Mauritius became a member of the African Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) on 25 September 2020, when it deposited its instrument of accession to the agreement that established ARIPO, the Lusaka Agreement of 9 December 1976. This makes Mauritius the 20th ARIPO member state.

It is, however, important to note that Mauritius has not yet signed the agreement that established the ARIPO patent registration system, the Harare Protocol, or the agreement that established the ARIPO trade mark registration system, the Banjul Protocol. Nor does the IP law in Mauritius, the Industrial Property Act of 2019, recognise rights granted through the ARIPO system. There is therefore some way to go before this membership of ARIPO has any real practical effect, in the sense that it can be used as a means of covering Mauritius through ARIPO filings.

It is worth noting that Mauritius, although a geographically small island state, is a stable and economically significant African nation. This development is therefore both welcome and potentially significant.

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