Creative Assets

Aug 08, 2010 (LBO) – Managements of Sri Lankan companies could be held liable for any violations of intellectual property in their organisations even if they were unaware of it, an official said. Dr D M Karunaratne, director general, of the National IP Office said anyone who violates IP rights is liable to be punished with either a fine of 500,000 rupees or a six-month jail term.

Company managements can be held responsible for any IP rights violations that take place in their companies, he told a seminar on the role of IP and innovation in the economy.

It was organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Colombo and the Business Software Alliance, a software industry body enforcing compliance with IP laws.

“Company executives like the owner, director, chief executive and general manager can he held liable,” Karunaratne said.

“”Even though you are not aware of it you are liable.”

Managements would have to establish that they had taken all precautions to prevent IP rights abuses to avoid liability.

IP rights enforcement in Sri Lanka is done through civil litigation through the commercial high court and criminal sanction through the magistrate’s court.