Intellctual Property (IP) in Sri Lanka commenced in the year 1860 where the first patent was granted on the 22nd of November 1860. There are several statues governing IP in Sri Lanka, the most recent being the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003, which came into effect on the 12th of November 2003. This Act was designed to promote national creativity, protect such creative efforts and honour Sri Lankan international obligations, particularly under the TRIPS Agreement.

The National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) of Sri Lanka is the Government insitution which administraters the national IP system. Key functions of NIPO include being the (i) Primary regulatory body of all IP matters in Sri Lanka; (ii) Awareness building and training; (iii) Facilitation of enforcement and promotion of the use of IP for economic and social development; (iv) Promotion of establishment and proper administration of collective societies; and (v) Registration and administration of national IP agents.
Protected Rights:
  • Trademarks (including servicemarks, certification marks and colllective marks)
  • Inventions (via Patents)
  • Industrial Designs
  • Copyright and related Rights
  • Unfair competition
  • Undisclosed information
  • Geographical indications

The infringement of IP is a punishable offence in Sri Lanka. Such infrigements may result in  civil litigation to obtain remedies such as injunctions and damages. The Sri Lanka Customs Department is a competent authority to prohibit import / export of goods in violation of IP rights. 
Note on Copyrights & related rights: The NIPO of Sri Lanka promotes the protection of copyright and related rights. However No registration system exists at the NIPO under copyright law. The Director General of the NIPO has been empowered to conduct dispute resolutions involving Copyrights and related rights.