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.