Adopting the capitalist economic system based on the economic freedom in owing the production methods leads to increasing the limits of competition between companies that are working on marketing and distributing their products all over the world, and this leads to increase the threat of copying their products that will result in bearing a lot of losses. That's why the "Trademark" was created to be put on the products to be distinguished from the other products and it will help the consumers to know and differentiate between the various kinds of products. Also, the commercial value of any Trademark is the most important element/asset for any project that offers services or products and interacts in the markets with the consumers.
Trademark is considered a guarantee for keeping the quality of the product; as the consumer that wants certain service or product will keep buying that product and asking for the same service that bears certain Trademark and quality as predicted by the consumers.
Accordingly, the small and medium-sized companies should pay care while choosing, designing and protecting the Trademark. This Trademark shall be used in advertising for their products.
That's why we will discuss the definition of the "Trademark", the "Legal Framework" of the Trademark, "Procedures of registration" and the "required documents" in the light of the Egyptian Law, as follows:
First: Definition of Trademark
A trademark is any sign distinguishing goods, whether products or services, and include in particular names represented in a distinctive manner, signatures, words, letters, numerals, designs, symbols, signposts, stamps, seals, drawings, engravings, a combination of distinctly formed colors and any other combination of these elements if used, or meant to be used, to distinguish the products of a particular industry, agricultural, forest or mining venture or any goods, or to indicate the origin of products or goods, or their quality, category, guarantee, preparation process, or to indicate the provision of any service. In all cases, a trademark shall be a sign that is recognizable by sight.
Second: The Legal Framework governing the registration of the Trademark
It is worth noting that the Egyptian Trademarks law No. 57 of 1939 and any other laws of intellectual properties law had been replaced by the Intellectual Property Law No. 82 of 2002 along with applying the articles stated in the International Conventions that Egypt is a party in (i.e. Paris Convention 1951 and Marks law Agreement 1994). Below, we will discuss the main regulatory rules that the Trademark registration process in Egypt.
The Trademark provides its owner a protection against using of products' Trademark by any other competitor or company. It is worth noting that depositing the application of registering the Trademark in Egypt shall be carried in accordance to the conditions and terms stated in the Intellectual property law No.82 of 2002 and its executive regulation.
A trademark shall be distinguishable which means that it is able to distinguish certain product or service as per its Trademark or service mark. However, we have to know that the "Distinguishable feature" is a character that can be eliminated in case it is not used within certain numbers of years and this process is called "Cancellation of Trademark" and in such case, anyone can use it commercially for marketing his products or services.
There are a lot of reasons that lead to rejecting the registration of the Trademark while submitting the registration application before the Egyptian Trademark Office. One of these reasons is being the Trademark "Descriptive". The Trademark is considered to be descriptive when it includes any sentence or a form that describes the nature or kind or value or place of the product's origin or the provided service. Accordingly, the Trademark shall not include any sign that discuss the part desired to be protected in the product or service.
Other reasons that lead to rejecting the registration of the Trademark is being against the public moral rules or being similar to other well-known and protected trademarks; as it considers violation for the third parties rights.
Finally, we would like referring that the legal term of protection decided by the LAW is 10 years and it can be renewed infinitely against paying the charges prescribed in the executive regulation of the law No.82 of 2002.
Third: The Main Required Documentation for registering a Trademark
- An application attached with a picture for the Trademark in black and white color;
- Four Copies of the Trademark in a black and white color;
- One copy of the commercial register for the company (in case the applier is a Company);
- One copy of the national ID or passport in case that the applier is an individual; and
- A copy of the power of attorney for the lawyer who will carry out the registration proceeds.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.