or any other written law.

(2) Any transfer referred to in subsection (1) shall be recorded with the Registrar, upon payment of fees prescribed in the Regulations.

PART II

PATENTS

Chapter 1

General Provisions

5. Patentable inventions.

(1) An invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

(2) An invention, shall be considered new if it is not anticipated by prior art. Prior art shall consist of everything disclosed to the public, anywhere in the world, by publication in tangible form or by oral disclosure, by use or in any other way, prior to the filing or, where appropriate, the priority date of the application claiming the invention.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) the disclosure to the public of the invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred within 12 months preceding the filing date or, where applicable, the priority date, of the application, and if it was by reason or in consequence of acts committed by the applicant or his or her predecessor in title or an abuse committed by a third party in relation to the applicant or his or her predecessor in title.

(4) An invention shall be deemed as involving an inventive step if having regard to the prior art relevant to the application and as defined in subsection (2), it would not have been obvious to an ordinary person having skill in the art at the filing date or, as the case may be, at the priority date of the claimed invention.

(5) An invention shall be considered industrially applicable if—

(a) it can be made or used in any kind of industry; or

(b) it has specific, substantial and credible utility.

(6) For the purposes of this section, the “industry” shall be construed to any human economic activity leading to the production of goods and services, in particular, handicraft, agriculture, fishery, or services.

6. Matters excluded from patent protection.

(1) The following shall not be patentable—

(a) inventions contrary to public order or morality;

(b) plants or animals, including parts thereof, other micro-organism, or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals or parts thereof, other than non-microbiological processes;

(c) schemes, rules or methods for doing business, for performing purely mental acts or for playing games;

(d) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

(e) methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, including diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body; or

(f) natural substances, whether or not purified, synthesised or otherwise isolated from nature, excluding the processes of isolating natural substances from their original environment.

(2) The provision of subsection (1)(e) shall not apply to products for use in any of the methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body.

Chapter 2

Right to a Patent and Naming of Inventor

7. Right to a patent.

(1) The right to a patent shall belong to the inventor.

(2) If two or more persons have jointly made an invention the right to the patent shall belong to them jointly.

(3) Where an invention is made in the execution of a contract of employment, the right to the patent shall belong, in the absence of contractual provisions to the contrary, to the employer.

(4) Where an employment contract does not require an employee to exercise any inventive activity but an invention resulted from both the personal contribution of the employee and using the resources, data, means, materials or equipment of the employer the right to the patent, in the absence of an express term to the contrary, shall belong to both the employer and the employee and the patent shall be owned jointly in equal shares.

8. The first to file rule.

When two or more persons have made the invention separately and independently of each other, the right to the patent shall belong to the person who filed an application for such invention, or where two or more applications are filed for the same invention, to the applicant who has the earliest filing date or, the earliest priority date.

9. Naming of inventor.

(1) The inventor shall be named as such in the application and the patent, unless in a special written declaration addressed to the Registrar, indicates that he or she wishes not to be named.

(2) Any promise or undertaking by the inventor made to any person to the effect that he or she will make such declaration shall be without legal effect.

Chapter 3

Application, Examination and Granting of Patents

10. Application.

(1) The person having the right to a patent for an invention in accordance with section 9 may, upon payment of the prescribed fees, apply to the Registrar for the grant of a patent for that invention.

(2) The application for a patent shall be made in writing in prescribed form and shall contain a request, a description, one or more claims, an abstract, and where required, one or more drawings.

(3) In accordance with subsection (2)—

(a) the request shall contain a petition to the effect that a patent be granted, the name of and other prescribed data concerning the applicant, the inventor and the agent, if any, and the title of the invention and in a case where the applicant is not the inventor, the request shall be accompanied by a statement justifying the applicant's right to the patent;

(b) the description shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for the invention to be carried out by an ordinary person having skill in the art, at the filing date or, as the case may be, at the priority date and shall, in particular, indicate at least one mode known to the applicant for carrying out the invention—

(i) where an invention involves use of genetic or biological resources and associated traditional knowledge, the description shall clearly identify the origin of the resource; and

(ii) the description of an invention may be used to interpret the claims;

(c) the claim or claims shall define clearly and concisely the matter for which protection is sought and shall be fully supported by the description; and

(d) the abstract, which must be concise and precise, shall merely serve the purpose of technical information and shall not be taken into account for the purpose of interpreting the scope of protection.

(4) Drawings shall be required when they are deemed necessary for the understanding of the invention.

(5) An applicant may withdraw the patent application at any time before a patent is granted.

(6) An applicant who is not domiciled or who has no established business in Seychelles shall appoint an agent who is domiciled in Seychelles.

(7) An application may be made by an agent and the power of attorney from the applicant shall be submitted prior to granting of the patent.

11. Unity of invention and division of application.

(1) The application shall relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept.

(2) The applicant may, at any time prior to the grant of patent, divide the application into two or more applications (“divisional applications”), provided that each divisional application shall not go beyond the disclosure in the initial application.

(3) Where an application is divided, each divisional application shall be entitled to the filing date or, where applicable, the priority date of the initial application.

(4) The fact that a patent has been granted on an application that did not comply with the requirement of unity of invention under subsection (1) shall not be a ground for the invalidation of the patent.

12. Amendment of application.

The applicant may, at any time prior to the grant of patent, amend the application, provided that the amendment shall not go beyond the original claims in the initial application.

13. Right of priority.

(1) The application may contain a declaration claiming a right of priority as provided for in the Paris Convention, of one or more earlier national or regional applications filed by the applicant or his predecessor in title in or of any state party to the Convention or any member state of the World Trade Organisation.

(2) Where the application contains a declaration under subsection (1), the Registrar may request the applicant to furnish, within the prescribed period, a copy of the earlier application certified as correct by the office with which it was filed.

(3) The period of claiming right of priority, under subsection (1) is 12 months beginning from the first filing date, excluding the date of filing, of the invention in a foreign country.

(4) When the application is made within the period of priority, the filing in Seychelles of that application before the expiration of the period of priority shall not be invalidated by reason of any acts accomplished in the interval, in particular, another filing, the publication or exploitation of the invention, and such acts cannot give rise to any third-party right or any right of personal possession.

(5) Where the Registrar finds that the requirements under this section and the regulations pertaining thereto have not been fulfilled, the said declaration shall be considered not to have been made.

14. Information concerning corresponding foreign application for patents.

(1) The applicant shall, at the request of the Registrar, furnish the date and number of any application for a patent filed by him or her abroad relating to the same or essentially the same inventions as that claimed with the Registrar.

(2) The applicant shall, at the request of the Registrar, furnish the following documents relating to the foreign applications referred to in subsection (1)—

(a) a copy of any communication received by the applicant concerning the results of any search or examination carried out in respect of the foreign application;

(b) a copy of the patent granted on the basis of foreign patent application; and

(c) a copy of any final decision rejecting the foreign application or refusing the grant of the patent requested in the foreign application.

(3) The applicant shall, at the request of the Registrar, furnish a copy of any final decision invalidating the patent granted on the basis of the foreign application referred to in subsection (2).

15. Filing date.

(1) The Registrar shall approve the date of receipt of the application as the filing date, provided that, at the time of receipt, the application contains—

(a) an express or implicit indication that the granting of a patent is sought;

(b) indications allowing the identity of the applicant to be established; and

(c) a part which, on the face of it, appears to be a description of an invention.

(2) If the Registrar determines that the application did not, at the time of receipt, fulfil the requirements referred to in subsection (1), he or she shall invite the applicant to file the required correction and shall accord as the filling date the date of receipt of the required correction, but if no correction is made, the application shall be treated as if it had not been filed.

