Eldib & Co joins TAGLaw®

Eldib & co is proud to announce that it is now a member of TAGLaw foundation.

TAGLaw foundation is a worldwide alliance of independent law firms, ranked among the five largest legal alliances in the world.

TAGLaw members are highly-respected, value-driven law firms with local market knowledge and expertise. Members are carefully chosen based on their reputation and record, and on recommendations from existing members. Members undergo a rigorous screening process prior to invitation to the alliance, and are ultimately reviewed and approved by the TAGLaw Advisory Board. TAGLaw’s standards of excellence and integrity are the vital elements that assure clients will receive quality representation and a consistent level of professionalism. All TAGLaw firms agree to adhere to common objectives and standards, as documented in TAGLaw’s Standards and Charter.

For more information please visit http://www.taglaw.com/component/mtree/firm-profiles/9765-eldib-co.html
or contact mail@eldib.com

A Century of IP

Here’s to celebrating 100 years practicing Intellectual Property!

 

European Patents Protection Extended to Tunisia

As of December 1, 2017 and according to the validation agreement between EPO and Tunisia, European patents will be validated in Tunisia.

It is to be noted that since 2010, the EPO has signed validation agreements with four non-member states. Tunisia will be the third non-member state, following Morocco and Moldova, to enforce the agreement, effective starting 1 December, 2017.

Companies and inventors from all around the world will be able to easily extend the scope of their patent protection to Tunisia.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at mail@eldib.com.

New VAT Regulations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will implement the Value Added Tax (VAT) effective from the 1st of January, 2018.

According to the unified agreement for Value Added Tax (VAT) across the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), KSA and UAE will start applying VAT at a standard rate of 5%.

According to the GCC VAT Framework Agreement, all imports into and supplies of goods and services in the KSA and UAE will be subject to VAT.

Article 73 of the GCC VAT Agreement states that “if an invoice is issued or payment is made for goods or services prior to the effective date of this law or prior to the registration date, and the supply take place after this date, then tax shall be due on the date of supply”.

Accordingly, we advise all our clients and colleagues to submit all new IP applications or enquire about any legal service before 31st of December, 2017, to avoid the additional payment of the new VAT rate.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at mail@eldib.com.

INTA Anticounterfeiting Committee

We are pleased to announce that Mohamed Eldib has been appointed to the Anticounterfeiting Committee organized by the International Trademark Association (INTA) for the term 2018 – 2019.

The committee develops and advocates the association’s policy regarding anticounterfeiting and enforcement issues. The committee will monitor developments in treaties, legislations and other enforcement mechanisms in various jurisdictions, complete analyses and propose policy recommendations to the board.

For more details: http://www.inta.org/advocacy/pages/anticounterfeiting.aspx  

Amendment of The Examination Fees For Patents in Egypt

Please be advised that the examination fees of patents have been amended as per the new Ministerial decree No. 370 of 4th October 2017 issued today 15 October, 2017 (copy attached with its English translation).

The examination fees are set to be 17000 Egyptian Pounds (which is equivalent to USD970.00 as per today’s exchange rate).

 

 

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: mail@eldib.com or patents@eldib.com

Best regards,

Eldib & Co    

Increase of Trademark Official Fees in Egypt

Please be advised that the Egyptian Trademark Office has announced that starting from 15th October 2017, the Official Fees for Trademarks will be increased.

Our updated schedule of charges for Egypt is reflecting the said increase in the official fees while our professional fees will remain unchanged.

Instructions received on or before the 12th of October 2017, will be invoiced by our office at the old rate.

For the updated charges for Egypt and for any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: mail@eldib.com or trademarks@eldib.com

Best regards,
Eldib & Co

[Eldib & Co] Increase of IP Official Fees in Morocco

Dear Sirs,

Please note that the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) has announced that starting from 1st October 2017, the Official Fees for IP matters (trademarks, patents, designs) in Morocco will be increased.

Please note that invoices issued for matters for which instructions were received before 1st October 2017, will not include the increase in the official fees which we shall bear on your behalf.

Our updated schedule of charges for Morocco will reflect said increase in official fees while our professional fees will remain unchanged.

