In the past few years, Maldives has seen good economic growth in many areas, including tourism, trade, fisheries, construction, etc. It shows that the market possesses sufficient talent and will require the government to promulgate a law or some provisions to safeguard the interests of the people as well as the nation at large. It is believed that this will contribute to the economic growth of the country by promoting international trade and commerce. Once the expected legislation has been put in practice, the local talent can look for and enjoy the protection for their rights in products and services they are marketing or want to market. They will be able to ensure that no counterfeit goods are being sold in the market, along with to make a distinction amid products and services available in the market. There would also be increased employment opportunities. In any field, hence, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) need to be protected not only for profiting local talents but also to benefit others like consumers. It is, therefore, essential that an Intellectual Property Law should be enacted in regards to the same. However, Maldives has no law that has been enacted in terms of IPRs. To circumvent this, a concept of sufficient Trademark Protection has been provided by way of obtaining public recognition through cautionary notices.
Some Vital Laws, Acts, and Rights Used in Maldives
In Maldives, any legal dispute is settled under Common law. An IP Unit, which was established by the Ministry of Economic Development in 2007, has been working to educate the masses about several aspects of IPRs. The Copyright and Related Rights Act was passed in October 2010 but became operative in April 2011. Apart from the cautionary notices, the Ministry strives for enacting legislation on Geographical Indication Law, Industrial Property Right, and Trademark Law of Maldives. The nation also benefits from the World Trade Organization that provides legal protection under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, i.e., the TRIPS agreement.
IP Protection in Maldives
Considering the remarkable rise in applications for Copyright Registration of eligible works, it is worthy to say that there has been a high demand for Copyright Protection in Maldives. The industrial property rights, which aim to secure inventions that do not cover patentability, are also vital. Trademarks and Servicemarks also play a crucial role in regards to IP Protection in Maldives.
The protection of Intellectual Property in Maldives, in general, is sought by the publication of cautionary notices in journals or newspapers. These notices act as a warning to third parties against the use of marks that can lead to infringement. The notice does not just suggest whether it is related to a trademark, patent, or copyright, but also provide details of the proprietor. Such notices can be published for individual classes or multiple classes, and the time set for acquiring protection under this notice is around 3 to 4 weeks. Although the publication fee can vary depending on the length of the notice, the NICE classification of goods and services would apply to all.
Maldives, due to its economy and population, appears as a small market. However, its trade sector is undoubtedly well regulated, but the legislation on IPR should be enacted to facilitate free and fair trade of goods and services in the market. Besides, Maldives should also become a member of some relevant International treaties such as Madrid Agreement and Protocol for Registration of International Trademarks, Berne Convention for protection of literary and artistic works, etc. The nation can also be a member of the Hague Agreement for International Registration for Industrial Designs and the Lisbon Agreement for the protection of appellations of origin. With the significant role of Foreign Direct Investment in Maldives in addition to several countries possessing a direct entry into the market, the nation’s economy has been observing a substantial growth. It has further created noticeable employment opportunities. Hence, we can conclude that to aid economic growth and competitiveness in the market, IP Rights and Laws need to be in place, no matter whether it is Maldives or any other nation. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com
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