(3) Where the application refers to drawings, which in fact are not included in the application, the Registrar shall invite the applicant to furnish the missing drawings—

(a) if the applicant complies with the said invitation, the Registrar shall accord as the filing date the date of receipt of the missing drawings; or

(b) if the applicant does not comply with the said invitation, the Registrar shall accord as the filing date the date of receipt of the application and shall treat any reference to the said drawings as non-existent.

16. Examination of application.

(1) The Registrar, after approving a filing date, shall examine whether the application complies with the requirements of section 10(2) and (3) and the Regulations pertaining thereto.

(2) When, upon formal examination, the application is not in conformity with the requirements laid down in this Act and in the Regulation, the Registrar shall invite the applicant to amend the application. If the applicant fails to amend as required within a period of 60 days, the application shall be considered withdrawn.

Chapter 4

Grant of a Patent, Duration of a Patent
and Annual Fees

17. Grant of a patent and changes in a patent.

(1) A patent shall be granted, where the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in section 16(1) are fulfilled or otherwise he or she shall refuse the application and notify the applicant of that decision.

(2) When a patent is granted the Registrar shall—

(a) publish a reference to the grant of the patent in the Gazette;

(b) issue the applicant a certificate of the grant of the patent and a copy of the patent;

(c) record the patent; and

(d) make available copies of the patent to any person on payment of the prescribed fee.

(3) The Registrar shall upon request of the patentee, make changes in the text or drawings of the patent in order to limit the extent of the protection conferred thereby, provided that the change may not result in the disclosure contained in the patent going beyond the disclosure contained in the initial application on the basis of which the patent was granted.

18. Rights conferred by patent.

(1) A patent shall confer on its owner the right to prevent third parties from exploiting the patented invention in Seychelles.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, “exploitation of a patented invention” means any of the following acts—

(a) when the patent has been granted in respect of a product—

(i) making, importing, offering for sale, selling and using the product;

(ii) stocking such product for the purposes of offering for sale, selling or using;

(b) when the patent has been granted in respect of a process—

(i) using the process;

(ii) doing any of the acts referred to in paragraph (a) in respect of a product obtained directly by means of the process.

(3) The patentee shall, in addition to any other rights, remedies or actions available to him or her, have the right, except under circumstances provided under sections 19, 20 and 26, to institute proceedings in the Court against any person who infringes the patent by performing, without his or her agreement, any of the acts referred to in subsection (2) or who performs acts which make it likely that infringement will occur.

19. Limitations of right.

The rights of the patentee shall not extend to—

(a) acts done only for experimental purposes relating to a patented invention;

(b) acts in respect of articles which have been put on the market in and outside of Seychelles, by the patentee or with his or her consent;

(c) the use of articles on aircraft, land vehicles or vessels of other countries which temporarily or accidentally enter the air space, territory or waters of Seychelles;

(d) acts done privately and on a non-commercial scale or for non-commercial purpose, provided that it does not significantly prejudice the economic interests of the patent owner;

(e) acts of extemporaneous preparation in a pharmacy of a medicine for an individual in accordance with prescription given by a registered medical or dental practitioner; or

(f) acts of making, constructing, using, or selling the patented invention solely for uses reasonably related to the development and submission of information required under any law of Seychelles or another country that regulates the manufacture, construction, use or sale of any product, provided that any product produced under such authority shall not be made, used, or sold in the country other than for purposes related to generating such information, and that the product shall only be exported for the purposes of meeting marketing approval requirements.

20. Right of a prior user.

(1) Any person who in good faith, before the filing or, where priority is claimed, the priority date of the application on which the patent is granted, was using the invention or was making effective and serious preparations for such use in Seychelles, has a personal right to continue such use or to use the invention as envisaged in such preparations.

(2) The right of prior users referred to in subsection (1) may be transferred only together with the enterprise or business, or with that part of the enterprise or business, in which the use or preparations for use have been made.

21. Duration of patent.

A patent shall be granted for a period of 20 years commencing from the filing date of the application for protection.

22. Annual fees.

(1) In order to maintain the patent or patent application, an annual fee shall be paid in advance to the Registrar for each year, starting one year after the filing date of the application for grant of the patent.

(2) If the annual fee is not paid within the period specified in subsection (1), the annual fee may be paid within six months along with the prescribed surcharge.

(3) If an annual fee is not paid in accordance with the provision of subsection (1) or (2), the patent application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn and the patent shall lapse.

Chapter 5

Non-Voluntary Licences

23. Grounds for issuance of a non-voluntary licence.

A non-voluntary licence for the exploitation of a patented invention may be issued where—

(a) the public interest, in particular, national security, nutrition, health or the development of other vital sectors of the national economy so requires;

(b) the patented invention is not or insufficiently exploited in Seychelles by the patentee or a person authorised by him or her without legitimate reason, after a period of four years from the date of filing of the patent application or three years from the date of the grant of the patent, whichever period expires last; or

(c) the Court has determined that the manner of exploitation by the patentee or his or her licensee is anti-competitive;

(d) there are reasonable grounds that the way in which the patentee or his or her licensee are exploiting the invention is abusive, anti-competitive or fails to meet reasonable conditions of demand for the protected product in sufficient quality and quantity; or

(e) an invention protected in a subsequent patent cannot be effectively exploited in Seychelles without infringing an earlier patent provided that the invention claimed in the second patent involves an important technical advancement of considerable economic significance in relation to the invention claimed in the first patent.

24. Application for non-voluntary licence.

(1) An application for grant of non-voluntary licence should be made to the Registrar upon payment of the prescribed fee.

(2) The application shall be accompanied with the evidence that the applicant was unable to obtain a licence on reasonable terms and conditions within a reasonable period and that he or she is capable of working the patented invention in Seychelles.

(3) The requirement for evidence of a prior attempt to obtain a voluntary licence under Subsection (1) shall not apply, where the request for non-voluntary licence is based on the grounds of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency or in cases of public non-commercial use.

(4) Each application for a non-voluntary licence shall be considered by the Registrar on its individual merits.

25. Grant of non-voluntary licence.

(1) Where the Registrar finds the application to be satisfactory, it shall grant a non-voluntary licence.

(2) The non-voluntary licence shall be registered and published in the Gazette.

(3) The grant of the non-voluntary licence shall not exclude—

(a) the exploitation of the patented invention or conclusion of licence contracts by the patentee; or

(b) the grant of other non-voluntary licences.

(4) Where a non-voluntary licence is granted based on an application under section 23(e), the owner of the earlier patent or his licensee shall be entitled to a cross-licence on reasonable terms to use the invention claimed in the subsequent patent.

(5) The use authorised in respect of the earlier patent shall be non-assignable, except with the assignment of the later patent.

(6) The scope and duration of the non-voluntary licence shall be limited to the purpose for which it was authorised.

26. Rights and obligations of beneficiary of non-voluntary licence.

(1) Any person who is granted a non-voluntary licence shall have the right to exploit the patented invention in Seychelles predominantly to meet the needs of the domestic market according to the terms set down in the decision granting the licence.

(2) The person who is granted a non-voluntary licence may only transfer the right under subsection (1) together with the enterprise or part of the enterprise within which the patented invention is exploited.

(3) A person who is granted a non-voluntary licence for the exploitation of a patented invention shall have the duty to—

(a) commence exploitation of the patented invention in Seychelles within the period fixed in the decision granting the non-voluntary licence and, thereafter, shall exploit the patented invention sufficiently in Seychelles in accordance with the terms and conditions set by the Registrar; and

(b) pay the patentee a reasonable exploitation fee, the amount of which shall be fixed by agreement of all parties, unless otherwise provided for under this Act or an international agreement.

