What are the causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Egypt?
There are primarily five reasons for the sudden growth of counterfeiting and piracy in the markets of Egypt, which are as follows:
(a) Availability of technology and easy access to the internet that provides various ways to produce high-quality counterfeit products by copying logos, designs, and packaging of the original brands;
(b) Globalization and integration of markets across the world that smoothen the flow and distribution of counterfeit products from one geographic location to another;
(c) Over-production of legitimate goods in countries such as China, Egypt, and Columbia, resulting in the creation of counterfeit products that are sold to consumers through improper channels;
(d) The absence or lack of implementation of legal penalties for counterfeiting in various countries; and
(e) Increased linking of counterfeiting to organized crime and terrorist activities.
Which are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Egypt?
Clothing and accessories, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Egypt.
Does Egypt have a well-established framework for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)?
What are the specific laws/orders/rules laid down in Egypt for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights?
They are as follows:
The Constitution of 2014, which provides for the establishment of a specialized body to ensure the protection of intellectual property;
The Consumer Protection Law (67/2006);
The Protection of Competition and Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices Law (3/2005);
The Trade Law (17/1999);
The Decree 770/2005 of the minister of foreign trade and industry, issuing the regulation to implement the Law on Import and Export and the Inspection and Control Procedures of Imported and Exported Goods (118/1975); and
The Customs Law (66/1963) (as amended by Law 95/2005).
The Law No. 57 of 1939 was followed by the promulgation of the Law No. 132 of 1949 on Patents and Industrial Designs, and the Law No. 354 of 1954 on the Protection of Copyright.
Upon Egypt’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Law No. 82 of 2002 on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights was issued and became effective on June 3, 2002.
What are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Egypt?
Trademarks, Patents, Designs, and Copyright are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Egypt.
What are the general IPR enforcement obligations in Egypt?
Civil actions do not require registration of marks, but criminal cases do; therefore, the same should be considered.
What are the essential to-dos before an IP rights holder initiates the enforcement proceedings?
There is no discovery process in court proceedings in Egypt; the parties are free to disclose only the documentation of information that helps their case (and nothing that does not); therefore, thorough documentation should be followed up in support of one’s case. All documentation should be in Arabic. If translation is required, then a licensed translator should produce it. Original, primary source documentation will hold much more weight than summaries or schedules (which may be rejected), especially when they are prepared by the party seeking to rely on them.
Is there any limitation period for filing an infringement action?
Which of the following IPR enforcement channels is/are available in Egypt?
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
Are civil actions available for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in civil litigation?
Which of the following types of civil remedies is/are available in Egypt?
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Are there any other civil remedies available in Egypt than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
What is the approximate timeline of civil litigation related to IPR enforcement in Egypt?
It may take up to 04 years for a decision to be rendered.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in civil litigation?
Are there any disadvantages of civil litigation in Egypt? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Courts usually award very low damages as compared to the sums requested. It is very difficult to execute civil judgments concerning the confiscation or destruction of infringing goods since the court bailiffs are often unable due to a lack of resources.
Is criminal prosecution available in Egypt for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in criminal prosecution?
Which is the responsible authority in Egypt corresponding to the types of criminal remedies available? Also, mention the imprisonment term and the monetary fine.
A) Responsible Authority - Courts, Police
B) Imprisonment Term - 06 to 14 months on an average
C) Monetary Fine - £5,000 and E£20,000 (approximately $284 to $1,134). In the case of repeat offenders, the fine can increase to E£50,000.
Are there any other criminal remedies available in Egypt than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
Other criminal remedies in Egypt include closure for up to 06 months, and publication of the decision in the press.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in criminal prosecution?
Are there any disadvantages of criminal prosecution in Egypt? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Are there any alternative dispute resolution mechanisms which allow parties to resolve their dispute out of court?
A system of criminal procedures was recently introduced in the country, which through the application of alternative dispute resolution methods, also offers a rapid solution for the IP rights holders and compensates them for damages they have suffered.
Are border control measures (customs) available in Egypt for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to the customs authority/department to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party/importer of counterfeit goods?
What are the remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Egypt?
The remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Egypt include seizure and destruction of goods.
Who must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement?
The applicant must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in Custom Recordal of IPRs?
Which are the best practices for enforcement of IPRs in Egypt?
Criminal actions are preferable over civil actions as they are quicker (lasting between 06 and 12 months) and have a stronger deterrent effect on the potential offenders.
Are there any risks involved in the enforcement of IPRs in Egypt? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points.
The risk lies in the customs measures and civil enforcement since the same are weak in administration terms.