Copyright licensor collect substantial reward from court
An emphatic result took place for owners and exclusive licensor of media content and copyrights in Egypt when one of the largest compensatory awards made in the Middle East region was issued by the Economic Court of First Instance in Cairo (EC), with reference to the non-payment of royalty fees and the imposing of liquidated damages.One of the leading broadcasting companies, enrolled into numerous license agreements with a broadcasting channel in Egypt in order to broadcast licensed and exclusionary material in terms of TV titles and series. The Egyptian broadcasting channel disregarded the payment of its royalty obligations, provided in the license agreement; therefore, the company filed a suit before the EC claiming an estimated four million USD for the recovery of the outstanding amounts due as well as two million USD of liquidated damages for the breach of the copyright licensing contracts. The contract binding both parties mentioned that the governing law for any disputes should be the UAE civil transaction code. The Egyptian court implemented the UAE regulations without any repressions and ordered the Egyptian channel to pay the demanded amount (four million USD). As for the liquidated damages, the UAE civil transaction code stated that it is up to the court’s discretion whether to waive, alter or conform to this type of damage in proportion to the breach committed by the other party. The court then reached a verdict and ordered the Egyptian broadcasting company to pay a sum of two million USD, the amount mentioned in the contract between both parties. This not only means that the Egyptian courts are progressing toward the benefit of owners of Intellectual Property Rights, but this is also a message from Egyptian Courts articulating that it will not hesitate to inflict large amounts of compensation through the contractual rights. In light of Egypt’s recent financial and development project, “The New Egypt”, it is apparent that Commercial courts in Egypt are developing in the favor of the owners of intellectual property rights. This is a significant step when it comes to sustaining and preserving economic growth in the country. Egyptian courts can and will aim to intervene with high compensations in order to protect foreign investors’ rights in Egypt.