Trademark registration in Egypt is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction. Only in a few exceptional cases can an unregistered trademark be protected. Trademark applications must be filed with the Trademarks and Industrial Designs Office, Internal Trade Development Authority under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (ITDA).
As always it all begins with a search for existing trademarks. These searches are conducted based on their verbal elements only. Searches for figurative elements like logos are not available. Trademark search reports are primarily conducted using the Latin alphabet and such a search will only consider other trademarks in the Latin alphabet. However, given that Arabic is the national language of Egypt, and the local writing system is in Arabic, searches can be conducted for trademarks in Arabic. Additional fees apply for these searches. If you are interested in conducting a trademark search in Arabic, please contact us directly.
There is a cost for trademark searches. The fees include official and professional fees for a trademark search in one class only. For example, if two searches need to be done and there are additional fees for the second search. It's important to note that it is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Egypt in order for it to be registered.
Trademark Protection and Use
Egypt is a member state to the Madrid Protocol, the primary international system for facilitating the registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world. This means that protection is extended for registered trademarks in Egypt to all other countries that are member states of the Madrid Protocol. For example, for a trademark registered in Egypt, protection can also be extended to Algeria, which is also a member.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Egypt, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended that you register another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you intend to use and protect separately.
A duly legalized power of attorney is required at the time of filing. It is possible to claim priority when filing and due process requires a certified copy of the corresponding home or foreign application of the trade/service mark duly legalized by the Egyptian Consulate.
Once the trademark is accepted, the final fees for registration will become due.
Another important point to note is that although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to be registered, it must not go unused for a continuous period of five years as it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark.
Trademark applications approved by the Registrar are published in the Official Gazette and entered in the records of the Trademark Office. The document is available in PDF format and is published on the 7th day of each month.
Once the trademark is published in the official gazette, opposition actions may be filed by third parties within sixty (60) days after the date of its publication in the official gazette.
Registered trademarks in Egypt have a validity of ten (10) years from the application date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) years each. After the trademark has expired, the renewal can still be requested within the grace period of six (6) months, upon payment of a late renewal fee.
If you need assistance with registering your trademark in Egypt, feel free to contact us directly by clicking here.
If you need further information on registering your IP in Egypt, visit our country guide here or visit our online shop to choose from a range of trademark services in Egypt.