TRIPS and beyond: Intellectual Property Protection in Egypt
PhD student: Mrs B.H. Jones
Promotor: Mrs Prof A. Firth
Duration: 1/9/2007 - 31/8/2012
PhD defence: Newcastle, 26/6/2014
Research Proposal and Goals In 1996, a World Bank report predicted that the effect of increased intellectual property (IP) legislation on Egypt would be the most significant result for Egypt of World Trade Organization (WTO) membership. This is because the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement establishing minimum IP standards was attached to the WTO agreement and is binding on all members. The following questions are, therefore, raised: 1. How will Egypt manage its IP commitments in the face of both external pressure and internal concerns? and 2. How much leeway can Egypt reasonably expect within the WTO framework? Egypts law 82/2002 collects all aspects of IP law and claims compliance with international agreements, including TRIPS. It has, nevertheless, been criticized for inconsistency, while the court process has been described as complicated, slow and non-transparent . This is uncomfortable from both foreign investor and domestic perspectives. It seems likely that some adjustments may be necessary in order to effectively accommodate all interests. Further clarification of the international legal position may also be desirable. The unique legislative history of Egypt is pertinent with occupation and colonisation contributing to the development of Egyptian law through Islamic Sharia Law, the French civil code, and aspects of British common law. This historical context will be used to provide a broader context through which modern conditions can be understood. In particular, the evolution of the Egyptian approach to IP will be considered. It may be possible to explain and even justify some limited divergence from TRIPS. Research into this area is vital to all stakeholders, including Egyptians, foreign investors and other developing countries. Research findings could potentially inform policy and practitioners, and contribute to existing international IP knowledge within the context of continued appraisal and interpretation of TRIPS. This research may also further enhance understanding of the position of developing countries within international laws that frequently seem to promote a Western agenda. In order to undertake this study the following methods will be applied: 1. The relevant Egyptian legal texts will be examined as well as the applicable international treaties. 2. Interested parties in Egypt will be sought to provide documentation or anecdotal evidence to further inform the texts. 3. Evidence from other jurisdictions will be considered, in particular case law at international and national levels. This will be used to predict potential outcomes of Egypts approach where there is a lack of available evidence from local disputes.