Please refer to the description given by Morocco in document IP/N/6/MAR/1 (Checklist of issues on enforcement (replies to Questions 21, 24 and 25)).
[Answer 21 - IP/N/6/MAR/1:
Criminal procedures and penalties exist and can be applied, in particular, against anyone who, intentionally or through negligence and with a view to profit or gain, infringes the pecuniary or non-pecuniary rights of authors of literary or artistic works and holders of related rights, as defined in Law No. 02-00 on Copyright and Related Rights.
With regard to industrial property, the acts deemed to constitute a criminal offence, under Law No. 17-97 concerning Protection of Industrial Property, are wilful infringements of the rights of the owner of a patent, an industrial design, an integrated circuit layout design (topography), a trade name, an indication of source or designation of origin, an industrial award or a registered trademark or service mark. Criminal procedures and penalties may also be applied against anyone who wilfully and repeatedly infringes the rights of the owner of a new plant variety certificate, as defined in Article 16 of the Law on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, and against anyone who repeatedly makes unlawful use of the status of owner of a new plant variety certificate or an application for such a certificate.]
[Answer 24 - IP/N/6/MAR/1:
Infringements of industrial property rights, as defined by Law No. 17-97 concerning Protection of Industrial Property, are subject, under that same law, to the following penalties:
Any deliberate violation of the rights of the owner of a patent, as defined in Articles 53 and 54 above, shall constitute an infringement and shall be punishable with imprisonment for two to six months and/or a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams. For repeat offenders, the penalties may be doubled. There shall be repetition of the offence, within the meaning of the present article, when the defendant has been irrevocably convicted of the identical offence within the previous five years. The court may also order the destruction of objects found to be counterfeit owned by the infringer, as well as implements or means specially intended for committing the offence (Article 213).
Those who have knowingly handled, exhibited, offered for sale or sold, introduced or exported infringing products shall be liable to the same penalties as the infringer. The same shall apply to any aid knowingly given to the perpetrator of any of the above-mentioned offences (Article 214).
The penalties provided for in Articles 213 and 214 above shall be increased to imprisonment for six months to two years and/or a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 dirhams only if the infringer is an employee who has worked in the workshops or the establishment of the patentee. An employee who has entered into association with the infringer after informing him of the processes described in the patent shall be liable to the same penalties. The employee may be prosecuted under the provisions of Article 447 of the Criminal Code (Article 215 of Law No. 17-97 concerning Protection of Industrial Property).
Without prejudice to the penalties laid down in special laws, those who, in speeches or lectures delivered in public places or at public meetings, or in documents or publications sold or distributed, offered for sale or displayed in public premises or at public meetings, have given any information, indication or description whatsoever concerning patents or patents of addition relating to a main patent or integrated circuit lay-out designs (topographies) for which an application has been filed by them or by others but which have not yet been issued, shall be liable to a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams. In addition to the fine, repeat offenders shall be liable to imprisonment for three months to two years (Article 216).
Without prejudice, where appropriate, to the more serious penalties for breaches of national security, anyone deliberately infringing one of the prohibitions specified in Article 42 above shall be liable to a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 dirhams. If national defence has been impaired, a penalty of imprisonment for one to five years may also be imposed (Article 217).
Integrated circuit layout designs (topographies)
The provisions relating to patents are also applicable to civil and criminal infringement proceedings concerning integrated circuit lay-out designs (topographies) (Article 218).
Any deliberate infringement of the rights of the owner of an industrial design is punishable by a fine of 25,000 to 250,000 dirhams. This penalty shall be increased to a fine of 50,000 to 250,000 dirhams and imprisonment for one to six months if the offender was in the employ of the injured party. The latter penalties shall also be applicable if the defendant is a repeat offender, that is to say has been irrevocably convicted of the identical offence within the previous five years. The court may also order the destruction of infringing objects owned by the infringer, as well as of implements or means specially intended for committing the offence (Article 221).
Under Article 225, the following shall be deemed to be infringers and liable to imprisonment for two to six months and/or a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams:
- Those who have counterfeited a registered mark or fraudulently affixed a mark belonging to others;
- those who have made use of a mark without the authorization of the interested party even if accompanied by words such as "formula", "style", "system", "recipe", "imitation", "kind", or any other similar indication liable to mislead the buyer;
- those who, without lawful cause, have stocked products which they knew to bear a counterfeit or fraudulently affixed mark and have knowingly sold, put on sale, supplied or offered to supply goods or services under such a mark;
- those who have knowingly delivered a product or provided a service other than that requested of them under a registered mark.
