Laws on patent protection in Egypt went through a lot in order to be established. In fact, the country lagged behind the rest of the world in this area as it had to take a free-trade agreement to compel the country’s leaders to enact patent laws in 2002.
Technically, the country already has laws on patents that have been in effect since 1949. However, it was rather restrictive and did not allow pharmaceutical companies to apply for patent protection on the chemical composition and manufacturing process of their products. This was all changed when Egypt signed to comply with the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by the World Trade Organization.
As Egypt has the largest pharmaceutical industry and market in the Middle East, there were significant objections to the approval of the new regulations. Pharmaceutical companies claim that by granting formula exclusivity to big brands, the government is limiting the options of the poor. To address the legitimate concern, the Egyptian government provided exceptions for products created from 1995 to 2005, making the new law inapplicable to the products made during this period.
Cases on patent infringement still came up, especially among pharmaceutical companies. In one instance, the court sided with the claimant which was an international pharmaceutical company who were against a local manufacturer.
Thinking of applying for patent registration in Egypt? Follow these steps and keep an eye on the progress of your application for the best results.
How to Apply for Patent Protection in Egypt
Step 1: Check the patent database in the Egyptian Patent Office website or on WIPO.
It’s very important you don’t infringe on existing patent applications or published abstracts. You can use keywords from the abstract of your invention or the title. The website also references the European Patent Office database for people who want to get patents in Egypt.
Step 2: Download and fill out the forms from the EPO website.
You can get a variety of forms related to patents here or simply click here to download the file. Take note that certain sections of the form are in Arabic. Consult an Arabic language expert to assist you.
Step 3: Provide a writeup of the invention you’re obtaining a patent for.
The write-up should contain the following:
- The title or name of the invention
- Technical field or classification
- A background or description (or commonly known as an abstract)
- Drawings or illustrations, if available or applicable
The format for the specifications should be like this:
- Prior Art
- Drawbacks of the Prior Art
- Improvements of the invention
- Detailed description
- Mode of Exploitation (how to use the invention)
The write-up ideally needs to be at 100 words.
Step 4: Submit the application with the write-up to the Egyptian Patent Office.
If your submission is in a language other than Arabic, you are given a period of 6 months from the date you filed the application. Failure to submit a translation means forfeiture of the application.If you are being represented by an agent, they need to submit a Power of Attorney to be attached to the application.
Step 5: Request for an examination at time of submission.
An examiner will be assigned to check if the application needs updating or changes. You will be notified for any updates.
Step 6: Wait for 2 months.
Your application will undergo a public observation of 2 months from date of publication. Any 3rd party may challenge your application during this time. Once this period has passed, no 3rd party may file for patent-related conflicts or claims.
Step 7: Pay fees required associated with the application.
The Egyptian Patent Office only requires you to pay after the 2-month observation has passed. EPO has an official publication where they post your abstract for public review. You can check the status of your application on the Gazette.
Patents obtained in the EPO are valid for 20 years. Annuities are to be paid and the fees are incremental. You can check the list of fees here. Students pay 90% less of the annuities. Individuals and small to medium sized enterprises pay 50% less. The late fees are applied as the percentages as well.
If you need to get professional help of the international patent registration, please contact us for free consulation.
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