(4) Where the parties cannot agree on the amount of the fee under subsection (3)(b), the amount shall be fixed by the Registrar. The decision of the Registrar with regard to the remuneration may be subject to appeal before the Court.

27. Termination of non-voluntary licence.

The Registrar shall terminate the non-voluntary licence, at the patentee's request, where—

(a) the circumstances for granting the non-voluntary licence have changed; or

(b) the beneficiary of the non-voluntary licence has failed to respect the terms and conditions set by the Registrar when granting the non-voluntary licence.

Chapter 6

Termination, Surrender and Invalidation of a Patent

28. Termination of a patent.

A patent shall terminate, if—

(a) the patentee surrenders it by a written declaration to the Registrar; or

(b) the annual fee is not paid when due.

29. Surrender of a patent.

Surrender of a patent—

(a) may be limited to one or more claims of the patent;

(b) shall be immediately registered and published by the Registrar; and

(c) which has been subjected to a licence shall only take effect upon submission of a declaration by which the registered licensee consents to the surrender.

30. Invalidation of a patent.

(1) Any interested person may request the Court to invalidate a patent.

(2) The Court shall invalidate the patent in whole or in part if the person requesting the invalidation proves that the—

(a) subject matter of the patent is—

(i) not an invention within the meaning of section 2; or

(ii) does not meet the requirements of patentability; or

(iii) is excluded from patent protection according to sections 6 and 7;

(b) description does not disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art; or

(c) owner of the patent is not the inventor or the employer of the inventor or his or her successor in title.

(3) Any invalidated patent, claim or part of a claim, shall be regarded as null and void from the date of grant of the patent.

(4) The final decision of the Court shall be notified to the Registrar, who shall record it and publish a reference thereto in the Gazette.

31. Transfer of patent.

In the event a dispute over the rights relating to the patent arises, the interested person who won the case may apply the Court to transfer the title to him or her instead of invalidating it under section 30.

PART III

UTILITY MODELS CERTIFICATES

32. Protection of minor inventions.

(1) A minor invention that possesses novelty and industrial applicability shall give rise to a right to protection.

(2) The right shall be evidenced by a utility model certificate issued by the Registrar.

33. Non-existence of novelty licence.

(1) A minor invention shall not be considered new if, at the time of filing of the application, it has already been described in printed publications, made available to the public or has already been publicly used in Seychelles.

(2) Any description or use, within six months prior to the filing of the application, shall not destroy novelty if it is based on the work of the applicant.

34. Non-protectable subject matters.

The following shall not be protected by a utility model certificate—

(a) changes in the shape, proportions or material of a patented object or of one that forms part of the public domain, except where such a change alters the qualities or functions or the object thereby producing an improvement in its use or the effects of its intended functions;

(b) the mere replacement of elements in a known combination by other known elements having an equivalent function, which does not thereby produce an improvement in its use or the effect of its intended functions; or

(c) a minor invention that is contrary to public order or morality.

35. Examination.

The Registrar shall, after approving a filing date, undertake a formal examination of the application and take a decision to grant or refuse a utility model certificate thereon.

36. Issuance of utility model certificate.

(1) Where the Registrar decides to grant a utility model certificate he or she shall issue a utility model certificate to the successful applicant.

(2) The grant of the certificate shall confer the exclusive right to exploit the minor invention and prevent third parties from exploiting the minor invention without the authorisation of the rightsholder.

37. Conversion of patent applications to applications for utility model certificates and vice-versa.

(1) At any time prior to the grant or refusal of a patent an applicant for a patent may, upon payment of the prescribed fee, convert his or her application into an application for a utility model certificate, which shall be accorded the filing date of the initial application.

(2) At any time prior to the grant or refusal of a utility model certificate, an applicant for a utility model certificate may, upon payment of the prescribed fee convert his or her application into a patent application, which shall be approved as the filing date of the initial application.

(3) An application may not be converted more than once under subsections (1) and (2).

38. Duration of utility model certificate.

(1) A utility model certificate is granted for a period of 10 years from the filing date of the corresponding application.

(2) Application for renewal of the certificate shall be filed, with the Registrar within 90 days prior to the expiration of the period of protection upon payment of the prescribed fees.

39. Application of rules on patents.

The relevant provisions of Part II of this Act shall apply mutatis mutandis to utility model certificates.

PART IV

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS

40. Protection of industrial designs.

(1) An industrial design shall be protected under this Act if it is independently created and new.

(2) An industrial design shall be considered new if it has not been disclosed to the public, anywhere in the world, by publication in tangible form or by use or in any other way, prior to the filing date or, where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), the disclosure to the public of the industrial design shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred within six months preceding the filling date or, where applicable, the priority date, of the application, and if it was by reason or in consequence of acts committed by the applicant or his or her predecessor in title or an abuse committed by a third party in relation to the applicant or his or her predecessor in title.

(4) An industrial design shall not be considered new solely by reason of the fact that it differs from an earlier industrial design in minor respects or that it concerns a type of product different from a product embodying an earlier industrial design known in and outside of Seychelles.

41. Unprotectable industrial design.

An industrial design shall not be protected under this Act, where—

(a) it is contrary to public order or morality; or

(b) the design is functional and serves solely to obtain a technical result.

42. Right to industrial design.

(1) The right to the industrial design shall belong to the person who has created it or to his or her successor in title.

(2) Where two or more persons have jointly created an industrial design, the right to the design shall belong to them jointly.

(3) Where the industrial design has been created by an employee in the execution of a contract of employment, the right to the industrial design shall belong to the employer, unless the contract stipulates otherwise.

(4) Where an employment contract does not require an employee to exercise any creative activity but an industrial design resulted from both the personal contribution of the employee and using the resources, data, means, materials or equipment of the employer the right to the industrial design, in the absence of an express term to the contrary, shall belong to both the employer and the employee and the industrial design shall be owned jointly in equal shares.

(5) When two or more persons have created the same industrial design independently, the right to the industrial design shall belong to the person who first filed an application for registration or who has the earliest priority date.

43. Naming of creator.

(1) The creator shall be named as such in the application and the industrial design registration certificate, unless in a special written declaration addressed to the Registrar, the creator indicates that he or she wishes not to be named.

(2) Any promise or undertaking by the creator made to any person to the effect that he or she will make such declaration shall have no legal effect.

44. Application.

(1) An application for registration of an industrial design shall be made in the prescribed form and filed with the Registrar upon payment of the prescribed application fee.

(2) The application for the registration of an industrial design shall contain a request to register, information identifying the applicant, drawings, photographs or other adequate graphic representation of the product embodying the industrial design and an indication of the kind of products for which the industrial design is to be used.

(3) The application—

(a) may be accompanied by a specimen of the article embodying the industrial design;

(b) shall contain any other element or indication prescribed in the Regulations; and

(c) shall be accompanied by a statement justifying the applicant's right to the registration of the industrial design, where the applicant is not the creator.

(4) The application may relate to two or more designs incorporated in products belonging to the same class in the international classification.

(5) —

(a) The applicant may divide the application (hereinafter, “the initial application”) at any time during pendency in order to separate into two or more applications (hereinafter, “divisional applications”) the designs contained in the initial application.

(b) A division shall not be accepted if it involves a change in or addition to any of the designs contained in the initial application.

(c) Each divisional application shall retain the filing date and the right of priority of the initial application.

(d) After the division, each divisional application shall be independent.

(e) If publication of the application occurred before the division, the publication shall have effect for each divisional application.

(6) The applicant may withdraw the industrial design registration application at any time prior to the registration of the industrial design.

(7) An applicant may claim a right of priority in his application, in which case section 13 shall apply mutatis mutandis, except that the period specified in section 13(3) shall be construed as six months.

