Legal Environment

flag Egypt Egypt: Legal Environment

In this page: Business Contract | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework of Business | International Dispute Resolution


Business Contract

Language of Domestic Contract
Arabic is Egypt's official language and all documents have to be written in this language if they are to have legal value. A contract can be written in another language, however it has to be accompanied by an official translation in approved Arabic.

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
Patents are protected by the Patents' Office, the sole national office responsible for registering and issuing patents. Designs and trademarks are protected respectively by the Office of Designs and Models and Office of Trademarks which are departments of the Trade Register, an administrative service which comes under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. 
It is possible to obtain licenses for using patents and trademarks, but the agreements to use patents which involve payments outside the country must be authorized by the General Authority for Investment (GAFI). As for copyrights, they are handled by authors' societies.
Regional Organisations
WIPO's regional bureau for Arab countries.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Law No. 82 of 2002 and the official orders for its application taken respectively in 2003 (no. 1366) and in 2005 (no. 497)
20 years as from the date of request submission Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Law no. 82 of 2002
Initial period of 10 years which can be extended indefinitely for similar periods Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Law no. 82 of 2002
10 year protection which can be renewed for 5 years.  
Law no. 82 of 2002
- For literary works and software programs: the lifetime of the author + 50 years


- For registered works: 50 years from the registration date.

Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
Law on intellectual property no. 82
10 years validity renewable for 5 years.  

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals can face certain difficulties during the course of their legal proceedings.
The Language of Justice
Egyptian Arabic.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to have recourse to an interpreter.
Legal Similarities
The primary source of the law is the Constitution of 1971. The legal system is highly influenced by the French law. It also has influences from the common law. In fact, Sharia is crucial to questions of civil status.

The Different Legal Codes

Labour Law
Companies Law no. 159 of 1981
Income Tax Law
Checking National Laws Online
Egyptian laws on the Egyptian government website
Country Guides
Library of Congress, Laws in Egypt.

The Jurisdictions

Supreme Constitutional Court It is the highest court.  It determines on the contitutionality of laws and decides between two legal organs.
Supreme Court Examines the process for which a revision is requested.
Court of Appeal Decides on the validity of the trial, before sending it to the Supreme court.
Primary Court District courts that judge first instance matters when the trial in question comes within their jurisdiction.
Family Court Legal instrument specialized in family matters.
Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority Represents the State in the courts.
Public Prosecutor Public party in criminal matters, which he can initiate by instigating a trial. He can also instigate investigations.
Administrative Court (State Council) Presides over all administrative litigation.

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International Dispute Resolution

Law no. 27 of 1994. For more information, refer to the Egyptian legal system overview on GlobaLex.
Arbitration Law
Egypt acceded to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in 1972.
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Arbitration Procedure
The Investment Incentives Law recognizes the right of investors to settle disputes within the framework of bilateral agreements, or the ICSID or through arbitration before the Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration in Cairo, which applies the rules of the United Nations Commissions on International Trade Law.

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Latest Update: June 2024