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1. What is an invention?

An invention is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

2. What is a patent?

A patent is a protection granted to an invention. The Malagasy Office of Industrial Property (OMAPI) … delivers patents, accordance to the Ordinance No. 89-019 of 31 July 1989 establishing a system for the protection of Industrial property and subsequent decrees (Decrees No. 92-993 and No. 92-994 of 2 December 1992) in Madagascar

3. What can be patented

To be patented in Madagascar, an invention meet these criteria

a). the invention must be novel: it must have a new feature that is not part of the existing knowledge in the technical field , It means that the invention was not yet the subject of any disclosure (written or oral)

b). The invention must involve an inventive result: it must not be obvious to a person with average knowledge of the technical field or a person skilled in the art

c). The invention must be susceptible of industrial application: the object can be created and produced in the industry in the broadest sense, which includes agriculture, fishing, crafts, etc..

4. What kind of invention cannot be patented?

According to the legislation, the following fields are excluded from patentability:

a). Inventions contrary to public order or morality,

b). Plant or animal varieties or processes essentially biological for the production of plants or animals

c). Software

d). Methods, systems, plans, discoveries and scientific theories,

e). Pharmaceutical, veterinary, cosmetic and food products

5. How to get a patent in Madagascar?

Obtaining a patent is made from an application in a form available from the OMAPI. This request must contain at least:

- The title of the invention and the technical field to which it belongs,---

- A description of the invention, clearly written and sufficiently detailed for a skilled person to reproduce,

- Illustrations for a better understanding of the invention.

Payment of the prescribed fees is a condition of admissibility of the application.

The natural or legal persons who are not resident in Madagascar must designate an agent approved by the Industrial Property Office to represent with it.

6. What are the rights under the patent?

- The owner of a patent has the exclusive right to prevent third parties from exploitation of the patented invention for commercial purposes without permission. The operation includes the manufacture, use, sale or import.

- The owner may, however, assign its right to the patented invention to a third party. It may also grant a license to third parties to exploit the invention by contractual conditions.

- The maximum duration of a Malagasy patent is fifteen years, extendable five years from the filing date. At the expiration of the patent, the invention falls into the public domain; it means that the owner loses his exclusive rights to the invention which can be freely exploited by third parties.

7. What to do in case of violation of the patent right?

In case of patent infringement, the owner may, under an order of the President of the competent court, proceed to the designation and detailed description, with or without seizure, of objects suspected counterfeit.

8. How to extend the invention protection abroad?

Like any industrial property, a patent takes effect only in the territory of the country where it was issued (territoriality principle). However the procedure for protection abroad was simplified  through the Treaty Cooperation Treaty (PCT) administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which Madagascar is a member. The applicant may, by filing a single application, request protection in as many contracting states as desired