(8) An applicant who is not domiciled or who has no established business in Seychelles shall appoint an agent who is domiciled in Seychelles.

(9) An application may be made by an agent and the power of attorney from the applicant shall be submitted prior to issuing the industrial design certificate.

45. Examination, registration and publication of industrial designs.

(1) The Registrar shall approve the date of receipt of the application as the filing date, provided that, at the time of receipt, the application fee is paid and the application contains the name of the applicant and a graphic representation of the article embodying the industrial design.

(2) Where the application does not meet the requirements of subsection (1), the Registrar shall invite the applicant to remedy the irregularity. In such a case the provision of section 15(2) shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(3) The Registrar shall, after according a filing date, examine whether the application complies with the requirements of sections 2 and 44 of this Act and the regulations pertaining thereto.

(4) Where the Registrar finds that the requirements referred to in subsection (1) have not been satisfied, it shall invite the applicant to make the required corrections; if the applicant does not comply with the invitation, the application shall be considered withdrawn;

(5) When the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in subsection (3) are fulfilled, it shall register the industrial design, publish a reference to the registration in the Gazette and issue a certificate of registration of an industrial design upon payment of the prescribed fee, otherwise, he or she shall reject the application.

46. Rights conferred by registration.

(1) The registration of industrial design confers an exclusive right on the owner to prevent third parties not having the owner's consent from making, selling, stocking for sale or importing articles bearing or embodying a design which is a copy, or substantially a copy, of the protected design, when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes.

(2) The registered owner of an industrial design shall, in addition to any other rights, remedies or actions available to him or her, have the right to institute proceedings in the Court against any person who infringes his or her right by performing, without his or her agreement, any of the acts referred to in subsection (1) or who performs acts which make it likely that infringement will occur.

47. Limitation of rights.

The holder of an industrial design rights may not prohibit third parties from—

(a) acts performed for non-commercial and experimental purposes; or

(b) acts in respect of a product embodying the protected industrial design after the product has been put on the market by the owner of the industrial design or with his or her consent anywhere in the world.

48. Duration of industrial design protection.

(1) The registration and protection of an industrial design shall be valid for a period of five years from the filing date of the application for registration which may be extended for a further two consecutive periods of five years on payment of the prescribed fee.

(2) If the renewal fee is not paid within the period specified in subsection (1), such fees may be paid within a period of six months on payment of the prescribed surcharge.

(3) Application for renewal of protection of an industrial design shall be filed with the Registrar within 90 days prior to the expiration of the period of protection upon payment of the prescribed fees.

49. Surrender of industrial design registration certificate.

Section 29 shall apply mutatis mutandis to surrender of industrial design registration certificates.

50. Invalidation.

(1) Any interested person may request the Court to invalidate the registration of an industrial design.

(2) The Court shall invalidate the registration if the person requesting the invalidation proves that any of the requirements of sections 2, 40, 41 and 42 are not fulfilled or if the registered owner of the industrial design is not the creator or his or her successor in title.

(3) Where the registered owner is found not to be the creator or his or her successor in title, the creator or his or her successor in title may request the Court to order the transfer of the title to him or her instead of invalidating it.

(4) When the grounds for invalidation are established with respect to only one or some of the designs included in the registration, invalidation shall be decided accordingly.

(5) Any invalidated industrial design shall be regarded as null and void from the date of its registration.

(6) The final decision of the Court shall be notified to the Registrar who shall record it and publish a reference thereto as soon as possible.

51. Non-voluntary licences.

The provisions of sections 23 to 27 shall apply mutatis mutandis to industrial designs.

52. Licences.

(1) The Registrar shall record any licence concerning a registration of an industrial design or the application for the registration of an industrial design and publish in the Gazette a reference to the recording of the licence.

(2) The request to record a licence shall conform to the requirements prescribed in the Regulations.

(3) A licence concerning a registration or an application shall have no effect against third parties until it has been recorded.

53. Change of ownership.

(1) The Registrar shall record and publish in the Gazette any change in the ownership of the registration of an industrial design or the application for the registration of an industrial design at the request of either the holder or the new owner of the registration or application.

(2) The request to record a change in ownership shall conform to the requirements prescribed in the Regulations.

(3) A change in the ownership of a registration or an application shall have no effect against third parties until it has been recorded.

PART V

LAYOUT-DESIGNS OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS

Chapter 1

Requirements for Protection

54. Subject matter of protection.

(1) The lay out designs of integrated circuits may be protected under this Act only when it is original within the meaning of section 55.

(2) A registration of the layout-design may only be requested if it has not yet been commercially exploited, or has been commercially exploited for not more than two years, anywhere in the world.

55. Originality.

(1) A layout-design shall be considered original if it is the result of the intellectual effort of its creator and if, at the time of its creation, it is not known among the creators of layout-designs and manufacturers of integrated circuits.

(2) A layout-design, which consists of a combination of elements and interconnections that are common, shall be protected only if the combination, taken as a whole, is original within the meaning of subsection (1).

56. Right to protection.

(1) The right to layout-design protection shall belong to the creator of the layout-design.

(2) Where several persons have jointly created a layout-design, the right shall belong to them jointly.

(3) Where the layout-design has been made or created in the performance of a contract of employment or in the execution of a work, the right to protection shall belong, unless otherwise stated in the contract, to the employer or the person who commissioned the work.

Chapter 2

Application, Examination, Registration and Scope of Protection

57. Application requirements.

(1) Applications for the registration of layout-designs shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Registrar and separate applications shall be filed for each layout-design.

(2) The application under subsection (1) shall—

(a) contain a request for registration of the layout-design and a brief and accurate description of the layout-design;

(b) indicate the name, address, nationality and, if different from the address, the habitual residence of the applicant;

(c) be accompanied by the power of attorney granted to the agent by the applicant, where the application is made through an agent;

(d) specify the date of the first commercial exploitation of the layout-design anywhere in the world or indicate that such exploitation has not yet commenced; and

(e) provide information establishing the right to protection under section 56.

(3) The application shall be accompanied by a copy or drawing of the layout-design and where the integrated circuit has been used commercially, by a sample of the integrated circuit, and information defining the electronic function that the integrated circuit is designed to perform provided that the applicant may exclude from the copy or the drawing the parts which relate to the manner in which the integrated circuit is manufactured, if the parts included are sufficient to allow the identification of the layout-design.

(4) Where the application does not duly comply with the requirements of subsections (2) and (3), the Registrar shall notify the applicant of the defects and invite him or her to correct them within two months—

(a) if the defects are corrected within the time limit, the Registrar shall accord as the filing date the date of receipt of the application, provided that, at the time of receipt, the application contained an express or implicit indication that the registration of a layout-design is requested and indications allowing the identity of the applicant to be established and was accompanied by a copy or drawing of the layout-design;

(b) where the applicant fails to submit drawings of a layout-design with the original application, but corrects the application for the registration of the layout-design within the period specified the date of receipt of the corrections shall be deemed to be the date of filing of the application; or

(c) where the applicant fails, after communication by the Registrar, to correct the application within the period specified, the application shall be deemed not to have been filed;

(5) Each application for protection of a layout-design shall be subject to the payment of the prescribed fee.

(6) If the fee is not paid, the Registrar shall notify the applicant that the application shall be deemed not to have been filed unless payment is made within two months from the date of the notification, and if the application fee is not paid within such period, the application shall be deemed not to have been filed.

58. Registration and publication.

(1) Where the application complies with the requirements of section 57, the Registrar shall register the layout-design in the Register of Layout-Designs without examination of the originality of the layout-design, the right of the applicant to protection or the accuracy of the facts detailed in the application.

