On June 29, government officials, representatives from the private sector, and local attorneys gathered at the offices of Eldib & Co in Cairo, Egypt, for a dynamic enforcement-focused policy dialogue organized by INTA, titled “Anticounterfeiting Enforcement & Coordination.”
Dialogue participants included representatives from the Eastern Company for Tobacco, the Egyptian Customs Office, El Sewedy Electrics, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
INTA Anticounterfeiting Committee and Middle East and Africa Global Council member Mohamed Eldib (Eldib & Co, Egypt) moderated the discussion with JETRO Director of Intellectual Property Rights Masakazu Shiozawa, Egyptian Customs Authority Head of Tarif Division Mohammed Mahmoud, U.S. Department of Commerce Intellectual Property Attaché for the Middle East and North Africa Peter C. Mehravari, and United States Homeland Security Investigations Officer Michael A. Schuster.
INTA Representative, Africa, Middle East and Intergovernmental Organizations Tat-Tienne Louembe highlighted areas of co-operation in efforts to stop counterfeits and illicit trade in Egypt. Mr. Louembe noted that effective anticounterfeiting requires strong customs enforcement and collaboration with the private sector and the need for a new recordal system at the Egyptian Customs Authority. He also offered INTA’s assistance with the training of customs officials and selected brand owners.
Panelists emphasized the importance of enhancing collaboration between the USPTO and JETRO, advocating for ways to elevate and champion intellectual property discussions within the Egyptian government. They also discussed approaches for increasing consumer awareness of illegal importation, local manufacturing, and sale of counterfeit products, as well as the threats to public safety and national and regional security that counterfeit products pose.
Mr. Louembe reiterated INTA’s commitment to working with government officials, private sector representatives, and members in this vital region. Participants expressed their interest in supporting further policy dialogues to encourage the mutual sharing of best practices and legislative improvements.
To read more, please visit https://www.inta.org/INTABulletin/Pages/Africa_Update_7415.aspx