Should you wish to obtain our updated schedule of charges or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: mail@eldib.com or morocco@eldib.com

Best regards,

Eldib & Co

Trademarks: Filing Requirements in Libya

Taking into consideration the recent instability of the Libyan Arab Republic, the Libyan Trademark Office has wide discretionary power in determining whether to approve or reject a trademark application. Although the below mentioned are the commonly requested documents, further documentation may be requested, which may vary from case to case. Kindly find hereunder the documents needed for Filing and Renewal:
  • Filing requirements:Power of attorney (legalized up to the Libyan Consulate) 2. Certificate of incorporation or Extract from the Commercial register (legalized up to the Libyan Consulate). If the applicant is an individual, a legalized copy of the business license or professional association is required 3. A certified copy of the Priority document legalized by the Libyan Consulate if claimed
  • Renewal requirements:Power of attorney (legalized up to the Libyan Consulate)
  • Notes:  Late filings are not permitted
Based on the above, we kindly urge our clients to remain patient until the prevailing political situation is resolved. We shall keep you closely advised as to the latest developments in Libya. Kind Regards, Eldib & Co

The New Investment Guarantees and Incentives Law

In an attempt to attract new foreign direct investment (FDI) to Egypt, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had promised to reform the 1997 Investment Law No. 8 at the Egypt Economic Development Conference held in 2015. To that effect, on the 31st of May 2017, under the sponsorship of Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Law No. 72 of 2017 was issued. This newly updated and significant piece of legislation brings about refreshing reforms to a business climate highly in need of one, along with marking the Egyptian government’s welcoming position regarding foreign ventures to the country. The law sets upon ambitious goals, demonstrated by the institution of a set of enticing guarantees and incentives, a codifying of social responsibility, the establishment of a new arbitration center specific for settling disputes, and new investment systems – overall with an aim of making foreign investment in Egypt a more friendly, and rewarding experience. Further information regarding the law, however, should be outlined in the Executive Regulation document, which will be published within 90 days following the law’s issuance.

Investment Guarantees

A number of guarantees to both potential foreign and domestic investors have been newly revealed within Law No. 72. These guarantees seek to establish and provide a sense of financial comfort and security to the investors, in order to further encourage economic development and growth throughout Egypt. Of these guarantees, the most prominent to note in regards to FDI is as follows:
  • The right of a “fair and equitable treatment” to all investors, domestic or foreign. However, the law does make a note that, contingent on a decision by the Cabinet, a preferential treatment to foreign investors may be exercised[1]. The legislation further expands on its nature of equality, stating the guarantee that no sort of discrimination regarding gender or project size would take place[2].
  • Foreign investors are guaranteed the right to a residence permit for the duration of their investment project[3].
  • All investment projects are guaranteed immunity from nationalization[4].
  • Funds from investment projects are guaranteed not to be seized, except if required for the public good, and not without full compensation preceding the actual date of expropriation[5]
  • Investors have the full right to “create, manage, and expand,” their project whilst abroad, and with foreign currency[6]. In managing their project from abroad, the right is further guaranteed to:
    • Transfer and liquidate project profits without restriction
    • All cash transfers related to foreign investment are guaranteed the right to free movement and full conversion to a recognized currency, without any delay[7]
  • Foreign investors have the ability to import and export any and all raw materials, products, production requirements, machinery, transportation means, and other essentials related to the project without having to register for a license from either the Register of Imports/Exports[8]
  • Foreign Investment projects are allowed to employ up to 20% of the workforce from abroad – a statistic that was increased from the previous 10%[9]
  • Foreign workers employed to a FDI project are also guaranteed the right to transfer their “financial entitlements” freely abroad[10]

  Investment Incentives

Besides the guarantees stated above, the new legislation also works to attract investments via a structural layout of financial incentives[11]. Under this power, all investments will enjoy an exemption from stamp tax and documentation/notarization fees regarding corporate credit facilities and mortgage contracts, for the first five years of their date of registration – as per recorded in the Commercial Registry. Companies and enterprises’ land registration contracts will also be enjoying an exemption from the above-mentioned taxes/fees[12]. In addition to the tax/fee exemptions stated above, all imported machinery, equipment, and tools needed for the project will only be subject to a Customs tariff (in accordance with the Customs Exemptions Law) of 2% of the value of the imported goods[13]. In regards to more industrial and construction based ventures, the law provides the ability to import all and any molds or templates needed for the production of the project — free of any customs fees or duties, under the basis that they are imported for temporary usage and will be re-exported abroad[14].