(2) The Register of Layout-Designs shall contain the number, title, filing date and, where indicated in the application under section 57(2)(d), the date of the first commercial exploitation, anywhere in the world, of the layout-design as well as the name and address of the rightsholder and other prescribed particulars.

(3) Any person may inspect the Register of Layout-designs and obtain extracts therefrom, subject to the payment of the prescribed fee.

(4) The registration of a layout-design shall be published in the Gazette.

59. Scope of protection and rights granted.

(1) The protection afforded to a layout-design under this Act shall not be dependent on the integrated circuit which incorporates such layout-design being incorporated in an article.

(2) The rightsholder shall have the exclusive right to do or authorise others to do any of the following—

(a) reproducing, whether by incorporation in an integrated circuit or otherwise, the protected layout-design in its entirety or any part thereof, except the act of reproducing any part that does not comply with the requirement of originality referred to in section 55;

(b) importing, selling or otherwise distributing for commercial purposes the protected layout-design, an integrated circuit in which the protected layout-design is incorporated or an article incorporating such an integrated circuit in so far as it continues to contain an unlawfully reproduced layout-design.

(3) The rightsholder shall, in addition to any other rights, remedies or actions available to him or her, have the right, except under sections 60 and 62, to institute proceedings in the Court against any person who infringes his or her right, by performing, without any agreement, any of the acts referred to in subsection (2) or who performs acts which make it likely that infringement will occur.

60. Limitation of rights.

(1) The scope of protection and the rights granted under section 59 shall not extend to—

(a) the reproduction of the protected layout-design for the purpose of evaluation, analysis, research or non profit teaching or education;

(b) the incorporation in an integrated circuit of a layout-design, created on the basis of such analysis, evaluation or research referred to in subsection (a), if such layout-design is itself original within the meaning of section 55, or for the performance of any of the acts referred to in section 59(2)(b) in respect of such layout-design;

(c) the performance of any of the acts referred to in section 59(2)(b), where the act is performed in respect of a protected layout-design, or in respect of an integrated circuit in which such layout-design is incorporated, and such layout-design or integrated circuit has been put on the market by, or with the consent of, the rightsholder; or

(d) the performance of any act referred to in section 59(2)(b) in respect of an integrated circuit incorporating an unlawfully reproduced layout-design or any article incorporating such an integrated circuit, where the person performing or ordering such an act unknowingly performs or orders such an act and has no reasonable grounds of knowing at the time of acquiring the integrated circuit or the article incorporating such an integrated circuit, that it incorporated an unlawfully reproduced layout-design.

(2) Where the person performing or ordering any act under this subsection, is notified that such layout-design is an unlawful reproduction, then such person may, perform or order any act only with respect to the stock in hand or ordered before he or she was so notified and shall be liable to pay to the rightsholder a sum equivalent to a reasonable royalty such as would be payable under a freely negotiated licence in respect of such layout-design.

61. Commencement and duration of protection.

(1) The protection granted to a layout-design under this Act shall commence—

(a) on the date of the first commercial exploitation, anywhere in the world, of the layout-design by the rightsholder or any other person with his or her consent, provided an application for protection is filed by the rightsholder with the Registrar within the period referred to in section 54(2); or

(b) on the filing date accorded to the application for the registration of the layout-design filed by the rightsholder, if the layout-design has not been previously exploited commercially anywhere in the world.

(2) The protection granted to a layout-design under this Act shall terminate at the end of the tenth calendar year from the date of commencement of such protection.

62. Non-voluntary licences.

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the provisions of sections 23 to 27 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to registered layout-designs of integrated circuits.

(2) Non-voluntary licences of registered layout-designs shall be granted only for public non-commercial use or to remedy a practice determined after judicial or administrative process to be anti-competitive.

63. Invalidation.

(1) Any interested person may request that the registration of a layout-design be invalidated on the grounds that—

(a) the layout-design is not protectable under sections 2, 54 and 55;

(b) the rightsholder is not entitled to protection under section 56; or

(c) where the layout-design has been commercially exploited, anywhere in the world, before the filing of the application for registration of the layout-design, the said application was not filed within the time limit referred to in section 54(2).

(2) Where the grounds for invalidation are established with respect only to a part of the layout-design, only the corresponding part of the registration shall be invalidated.

(3) A request for invalidation of the registration of the layout-design shall be filed before the Court accompanied with the grounds on which it is based.

(4) In the event of a dispute over the rights to the layout-design registration, the interested person may apply to the Court to transfer the title to him or her instead of invalidating.

(5) Any invalidated layout-design registration, or part thereof, shall be regarded as null and void from the date of the commencement of protection.

(6) The Court shall notify the Registrar of its final decision and the Registrar shall record and publish this in the Gazette, in accordance with the Regulations.

PART VI

MARK, CERTIFICATION MARK, COLLECTIVE MARK, TRADE NAME AND GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

Chapter 1

Acquisition of exclusive rights in a Trade Mark and its Registration

64. Acquisition of rights.

The exclusive rights in a mark shall be acquired by registration in accordance with the provisions this Act.

65. Mark inadmissible for registration.

(1) A mark shall not be admissible for registration if—

(a) is incapable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of other persons;

(b) is contrary to public order or morality, it being understood that the nature of the goods or services in relation to which a mark is used shall not be an obstacle to registration;

(c) is likely to mislead the public or business circles, in particular as regards to the geographical origin of the goods or services, or their nature or characteristics;

(d) consists exclusively of signs or indications which, in current language or economic and business activities, have become the customary designation for the goods or services for which the registration of the mark have been requested;

(e) it is identical with or similar to an earlier mark registered in the name of a different person, the goods or services in respect of which the registration of the sign has been applied for are identical with or similar to the goods or services for which the earlier mark has been registered, and there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public because of its identity with, or similarity to, the earlier mark and the identity or similarity of the goods and services, and where an identical mark is used for identical goods or services, a likelihood of confusion shall be presumed;

(f) —

(i) it constitutes a reproduction, an imitation, or a translation of an earlier mark that is well-known in Seychelles and the goods or services in respect of which the registration of the sign is applied for are identical with or similar to the goods or services for which the earlier mark is well-known, provided that there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public;

(ii) it constitutes a reproduction, an imitation, or a translation of an earlier mark that is well-known in Seychelles and the goods or services in respect of which the registration of the mark is applied for are dissimilar to the goods or services for which the earlier well-known mark is registered provided that the use of the mark would indicate a connection between the goods or services for which it is used and the owner of the earlier registered well-known mark and the interests of the owner of the earlier registered well-known mark are likely to be damaged by such use;

(g) it consists of or contains as an element—

(i) a reproduction of the flag adopted by a State,

(ii) a reproduction of the armorial bearings, official signs and hallmarks indicating control and warranty adopted by a State,

(iii) a reproduction of the armorial bearings, flags, or the name, abbreviation of an international intergovernmental organisation, or

(iv) any imitation from a heraldic point of view of the signs enumerated in subsection (1)(g)(i) to (iii):

Provided that the sign reproduced or imitated enjoys protection pursuant to Article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, notwithstanding, the mark may be registered where the competent authority of the State or of the international intergovernmental organisation concerned has granted an authorisation;

(h) consists exclusively of signs or indications which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, place of origin, of the goods, or the time of production.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(f), in determining whether a mark is well known, consideration shall be given to the degree of recognition of the mark in the relevant sector of the public in Seychelles, including but not limited to the degree of recognition arising from the advertising of the mark in Seychelles.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1)(d), the Registrar or the Court may decide that a mark has acquired secondary meaning or distinctiveness through continued use, and in such case, the mark shall be registered.

