Once a trademark application is filed, the trademark is examined as to its registrability. All classes and services can be protected as the class heading can claim all the goods it covers. Should the mark lack any requirement as provided for in the law and its regulations, the examiner will reject the application. The applicant may appeal such a rejection of its application within 30 days as of the date of receiving the relevant official notification.
Trademark applications approved by the Registrar are published in the Official Gazette. There is a 2-month period from the date of approval
Once an application for the grant of a patent is filed, it is examined with respect to compliance with the formalities and patentability provided for under the patent law in Egypt. The Patent Office may require whatever amendments may be necessary to bring the application into conformity with the law.
The provisions of the patent law stipulate that an application should be filed before the invention has become known prior to the filing date or the priority date through publication or use worldwide. The Patent Office currently receives many published patents worldwide and stipulates absolute novelty when examining the patent.
Patent applications are examined closely as to the contents and novelty of the invention. Once the application is accepted, it is automatically published in the Official Gazette. Any interested party may oppose the grant of a patent within 2 months as of the date of publication. The opposition notice is submitted to the competent committee. Should no opposition against the grant of a patent be filed, or should the committee reject an opposition, the charges of preparing copies for circulation purposes, which is the final step before grant, must be paid to the Patent Office.
It takes an average of 3 years from the filing date of the patent application to mature into a granted patent. Annuities are to be paid every year as of the filing date of the application even before the patent is granted. However, according to the current patent law, there is a one-year grace period from the due date with a late fine to settle payment of the annuity.
An applicant is entitled to appeal the requirements and conditions of the Patent Office by means of submitting a petition to the competent committee within 30 days as of the receipt of the notice, served to him by the Patent Office. Approved applications are published in the Official Gazette and are rendered open for public inspection.
A patent is valid for 20 years starting from the date of filing the application. Annuities should be paid until the expiry of the patent protection period.
The rights to a patent may be assigned or transferred through succession. The assignment of patent applications and granted patents must be made in writing. An assignment shall have no effect against third parties, unless it has been published in the Official Gazette and duly entered in the relevant records of the Patent Office.
Working of patents is compulsory in Egypt. In the event that the owner of a patented invention does not satisfy the stipulated working requirements within 3 years as of the date of the grant, or within 4 years from the filing date, which of the two periods is longer, or if working ceases for one year without an acceptable reason, then the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing under the provisions of the law. If within 2 years as of the grant of the compulsory license, the licensee does not exploit the patented invention, any interested party may apply to the Patent Office demanding the cancellation of the subject patent for non-working.
The rights conferred by a patent on the registered patentee lapse with the end of the protection period as prescribed by the laws, abandoning of patent rights, final court decision to this effect, non-payment of a due annuity within one year after the respective due date or failing to respond to an official action.
Designs and industrial models are protected in Egypt through registration with the competent office. The International Classification for Industrial Designs under the Locarno Agreement is applied in Egypt. A registration is effective with novelty examination.
A design or an industrial model registration is valid for 10 years starting from the date of filing the application. A registration can be renewed once for further 5 years. A registration of a design or an industrial model is subject to cancellation in the event any interested party requests such a cancellation before the competent tribunal, on the grounds that the subject design or industrial model was not novel at the time of filing the relevant application. The registration, assignment and cancellation of design and industrial model registrations are published in the Official Gazette and entered in the register.
Opposition of the registration of an industrial design is permitted by Intellectual Property Law No. 82 of 2002, and can be submitted within 2 months from the publication date of the industrial design.
The Trade Registry Department may, when public interest so requires and subject to the approval of a ministerial committee established by a decision of the Prime Minister upon submission of the competent minister, issue an exclusive license for the exploitation of the protected industrial design against fair competition.
Any infringement or unauthorized use of a registered design or industrial model is punishable under the current law.
Original works of literature, art and science, regardless of type, importance or purpose are protected in Egypt as per Law No. 82 of 2002. This includes works of art expressed in writing, sound, drawings, photography and motion pictures, such as books, writings, speeches, oral works, plays, dramatic works, musical compositions, films, phonographic works, applied art, 3-D works, computer programs and national folklore. Such works are protected for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years following his/her death.
The law also provides protection for related rights, including rights of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations.
In order for protection to be effective, the work of art is to be original and includes personal efforts, innovation and new arrangement.
The Cultural Affairs' Supreme Council at the Ministry of Culture reserves the right to allow publication of the work of art for documentary, transitional, educational, cultural or scientific uses under certain conditions.
Egypt is a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.