Under Article 226, the following only shall be liable to a penalty of imprisonment for one to six months and/or a fine of 25,000 to 250,000 dirhams:
- Those who, without counterfeiting a registered mark, have made a fraudulent imitation thereof likely to mislead the buyer or have made use of a fraudulently imitated mark;
- those who have made use of a registered mark bearing indications likely to mislead the buyer as to the nature, material properties, composition or active-principle content, type or origin of the object or product described;
- those who, without lawful cause, have stocked products which they knew to bear a fraudulently imitated mark or have knowingly sold, put on sale or offered to supply products or services under such a mark.
Under Article 227, imprisonment for one to three months and/or a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams may be imposed only on those who have had incorporated in their trademarks or service marks prohibited signs mentioned in Article 135(a) above without the authorization of the competent authorities and those who have introduced into Morocco, stocked, put on sale or sold natural or manufactured products bearing the said signs as a mark.
The court may also order the destruction of infringing objects owned by the infringer, as well as of implements or means specially intended for committing the offence (Article 228).
The penalties laid down in Articles 225 to 228 above are applicable to collective marks as well as to collective certification marks (Article 229).
Indications of source and designations of origin
The following only are punishable, under Article 231, by imprisonment for one to six months and/or a fine of 25,000 to 250,000 dirhams:
- The direct or indirect use of a false or misleading indication concerning the source of a product or service or the identity of the producer, manufacturer or trader;
- the direct or indirect use of a false or misleading designation of origin or the imitation of a design of origin, even if the true origin of the product is indicated or the designation is used in translation or accompanied by expressions such as "kind", "style", "imitation" or the like.
Under Article 232, the following only are liable to imprisonment for two to six months and/or a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 dirhams:
- Those who, without entitlement and fraudulently, have conferred upon themselves industrial awards mentioned in Article 189 above or have conferred upon themselves fictitious awards by reproduction on their products, signs, advertisements, prospectuses, letterheads, business documents or packaging, or in any other manner;
- those who, under the same conditions, have used them for purposes other than those for which they were obtained;
- those who have made industrial or commercial use of awards other than those mentioned in Article 189 above.
Those who, having benefited from an industrial award, have made industrial or commercial use thereof without complying with the provisions of Articles 189, 190 and 198 of Law No. 17-97 concerning Protection of Industrial Property (Article 233).
The counterfeiting of products of the mind is liable to the following penalties:
- A fine of 120 to 10,000 dirhams (Article 575 of the Criminal Code);
- imprisonment for three months to two years and a fine of 500 to 20,000 dirhams for habitual offenders (Article 577 of the Criminal Code);
- doubling of the term of imprisonment and the fine and the temporary or permanent closure of establishments operated by the infringer or his accomplices for repeat offences (Article 577 of the Criminal Code);
- the penalties may be tripled (Article 64 of Law No. 2-00 on Copyright and Related Rights);
- confiscation of sums equal to the proportion of the proceeds derived from illegal reproduction, performance or distribution, as well as confiscation of any equipment specifically installed with a view to illegal reproduction and all infringing copies and objects (Article 578 of the Criminal Code);
- publication of the conviction and sentence, in whole or in part, in the newspapers and posting of the conviction on the convicted person's premises, in particular, on the doors of his residence and of any establishment or theatre belonging to him (Article 578 of the Criminal Code);
- the counterfeit material or copies, together with the proceeds or portions thereof that have been confiscated, are handed over to the author or his successor in title to indemnify them for the damage suffered; the remainder of the indemnity to which they are entitled, or the entire indemnity if there has been no confiscation of equipment, counterfeit articles or proceeds, gives rise to the award of damages, at the request of the complainant and under the usual conditions (Article 579 of the Criminal Code).
Infringements of the rights of breeders, as defined by Law No. 9-94 on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, give rise, under that same law, to the following penalties:
- Without prejudice, where appropriate, to the application of penalties under special laws, in particular those relating to the repression of fraud, any deliberate infringement of the rights of the holder of a new plant variety certificate, as defined in Article 16 of the said law, is punishable by a fine of 3,000 – 30,000 dirhams (Article 73);
- whoever makes unlawful use of the status of owner of a new plant variety certificate or an application for such a certificate is liable to a fine of 3,000 to 30,000 dirhams. Repeat offenders may also be sentenced to imprisonment for two months to one year. For the purposes of this Article, a repeat offender is one who has been irrevocably convicted for an identical offence within the previous five years (Article 75).]
[Answer 25 - IP/N/6/MAR/1:
The provisions in force have already been described. Information on the actual duration of proceedings and their cost is not available. ]