66. Right of prior user.

(1) The prior user of a mark whose name does not appear in the Register or who does not have an application pending under section 65(1)(h), may oppose an application for registration of a similar or identical mark by another person for similar or identical goods, provided he or she—

(a) proves that he or she has used that mark in good faith for at least six months prior to the filing date or, as the case may be, the date of priority;

(b) proves that he or she has acquired clientele and that this clientele attaches a certain reputation to the mark; and

(c) he or she files an application for registration of his or her own mark before lodging a statement of opposition with the Registrar.

(2) The owner of an unregistered mark that is well-known in Seychelles has the exclusive right to prevent any unauthorised person from using in the course of trade any sign that is identical with or similar to the unregistered well-known mark for goods and services that are identical with or similar to the goods and services for which the unregistered well-known mark is used provided that such use is likely to confuse the public.

Chapter 2

Procedures for Registration of Mark

67. Application for registration.

(1) The application for registration of a mark shall be filed with Registrar and shall—

(a) contain a request, a reproduction of the mark and a list of goods or services for which registration of the mark is requested, listed in the order of the relevant classes of international classification;

(b) be accompanied by the payment of the prescribed application fee.

(2) When the mark consists of a sign that is not visually perceptible, the application shall contain a graphical reproduction of the mark. Such reproduction shall be specific and may not consist merely of a general description of the sign.

(3) Where the applicant wishes to claim colour as a distinctive feature of the mark, he or she shall submit a statement to that effect as well as the name or names of the colour or colours claimed and an indication, in respect of each colour, of the principal parts of the mark which are in that colour.

(4) Where the applicant wishes to apply for a three-dimensional mark, he or she shall submit a statement to that effect.

(5) An applicant who is a foreigner shall appoint an agent who is domiciled in Seychelles.

(6) An application may be made by an agent and the power of attorney from the applicant shall be submitted prior to issuing the industrial design certificate.

(7) The applicant may at any time withdraw the application or reduce the list of goods or services covered in the application.

68. Right of priority.

(1) The application may contain a declaration claiming a right of priority as provided for in the Paris Convention or a treaty to which the Republic of Seychelles is a party, of one or more earlier national or regional applications filed by the applicant or his or her predecessor in title in any state party to the said Convention or in a party to any other treaty to which the Republic of Seychelles is a party.

(2) Where the application contains a declaration under subsection (1), the Registrar may request the applicant to furnish, within the prescribed period, a copy of the earlier application certified as correct by the office with which it was filed.

(3) The period of claiming right of priority, under subsection (1) is six months beginning from the first filing date of the mark in a foreign country.

(4) When the application is made within the period of priority, the filing in Seychelles of that application before the expiration of the period of priority shall not be invalidated by reason of any acts accomplished in the interval, in particular, another filing, the publication or exploitation of the mark, and such acts cannot give rise to any third-party right or any right of personal possession of the mark.

(5) Where the Registrar finds that the requirements under this section and the regulations pertaining thereto have not been fulfilled, the said declaration shall be considered not to have been made.

69. Exhibition priority.

(1) An applicant who has displayed goods or services under the mark applied for at an official or officially recognised international exhibition has a right of exhibition priority during a period of six months from the date of the first display of the goods or services under the mark applied for.

(2) In order to claim the right of exhibition priority under subsection (1) an applicant must declare in the application for the registration of a mark that he or she wishes to take advantage of the protection arising from the display of goods or services under the mark applied for.

(3) Where the application contains a declaration under subsection (2), the applicant shall, within three months of the filing of the application, furnish evidence of the display of goods or services under the mark applied for.

(4) Claiming exhibition priority shall have the effect that the date of the first display of the goods or services under the mark applied for shall count as the filing date of the application for registration of the mark.

(5) An exhibition priority granted does not extend the period of priority laid down in section 69(3).

70. Filing date.

(1) The Registrar shall accord as the filing date the date of receipt of the application, provided that, at the time of receipt, the application contains—

(a) an express or implicit indication that registration of the mark is requested;

(b) information allowing the applicant's identity to be established;

(c) indications sufficient to contact the applicant or his or her representative if any;

(d) a reproduction of the mark which is sufficiently clear so that the Registrar is able to establish the object of the application;

(e) the list of goods or services for which registration of the mark is requested.

(2) If the Registrar finds that the application did not, at the time of receipt, fulfil the requirements referred to in subsection (1), it shall invite the applicant to file the required correction and shall accord as the filling date the date of receipt of the required correction, but if no correction is made, the application shall be treated as if it had not been filed.

(3) Notwithstanding to the provisions of subsections (1) and (2), no filing date shall be accorded before the required fee is paid.

71. Examination.

(1) The Registrar shall examine and determine whether the application meets the requirements of sections 2 and 66 and related provisions of the regulations.

(2) Where the Registrar finds that the requirements referred to in subsection (1) have not been satisfied, it shall invite the applicant to make the required corrections; if the applicant does not comply with the invitation within 60 days, the application shall be considered withdrawn.

(3) When the Registrar finds that the application is acceptable after its examination, it shall publish in the Gazette a notice inviting opposition against the registration of the mark at the cost of the applicant.

(4) Where the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in subsection (1) are not fulfilled, it shall refuse the application and notify its decision to the applicant in writing explaining the reasons for its decision.

72. Opposition.

(1) Any interested person may, within the period of 60 days and in the manner prescribed by the Regulations and upon payment of the prescribed fee, file an objection, in writing and stating the grounds against the registration of the mark with the Registrar on grounds that one or more of the requirements of sections 2 and 66, and the regulations pertaining thereto are not fulfilled.

(2) The Registrar shall immediately send a copy of the objection to the applicant and the applicant shall furnish to the Registrar a counter-statement stating the grounds on which he or she relies for his or her application within one month after receipt of the objection or such further period not exceeding three months, as the Registrar may allow and if the applicant does not do so, the application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

(3) If the applicant sends a counter-statement, the Registrar shall furnish a copy of the counter-statement of the applicant to the person who made objection and examining the merits of the case, which may include hearing either party, should they wish to be heard, it shall decide to whether or not to proceed with the registration of the mark.

(4) The Registrar shall furnish copies of its decision under subsection (3) to the applicant and the person who filed the objection within the period prescribed by the Regulations.

73. Pending cases.

(1) After an application is published and until the registration of the mark, the applicant shall enjoy the same privileges and rights as he or she would have, if the mark had been registered, provided that it shall be valid defence to an action brought in respect of an act done after the application was published, if the defendant establishes that the mark could not have been validly registered at the time the act was done.

(2) Any infringement proceedings may not be initiated before the date on which the mark is in fact registered.

74. Registration of the marks and issuance of certificate.

(1) The Registrar shall register a mark and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration upon payment of the fee prescribed by the regulations where it finds that—

(a) the conditions referred to in this Act and the Regulations are fulfilled; and

(b) the request for registration of the mark has not been opposed; or it has been opposed and the opposition has been rejected.

(2) Where the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in subsection (1) are fulfilled, it shall register the mark, publish in the Gazette a reference to the registration and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration.

Chapter 3

Rights conferred by Registration, Duration and Renewal of Registration

75. Rights conferred by registration.

(1) The owner of a registered mark has the exclusive right to prevent any unauthorised person from using in the course of trade any sign that is identical with or similar to the registered mark for goods or services that are identical with or similar to the goods and services in respect of which the mark is registered where such use would result in a likelihood of confusion.

(2) In case of the use of an identical sign for identical goods or services, a likelihood of confusion shall be presumed.