Special Incentives

The law offers a set of special incentives to companies or enterprises that are newly formed within the noted period of three years following the release of the governing Executive Regulations, with the intention of establishing an investment project[15]. Article 11 of the Law provides tax deductions of 50% to these investment projects pertaining to section A (geographic locations most urgently in need of development) and 30% deductions to the costs of projects pertaining to sector B. Sector B generally includes a large list of project types, including but not limited to: tourism, electricity, food, chemical industries and textile industries[16].

Additional Incentives

According to Article 13, the Council of Minister, through issuing a decree, can grant additional incentives to Article 11 Projects. Such incentives include special customs offices, refunding 50% of value of the allocated land and state support through incurring training fees and other expenses[17].
 
Social Responsibility

As a novel addition, the Investment Law dictates that 10% of the project’s net income can be directed towards social responsibility in certain fields, to be deductible from its annual corporate taxation[18]. The relevant fields include environmental protection, health, cultural and social development areas, as well as vocational education, research or scientific funding and awareness campaigns.

Settling Disputes

The Law called for the establishment of a new arbitration and dispute-settling center by the name of the Egyptian Center for Arbitration and Mediation to be based in Cairo[19]. The primary mandate of the Center is to settle any disputes that may arise between investors or investors and public or private authorities involved. According to Article 91 of the Law, the board of directors managing the Center will consist of “five experienced and specialized directors with good competence and reputation.”

GAFI – General Authority for Investment & the streamlining of investment procedures

With the goal of facilitating and simplifying the investment procedure to potential investors, GAFI has created a new administrative unit, as per the new Law named the Investor Service Center. The Center shall firstly, approve all elements relating to the investment including meeting minutes, increase of capital, liquidation and activity alteration. Secondly, the Center will also receive investors’ applications for permits and licenses. As such, the Center serves as a facilitator for most Investor needs[20].

In addition to the Investor Service Center, the Law has established Accreditation Offices[21], also under the jurisdiction of GAFI that examines documents required for approvals, permits and licenses for investment projects. Following inspection, they issue a certificate, confirming the investor’s compliance with all given requirements of the Law.
By virtue of the new Law, GAFI and other related and involved authorities are obligated to activate new electronic systems (E-Incorporation System) within 90 days of the issuance of the Law, i.e. before the 31st of August 2017[22]. Authorities are required to respond to the application of the incorporation of an investment vehicle within one business day from the date of application. In accordance with Article 51, any Company shall have a unified and certified national number for all of the Investor’s’ transactions.
 
Investment Systems

Not much has changed in the law regarding investment zones, which was already established in by Law No. 19 of the year 2007. However, public free zones were established once more following their removal in the 2015 amendments. The public free zones are created to encompass any licensed project products primarily intended to be exported overseas[23]. According to Article 41, projects operating in the public free zone shall be subject to:
  • A 2% fee of CIF (cost in freight) costs for goods imported by storage projects and a 1% fee of FOB (free on board) at goods exported by manufacturing and assembly projects.
  • A 1% fee of the total revenues gained by projects not engaging in the export and import of products.
  On the other hand, in regards to projects operating in private free zones, they will be subject to[24]:
  • A 1% fee of the total revenues gained from exporting its products in manufacturing and assembly projects, as well as a 2% fee of the total revenue at the entry of goods into the country.
  • A 2% fee of the total revenues in projects working in fields other than manufacturing and assembly.
 

[1] Article 3 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [2] Article 3 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [3] Article 3 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [4] Article 4 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [5] Article 4 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [6] Article 6 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [7] Article 6 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [8]  Article 7 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [9]  Article 8 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [10] Article 8 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [11] Chapter 2 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [12] Article 10 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [13] Article 10 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [14] Article 10 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [15] Article 12 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [16] Article 11 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [17] Article 13 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [18] Article 12 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [19] Article 91 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [20] Article 21 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [21] Article 22 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [22] Article 51 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [23] Article 33 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017. [24] Article 41 of Law No. 72 of the year 2017.