In the spirit of government-led reforms in Egyptian legislation, a significant legal development occurred on 6 August 2023, with the issuance of Law No. 163 of 2023 (the “Law”), establishing the Egyptian Authority for Intellectual Property (“EAIP”). EAIP shall report directly to the Prime Minister and will have jurisdiction over all matters related to intellectual property rights (“IPR”).
The establishment of EAIP represents a crucial step toward centralizing and unifying the management of IPR matters within a single and competent authority. This move aims to address the challenges posed by the fragmented responsibilities previously held by various administrative authorities across different entities and ministries. By consolidating these functions under EAIP, the goal is to streamline processes, eliminate inefficiencies, and reduce contradictions that have hindered the effective treatment of various IPR matters.
The Law, which came into on effect 7 August 2023, extends beyond the cultural and scientific research industry. It also recognizes the pivotal role played by IPR in driving economic and social development. The protection and enforcement of IPR have a direct impact on the technological, industrial, and investment sectors, making this reform paramount in enhancing the investment climate in Egypt by ensuring IPR protection and enforcement.
National Strategy for IP
The Law focuses on the implementation of the National Strategy for Intellectual Property (the “Strategy”), and defines it as a future plan outlining the goals, priorities, and policies necessary for the development of the IP system. The primary objective of this Strategy is to foster sustainable development.
The implementation of the Strategy signifies a commitment to creating a conducive environment for IP development. It aligns with the broader goal of achieving sustainable development goals by leveraging the potential of IPR.
EAIP’s Missions and Competencies
The establishment of EAIP is driven by strategic objectives that prioritize the regulation, protection, and enhancement of IPR in Egypt. This commitment aligns with the country’s international obligations concerning IP. EAIP recognizes the crucial balance between safeguarding these essential rights and fostering sustainable development in economic, social, cultural, and technological aspects. With a clear focus on building a knowledge economy, EAIP aims to create an environment where IP thrives and contributes to the nation’s growth.
To achieve these strategic goals, EAIP is entrusted with significant competencies and prerogatives, including, inter alia, the following:
EAIP as the Exclusive Authority for IPR
The implementation of the Law consolidates EAIP as the sole authority responsible for all matters related to IPR. This consolidation replaces competencies previously held by various ministries and public entities, including:
Additionally, several public entities have undergone changes in their competencies concerning IP matters. The Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, the Supreme Council of Media, the Patent Office, and the Registry Plant Variety Protection have been replaced by EAIP.
These significant changes establish EAIP’s exclusive authority in all matters concerning IPR. By centralizing these competencies, EAIP aims to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and ensure a cohesive approach to IPR administration and enforcement.
Full Implementation and Transitional Period
EAIP is set to assume its competencies within 1 (one) year of the entry into force date (i.e., 5 August 2024). However, this period can be extended once for up to 6 (six) months through a Prime Ministerial Decree. During this transitional period, all ministries, entities, and authorities responsible for IP matters will continue to exercise their prerogatives.
To ensure a smooth transition, a Prime Ministerial Decree will determine the timeline of this transitional period. The objective is for EAIP to commence assuming its prerogatives within 1 (one) month, with the aim of fully replacing the above-mentioned entities and ministries by the end of the stipulated transitional period.
Additionally, a committee comprising representatives from the Cabinet, competent ministries, and public entities will be formed. This committee will assess the human resources, experts, and specialized skills required. Furthermore, the committee will identify the necessary assets, equipment, and departments needed to support EAIP’s operations effectively.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the full implementation of the Law and provide you with relevant updates. If you have specific inquiries or require guidance on how these changes may impact your IP matters, please do not hesitate to contact our team.