(3) The owner of a registered well-known mark has the exclusive right to prevent any unauthorised third party from using in the course of trade any sign that is identical with or similar to the registered well-known mark for goods or services that are dissimilar to the goods or services for which the registered well-known mark is used where such use would indicate a connection between the goods and services for which it is used and the owner of the registered well-known mark, and where the interests of the owner of the registered well-known mark are likely to be damaged by such use.

(4) The registered owner of a mark shall, in addition to any other rights, remedies or actions available to him or her, have the right to institute proceedings in the Court against any person who infringes the trade mark by using, without his or her agreement, the mark as aforesaid or who performs acts which make it likely that infringement will occur.

76. Limitation of rights.

(1) The rights conferred by registration of a mark shall not extend to acts in respect of articles which have been put on the market in or outside of Seychelles by the registered owner or any other person with his or her consent.

(2) The registration of a mark shall not confer upon its owner the right to preclude third parties from using the registered mark for information purposes, such as sales promotion or comparative advertising, provided that such use is not of such a nature as to deceive the public or does not constitute unfair competition.

(3) The registration of a mark shall not confer upon its owner the right to preclude third parties from bona fide use of their names, addresses, pseudonyms, a geographical name, or exact indications concerning the kind, quality, quantity, destination, value, place of origin, time of production or supply of their goods or services, in so far as such use is confined to the purposes of mere identification or information and cannot mislead the public as to the source of the goods or services.

77. Duration of registration.

Without prejudice to the provisions of sections 79, 80 and 81 of this Act, the registration of a mark shall be for a period of 10 years from the filing date of the application for registration.

78. Renewal of registration.

(1) The registration of a mark may, upon request of the owner and payment of renewal fee prescribed by the regulations, be renewed for consecutive periods of seven years.

(2) At the time of the renewal, no change may be made in the mark or in the list of goods or services in respect of which the mark is registered, except that certain goods or services may be eliminated from the list.

(3) The renewal of the registration of a mark shall be made within six months before the date on which the renewal is due and shall end at the earliest six months after that date.

(4) In the event that the request for renewal is made and the renewal fee is paid after the date on which the renewal is due, a penalty prescribed by the Regulations shall be paid.

(5) The Registrar shall record renewal of the registration and notify same in the Gazette.

(6) A mark not renewed within the period specified in subsection (3) shall be considered as cancelled.

(7) The Registrar shall remove the mark from the register when it is not renewed in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(8) Where a trade mark has been removed from the Register for non-payment of the fee for renewal it shall, nevertheless, for the purpose of any application for the registration of a trade mark during one year next after the date of the removal, be deemed to be a trade mark that is already on the Register.

(9) Subsection (8) shall have no effect where the Court or the Registrar is satisfied—

(a) that there has been no bona fide trade use of the trade mark that has been removed during the two years immediately preceding its removal; or

(b) that no deception or confusion would be likely to arise from the use if the trade mark that is the subject of the application for registration by reason of any previous use of the trade mark that has been removed.

Chapter 4

Renunciation, Removal and Invalidation of a Registered Mark

79. Renunciation of right.

(1) The owner of a registered mark, who wishes to renounce the registration either wholly or in respect of part of the goods or services, for which the mark is registered, may submit his or her application to the Registrar for the renunciation of the registration of the mark.

(2) When a registered mark has been subject to a licence contract, the request for the renunciation of the right shall be accepted only upon submission of a written declaration by which the licensee consents to the renunciation.

(3) The Registrar, upon receiving the application submitted pursuant to subsection (1), shall cause the publication of such renunciation in the Gazette.

(4) The renunciation of registration shall be effective only after the decision for cancellation has been entered into the register.

80. Removal on grounds of non use.

(1) Any interested person may apply to the Court to order the removal of a mark from the register in respect of any of the goods or services for which it is registered on the ground that the mark has not been used by the registered owner or a licensee for an uninterrupted period of three years or more.

(2) A mark shall not be removed if it is proved that special circumstances prevented the use of the mark and that there was no intention not to use or to abandon it in respect of those goods or services.

(3) Any removal on the grounds of non-use of a registration of a mark shall be deemed to have been effective as of the date of registration, and it shall be recorded and a reference thereto published in the Gazette.

81. Invalidation of registration.

(1) Any interested person may request the Court to invalidate the registration of a mark.

(2) The Court shall invalidate the registration, if the person requesting the invalidation proves that any of the requirements of sections 2, 65 and 66 is not fulfilled.

(3) Any invalidation of a registration of a mark shall be deemed to have been effective as of the date of registration, and it shall be recorded and a reference thereto published in the Gazette.

Chapter 5

Collective Marks, Certification Marks and Trade Names

82. Collective marks.

(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), the provisions of Chapters 1 to 4 of this Part, shall apply to collective marks as they apply to marks.

(2) An application for registration of a collective mark shall designate the mark as a collective mark and shall be accompanied by a copy of the terms and conditions governing the use of the collective mark.

(3) The registered owner of a collective mark shall notify the Registrar of any changes made in respect of the terms and conditions referred to in subsection (2).

(4) In addition to the grounds provided in section 81(1), the Court shall invalidate the registration of a collective mark if the person requesting the removal proves that only the registered owner uses the mark, or that he or she uses or permits its use in contravention of the terms and conditions referred to in subsection (2) or that he or she uses or permits its use in a manner liable to deceive trade circles or the public as to the origin or any other common characteristics of the goods or services concerned.

83. Certification mark.

(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3), (4) and (5) the provisions of Chapters 1 to 4 of this Part, shall apply to certification marks as they apply to marks.

(2) The application for the registration of a certification mark must designate the mark as a certification mark and shall be accompanied by the terms and conditions governing its use.

(3) The registered owner of a certification mark shall notify the Registrar of any changes made in respect of the terms and conditions referred to in subsection (2).

(4) The owner of a certification mark may not use the mark to identify or certify his or her own goods or services.

(5) Any person who has proved that he or she satisfies the technical standards and other requirements of the terms and conditions referred to in subsection (2) may not be refused the right to use the certification mark in accordance with the terms and conditions referred to in subsection (2).

(6) In addition to the grounds provided in section 80(1), the Court shall, upon request of any interested person, remove the registration of a certification mark if the person requesting the removal proves that the owner of the certification mark uses it, or allows its use in contravention of the terms and conditions referred to in subsection (2) or that he or she allows its use in a manner liable to deceive trade circles or the public as to the origin or any other common characteristics of the goods or services concerned.

84. Trade name.

(1) A name or designation may not be used as a trade name if, by its nature or through the use that can be made of it, which is contrary to public order or morality and in particular, is likely to deceive business circles or the public as to the nature of the enterprise designated by the name.

(2) Notwithstanding any written law providing for the obligation to register trade names, such trade names shall be protected, even prior to or without registration, against any unlawful act committed by third parties.

(3) Any subsequent use of the trade name by a third party, whether as a trade name or a mark, certification mark or collective mark, or any such use of a similar trade name or mark, likely to mislead the public, shall be deemed unlawful.

Chapter 6

Special Provisions relating to Licences and Assignments of Marks

85. Assignment of a mark.

(1) The owner of a registered mark shall have the right to assign it without the transfer of the business to which the mark belongs.

(2) The provision of subsection (1) shall not apply to certification marks otherwise than with the consent of the Court.

86. Licensing of marks and collective marks.

(1) Any licensing contract relating to a registered mark or an application therefor, shall provide for effective control by the licensor of the quality of the goods or services of the licensee in connection with which the mark is used, where such control is appropriate or necessary.

(2) If the licensing contract does not provide for such quality control or if such quality control is not effectively exercised, the licensing contract shall not be valid, and the Court may declare the mark as abandoned by its owner.

(3) A registered collective mark or an application for the registration of a collective mark may not be the subject of a licensing contract.

