Egypt: Technical Assistance to Trademarks and Industrial Designs Office
The EU-Egypt Association Agreement provides the framework for regular political dialogue between the two partners and enhanced cooperation in a number of key sectors such as trade, investment, energy or education. For the period 2014-2020, the European Neighbourhood instrument (ENI) is the main financial instrument for EU cooperation with Egypt with €320 million of EU grants committed under the Single Support Framework. Within this Framework, the EU and Egypt signed the Financing Agreement ENI/2013/039 543 entitled “EU Facility for Inclusive Growth and Job Creation”. According to the result 5 of the Agreement – the enabling environment may be improved by the provision of technical assistance and capacity building support to the Government in strengthening the regulatory framework for the protection of intellectual property rights (focused on the areas of patents and trademarks).
The global objective of the assignment was to strengthen the protection of trademarks and industrial designs in Egypt. This specific project had three specific objectives:
1) To strengthen the operational capacity of the Trademarks and Industrial Designs office by supporting its staff to improve their organisational and technical skills;
2) To upgrade and enhance procedures and operational mode of the office through further automation system and in particular e-filing;
3) To raise public awareness on the importance of the use of trademarks and industrial designs (TID).
The current legislative framework is complying to a large extent with the international standards but its effective implementation needs to be improved. Further capacity building was needed for the leading intellectual property institution in the fields of trademarks and industrial designs. The current staff needed additional training in order to increase their work efficiency through the use of modern automated tools. A clear and optimised organisational structure was needed and internal procedures reviewed. The assistance also provided support for further implementation of Trademarks and Industrial Designs regulations in compliance with the EU acquis and EU best practices.
The trainings were organised in a non-discriminant way and accessible for all potential participants and the activities implemented in an environmentally friendly way (e.g. more digital solutions).
The work of the Contractor was concentrated on building capacity and raising awareness of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITDA) and other interested parties (chambers of commerce, consumer organisations, association of intellectual property rights (IPR) holders) through training of trainers and awareness-raising activities.
The final beneficiaries of this Technical Assistance were the business communities, SMEs, school and university students and the general public.
- On-the job training provided for IT staff in the skills necessary for the operation of the IPR system; for the legal department about international legal cases etc.
- Help in elaboration of a manual of examination
- Elaboration of reference materials on best practices
- Organisation of 2 workshops of 3 days for 20 legal experts in an EU Member State
- Organisation of 3 workshops of 3 days for 20 examiners in EU Member State
- Drafting of IT assessment of TID network recommendations concerning IT security
- Assistance to complete and update of electronic database/register for TID
- Supporting the creation of an electronic IP register with the possibility of exchanging data between law enforcement institutions (Police, Customs)
- Awareness-raising activities for the final beneficiaries such as right holders, business community, school etc.
- Organising information and dissemination on the protection of trademarks through the Madrid and Hague systems addressed to Egyptian stakeholders
- Providing training of trainers to SME trainers on IP tools for brand creation, promotion management and protection.