Egypt is a member of the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Act of Stockholm of 1967). The International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement is followed in Egypt and the revision of class 42 with the creation of classes 43 to 45 has been adopted as of January 1, 2002.
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 publication during which any interested party may file an opposition notice. An opposition to the registration of a published trademark should be prosecuted by either a patent attorney or an applicant before the Registrar. The opposition case is referred to the competent tribunal, if not settled by the Registrar, or if either party objects to the decision issued by the Registrar. In the absence of opposition, a published trademark is registered, and the relative certificate will be issued.
As per new regulations issued by the Egyptian Trademark Office, the deadline to file a petition application in response to the provisional refusal of an international registration has been reduced to three months instead of six months from the date of notification through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the trademark application and it is renewable for periods of 10 years each upon application and payment of the prescribed renewal fees.
The Trademark Office serves a written notice to the registered owner of a trademark at his address as indicated in the register. The notice, which is served during the month following the expiry of the validity term, indicates the date on which the renewal fees should have been paid and calls for payment during the grace period. If the registrant fails to apply for renewal during the 6 months following the expiry of the stipulated protection period, the Trademark Office will ex officio cancel such registration which will eventually be removed from the register.
The assignment of a trademark should be recorded, and unless it is published in the Official Gazette and entered in the records of the Trademark Office, it shall not be effective vis-à-vis third parties. The assignment of a trademark must not necessarily be submitted with the establishment of the business concern. Changes in the name and/or address of a registrant must be recorded.
Use of trademarks in Egypt is not compulsory for filing applications for registration or for maintaining trademark registrations in force. However, a trademark registration is vulnerable to cancellation on the strength of a court decision obtained to this effect by any interested party.
A cancellation action relies basically on establishing sufficient grounds that the trademark in question has not actually been used seriously for a period of 5 consecutive years.
A trademark registration is consequently canceled unless the owner proves that non-use of the trademark was for reasonable cause of which the court approves. The Trademark Office or any party concerned is entitled to demand cancellation of any trademark registered in bad faith.
Any infringement or unauthorized use of a registered trademark is punishable under the provisions of the current trademark law.
Trademark/Service Mark/Collective Mark Applications
1. A Power of Attorney legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate. (To be submitted within 6 months from the date of filing the application).
2. Ten prints of the trademark for each class.
3. A list of the goods and services to be covered by the application; class heading can be claimed for all classes in Egypt.
4. A certified copy of the priority document must be submitted within six months, in case it is claimed.
Note: According to the regulations, documents mentioned in items 1 and 4 must be available within 6 months from the filing date. Please be advised that if the documents were not available by the due date, the above-captioned trademark application will lapse. You are kindly requested to provide us with the above documents at least one-month ahead of time, in order to enable us to prepare the necessary translations prior to filing them at the Egyptian Trademark Office. Renewal of Trademark/Service Mark Registrations
1. A Power of Attorney legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate, if we do not previously possess one. The power must be available upon filing the renewal application.
2. The number and date of the registered trademark/service mark. Assignment Applications
1. A Power of Attorney signed by the assignee and legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate. (To be submitted at the time of filing the application).
2. An extract of the entry of the assignee company in the commercial register, or a certified copy of the certificate of incorporation legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate.
3. A legalized deed of assignment duly singed by both parties and legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate.
4. Name, address, nationality, legal status and profession or nature of business of the assignee. License Applications
1. A legalized license agreement by the Egyptian Consulate.
2. A Power of Attorney by the licensee and the licensor legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate. (To be submitted at the time of filing the application).
3. An extract of the entry of the licensee company in the commercial register, or a certified copy of the certificate of incorporation legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate.
4. The name, address, nationality and profession or nature of business of the licensee.
Change of Name/Address Applications
1. A Power of Attorney legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate. (To be submitted at the time of filing the application).
2. A certified certificate of the change of name or address which should be legalized up to the Egyptian Consulate.
T1: How long will it take to conduct a trademark search?
The time frame for receiving the search reports is 10-14 working days.
T2: Does your country use the international classification? Yes.
T3: Are there any goods or services for which the mark cannot be registered?
No, all goods covered by the Nice classification can be protected.
T4: Does the specification of goods in any class limit the protection to the specified goods, or does it give additional protection to all the goods in the class? It depends on the class targeted, and the specified goods/services.
T5: Can a trademark be registered in the name of more than one applicant ((i.e. Joint application)? If so, what are its requirements?
Yes, and the required documents in this case are similar to the requirements for filing a single applicant application, noting that a legalized POA in the name of the applicants is provided.
T6: Can an application be filed without its complete documents?
If yes, what is the deadline for filing the documents? 6 months.
T7: Can one application cover more than one class of goods/services?
The Egyptian Law permits multi-class applications; where a single certificate is issued for all classes when they attain registration, However, such applications are NOT recommended due to the fact that the delay of the registration in one class will delay registration in other classes, which is why this type of filing is rarely adopted.
T8: May priority be claimed under the Paris Convention? Yes.
T9: What is the term of protection of a trademark? From what date is it calculated? 10 Years, from the date of filing.
T10: Is marking compulsory and, if so, how should marking be made? No.
T11: In case a trademark is not renewed in due time, and another company register the same trademark, can the original owner oppose the registration or not? Yes, based on prior use.
T12: If the trademark was filed incorrectly originally, what documentation would be required to amend the official register to show the correct details?
Each error is corrected in a different way, errors that involve a drastic change in the form of the mark cannot be corrected and a new application should be filed, while other errors related to the applicant’s information can be corrected using the POA or the certificate of incorporation of the applicant.
T13: Is use required before registration or for maintaining the registration in force? No.
T14: Is use of the trademark on one item sufficient to maintain the protection for all the goods covered by the registration? Yes.
T15: What are the types of use required?
Any type of usage that proves the existence of the mark owned by the applicant in the market in respect of the goods or services covered is sufficient.
T16: Can the assignment of an application be recorded?
The Egyptian Trademark law stipulates the registration of the trademark in order to be able to file an assignment, merger or license at the Trademark Office. Therefore, in case of pending applications, the assignment, merger or license is delayed until the trademark in question attains registration.
T17: Is recording a license agreement compulsory? What are the consequences of non-recordal?
Not compulsory, but recommendable to be effective between the two parties and among others. No consequences
T18: Can recordals such as change of name, address, merger, assignment, license, etc., be made against pending applications?
Only the recordal change of name and address can be made against pending applications; while, the Egyptian Trademark law stipulates the registration of the trademark in order to be able to file an assignment, merger or license at the Trademark Office. Therefore, in case of pending applications, the assignment, merger or license is delayed until the trademark in question attains registration.
T19: Can an assignment be made with or without the goodwill? What monetary consideration is to be mentioned as the value of the assignment? Is there any tax based on the value mentioned?
A monetary consideration must be included in the Deed of Assignment.
T20: Can the trademark application be opposed and what is the opposition period?
Yes, two months from the date of publication in the official gazette