Chapter 7

Geographical Indications

87. Homonyms of geographical indications for wines.

(1) In the case of homonyms of geographical indications for wines, protection shall be granted for each indication, subject to the provisions of section 94.

(2) Where the parallel use of these indications is authorised, the Registrar shall determine the procedures under which the homonymous indications in question shall be differentiated from each other, taking into account the need to provide equitable treatment for the producers concerned and to ensure that consumers are not misled.

88. Geographical indications excluded from protection.

The following geographical indications shall be excluded from protection—

(a) geographical indications which do not fit to the definition of section 2;

(b) geographical indications which are contrary to public order and morality;

(c) geographical indications which are not protected in their country of origin or cease to be protected in their country of origin, or which have fallen into disuse in this country;

(d) indications for goods which are identical to the term commonly used in current language as the common name for these goods in Seychelles.

89. Right to file application.

(1) The following shall have the right to file an application for protection of geographical indications—

(a) a group of producers or a legal entity of groups of producers which operate in a specified geographical area and with respect to a specified goods; or

(b) a government body.

(2) A government body on its own initiative or upon request of any of the persons designated in subsection (1)(a), file for, obtain and enforce the registration of geographical indications with respect to goods where the producers of those goods are not formally organised and may not apply for, obtain and enforce the registration of geographical indications.

(3) The government body shall be the custodian of those geographical indications until it or the Court is satisfied that the persons or entities entitled to own and enforce rights in geographical indications are organised under the applicable laws or regulations.

90. Application for registration of geographical indication.

(1) An application for registration of a geographical indication shall be filed with the Registrar.

(2) The application shall contain—

(a) the name, address and nationality of the applicant;

(b) the geographical indication for which registration is requested;

(c) the geographical area to which the registration of the indication shall apply;

(d) the goods for which the geographical indication shall apply;

(e) the quality, reputation or other characteristics of the goods for which the geographical indication is used; and

(f) any other matter prescribed in the Regulations.

(3) The application shall be subject to payment of the prescribed fee.

91. Examination of application.

(1) The Registrar shall examine the application and verify that it complies with the conditions set out in sections 2, 88 and 90 and with the provisions of the Regulations.

(2) When the Registrar finds that the application is acceptable after its examination, he or she shall cause the application, as accepted, to be published in the prescribed manner.

92. Objection.

Any interested person may, within the periods set and in the prescribed forms, file an objection to the registration of a geographical indication with the Registrar, on the grounds that one or more of the conditions set out in sections 2, 88 and 90 have not been met.

93. Registration.

(1) The Registrar shall register a geographical indication and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration upon payment of the fee prescribed by the Regulations where it finds that—

(a) the conditions referred to in section 91 and the Regulations are fulfilled; and

(b) the request for registration of the geographical indication has not been objected, or it has been objected and the objection has been rejected.

(2) Where the Registrar finds that the conditions referred to in subsection (1) are—

(a) fulfilled, he or she shall register the geographical indication, publish a reference to the registration in prescribed manner and issue to the applicant a certificate of registration; or

(b) not fulfilled he or she shall reject the application and notify its decision to the applicant in writing explaining the reasons for his or her decision.

94. Right to use a geographical indication.

The producers carrying on their activity in the geographical area specified in the Register shall have the right to use a registered geographical indication, in the course of trade, with respect to the goods specified in the Register for that indication, provided that such products possess the quality, reputation or other characteristic specified in the Register.

95. Rights conferred.

(1) The geographical indications shall be protected against—

(a) the use, in the designation or presentation of goods, of any means indicating or suggesting that the goods in question come from a geographical region other than the true place of origin in a way which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the goods; and

(b) any use which constitutes an act of unfair competition within the meaning of Article 10 bis of the Paris Convention.

[Note: S 95(2) was not present in Gazette.]

(3) The following in particular shall be prohibited—

(a) all acts of such a nature as to create confusion by any means whatever with the establishment, the goods, or the industrial or commercial activities, of a competitor;

(b) false allegations in the course of trade of such a nature as to discredit the establishment, the goods, or the industrial or commercial activities, of a competitor;

(c) indications or allegations the use of which in the course of trade is liable to mislead the public as to the nature, the manufacturing process, the characteristics, the suitability for their purpose, or the quantity, of the goods;

(d) any action in violation or contravention under the Fair Competition Act, 2009.

(4) The protection under this Act shall also be available against—

(a) the use of a geographical indication which, although literally true as to the territory, region or locality in which the goods originate, falsely represents to the public that the goods originate in another territory;

(b) against the use of a geographical indication which, even if identifying goods truly originating in the place designated by that geographical indication, designates goods that do not contain or present the quality, reputation or other characteristic that is essentially attributed to the goods in reason of their geographical origin.

(5) The provisions of this section shall not prejudice the right of any person to use, in the course of trade, that person's name or the name of that person's predecessor in business, except where such name is used in such a manner as to mislead the public.

96. Duration of protection.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) the term of a registered geographical indication shall be indefinite.

(2) A registered geographical indication shall be protected as long as the specific characteristics, quality or reputation which have been the basis for the grant of the protection, exist.

97. Misleading marks.

The registration of a mark which contains a geographical indication, or consists of such an indication, relating to goods which do not originate from the territory shall be refused or invalidated by the Registrar of the Court, at the request of an interested party, if the use of this indication in the mark for such products in Seychelles is such as to mislead the public as to the true place of origin.

98. Marks conflicting with a geographical indication for wines and spirits.

(1) The registration of a mark for wines which contains or consists of a geographical indication used to identify wines, or for spirits which consists of or contains an indication identifying spirits, shall be refused or invalidated by the Registrar or the Court at the request of an interested party, with regard to wines or spirits which do not have this origin.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) the use of a geographical indication identifying wines for wines not originating in the place indicated by the geographical indication in question, or identifying spirits for spirits not originating in the place indicated by the geographical indication in question, even where the true origin of the goods is indicated or the geographical indication is used in translation or accompanied by expressions such as “kind”, “type”, “style”, "imitation” or the like, shall be refused or invalidated by the Registrar.

99. Relationship between geographical indications and pre-existing trademark rights.

Where the registration of a mark has been requested in good faith, or the rights over the mark have been acquired by use in good faith prior to the date of commencement of this Act, or before the geographical indication is protected in its country of origin, this Act shall not prevent the possibility of registering the mark or impede the validity of the registration of the mark, or the right to use the mark, for the reason that this mark is identical or similar to a geographical indication.

100. Invalidation or amendment of registration.

(1) Any interested person or the Registrar may request the Court to order the invalidation of the registration of a geographical indication on the ground that it does not meet the criteria for protection under this Act.

(2) A group having a legitimate interest may apply for approval of an amendment to a registration of a geographical indication.

(3) Where the amendment involves one or more substantial elements, the amendment shall comply with the procedure laid down in sections 90 to 93.

(4) In any proceedings under this section, notice of the request shall be—

(a) served on the persons who filed the application for registration of the geographical indication or his or her successor in title; and

(b) given by publication in the Gazette to all persons having the right to use the registered geographical indication.

PART VII

UNFAIR COMPETITION AND UNDISCLOSED INFORMATION

101. General principles.

(1) Any act or practice carried out or engaged in, in the course of industrial or a commercial activity, in relation to industrial property rights and which is contrary to honest practices, shall constitute an act of unfair competition.

(2) An act or practice that is contrary to honest practices, for the purposes of this part, shall mean practices that include—

(a) breach of contract;

(b) breach of confidence and inducement to breach of confidence or contract;

(c) the acquisition of undisclosed information by third parties who knew, or were grossly negligent in failing to know, that such practices were involved in the acquisition;

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