Egypt Establishes a New Authority for Intellectual Property
Law No. 163 of 2023 (“Law”) was issued on 6 August 2023 for the establishment of the Egyptian Authority for Intellectual Property (“IP Authority”). The IP Authority will have an exclusive and comprehensive competence on all matters relating to the Intellectual Property Rights (“IPRs”) and it will be affiliated with the Egyptian Cabinet.
Before the issuance of this Law, there were several regulatory authorities in Egypt concerned with IPRs including the Patent Offices, Trademark Offices, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Internal Trade, Ministry of Telecommunication and IT, Ministry of Agriculture, Protection of Botanical Products Office, the High Council for Media. According to the new Law, the mandates of all these authorities in relation to the IPRs shall be assigned to the IP Authority.
The IP Authority shall be established and shall assume its competences within a year from the issuance date of the Law i.e., by 6 August 2024. It will have, inter alia, the following competencies:
- Preparation and update of the State’s IPR strategy in coordination with relevant ministries and entities.
- Registration of IPRs and issuance of certificates of protection.
- Creation of a unified IPR database and making it available to the public, without prejudice to the provisions of the IPRs law and the data protection laws.
- Coordination, cooperation, and provision of technical support necessary for raising the awareness about IPRs and their exploitation.
- Encouragement of researchers, inventors, startups, and SMEs to register their research outcomes, inventions, and obtain registration certificates.
- Development of policies for evaluating the State’s IP assets, to optimize its exploitation.
- Establishment of registries for patents and trademarks agents and other IPRs.
- Investigation of complaints submitted by stakeholders and provision of expert opinions to – courts and other investigating authorities – in relation to IPRs disputes.
- Adoption of precautionary measures – in coordination with other governmental authorities – for the elimination of any practices restrictive to free trade, or which may negatively impact the international transfer of technology.
- Cooperation and exchange of information with international and regional IPRs organizations and participation in the international and local conferences and events.
- Provision of technical opinions in connection with draft laws and international treaties relating to IPRs.