Copyright related lawsuits in Nepal

Copyright Related Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions

The Corporate Lawyer Nepal has been providing services relating to corporate registration and has been filing lawsuits in the event of corporate-related disputes and rights violations.

The copyright-related lawsuits are filed under the copyrights Act 2059 in Nepal.

The following questions are asked in Nepal:

1. What is an Intellectual property right?

Patents, designs, copyright, and trademarks are examples of intellectual property rights. It is a legal procedure that grants the creators exclusive rights to their creations for a set period of time.

The Patent Design and Trademark Act 2022 and the Copyrights Act 2059 provide protection for intellectual property rights.

2. Types of IP (Intellectual Property) in Nepal?

 The intellectual property rights are protected under the Copyright Act 2059 in the four ways listed below:

1. Patent

According to Section 2 (a) of the Patent, Design, and Trade Mark Act of 2022 (1965), a “patent” is any useful invention relating to a new method of process or manufacture, operation, or transmission of any material or combination of materials, or that made on the basis of a  new theory or formula.

According to Section 2(b) of the Patent, Design, and Trade Mark Act of 2022 (1965), “design” refers to the form or shape of any material manufactured in any manner.

2. Copyright

Section 2 of Nepal’s Copyright Act, 2059 (2002) grants creators’ rights to their literary and artistic works. The author’s right is referred to as copyright. Books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films are all protected by copyright, as are computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.

3. Trademark

In Nepal, Section 2 (c) of the Patent, Design, and Trade Mark Act, 2022 (1965) states that “trade-mark” means a word, symbol, or picture, or a combination thereof, to be used by any firm, company, or individual in its products or services to distinguish them from the products or services of others.

The Copyright Act, 2059 (2002) contains provisions concerning copyrights. It is your legal right to prevent others from copying, using, performing, selling, distributing, or renting your original or creative work. To protect your work, you MUST register in order to claim ownership and damages in the event of a breach or infringement. The registration of work confers economic and moral rights on the author of the work, whether an individual or an organization.

4. What does Economic Rights entail?

Section 7 of the Copyright Act, 2059 (2002) establishes the Economic Rights outlined below.

  • Reproduction of the work,
  • Selling/distribution or renting the original product or copy of the work to general public,
  • Revision or the amendment of the work,
  • Translation of the work,
  • Arrangement and any needed transformation of the work,
  • Importation of the copies of the work
  • Organize public exhibition of the work
  • Performance of work in public
  • Broadcasting of the work,

5. What does Moral Right mean?

Section 8 of the Copyright Act of 2059 (2002) establishes the Moral Rights outlined below.

It allows the author to have his/her name to be stated in the copies of his/her work where it comes in the public domain. In case of a pseudonym used that name to be stated while in use for public. It bars others to cause harm to his/her reputation or goodwill by altering the work or misrepresenting it.

Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 2059 (2002) establishes a time limit for the protection of copyrights.

The term of copyright varies depending on the kind of creation; the work of applied art and photographic work receives protection for a period of 25 years from the year of the preparation of such work.  The work published after the death of the author receives protection for a term of 50 years from the date of the year of the publication of such work. The joint work gets protected for 50 years from the year of death of the last surviving author. For an anonymous work or pseudonymous work the copyright endures for a term of 50 years from the date of first publication of such work or the date on which the work goes public.

It allows the owner of the creation the legal right to bring the lawsuit against the infringer and claim for the damages caused to him/her.

According to Section 38 of the Copyright Act, 2059 (2002), a complaint MUST be filed within three months of the knowledge of the infringement.

If you are found to have been in violation of copyright and it is proven in the court of law then in such situation you are entitled to pay   from NPR 10,000 to 1,00000 or serve prison sentence for a term not exceeding six months or both, for the first time offender. In case of second time offender the fine doubles along with the prison sentence and the materials that is published, reproduced or distributed   or devices used to reproduce such materials shall be confiscated. It also attaches compensation caused to the copyright owner. Article 25 of the Copyright Act 2002 reports on acts that constitute violation of protected right in Nepal.

No, the legal requirement to sue MUST be satisfied that is the creator MUST register its work to enable them to claim damages or bring a lawsuit against the potential infringer.

 The penalty of 5,000 to 50,0000 is leveled against the infringer based on the degree of the offense.

12. What do I do in case of dissatisfaction of the decision or order of the Registrar?

You have a right to make an appeal in the Appellate Court within 35 days of the order or decision issued.

The legal copyright owner can transfer all or any of the economic rights conferred on him/her to anybody by entering into a written agreement or through authorization to use the work.

A police officer holding a rank of police inspector shall investigate and inquire into the cases under the Copyright Act 2002.

The relevant District Court of Nepal has the power to settle cases in case of the breach of copyright.

The copies of work sound recording or any other materials that are found to be in violation of the copyright protection shall be confiscated as per the law and that MUST be destroyed in the presence of the representatives of the District administration Office and the Local body.

17.  Who do you complain to in case of knowledge of the importation of unauthorized copy of copyrighted work in Nepal?

In such situation you may submit an application along with the supporting evidence to the Custom Officer to prevent the importation of such work.

The copyright protection is not extended to any thought, news, court decisions, administrative decision, folksong, folktale, proverb, general data, concept, idea, thought, methods of operation and religion.

19. Is Registration Mandatory?

No.  It is not mandatory to get your work registered since the time that is created becomes your work of creativity however in case of disputes arise the right to claim damages and ownership can only be established through the registration of the work following the law.

20. Can the copyrighted materials be used without authorization?

 In some conditions you may use the copyrighted materials if it’s for a personal use and does not attach any commercial use or economic value. While using the work the user MUST provide citation of the source and the original author based on the principle of “Fair Use”. The work can be allowed to reproduce for teaching and learning purpose and it MUST be small portion through recognition of the owner.

If you need such legal assistance, please contact us at +977-9849517735 or

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