As the largest country in the Arab world, Egypt cannot be ignored by companies seeking to move into the Middle East. However, the political unrest that has periodically flared since 2013 has seriously shaken the economy – and left intellectual property a low priority for the legislature. The government is implementing drastic spending reforms and waiting on a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. Local businesses fear a significant financial squeeze and are thus wary of overspending on IP protection.
Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual PropertyAbu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property is one of the most renowned IP outfits both in Egypt and across the wider Middle East and North Africa. Heavyweight multinationals entrust it with the management of their high-value portfolios; it is also sought out by an impressive range of creatives, from prominent architects to musicians and writers. Having worked closely with governments in the region on the development of comprehensive IP legislation, it is au fait with every line of the relevant statutes.
Attiat Ismail IPThough established only in September 2014, Attiat Ismail IP is fast becoming a firm fixture on the IP landscape, turning heads both at the Egyptian Patent Office and in courtrooms across the country. Founder Attiat Ismail has over three decades’ experience in the field and expertise that encompasses everything from prosecution and commercialisation to challenging litigation. Her involvement with the Licensing Executives Society International keeps her in tune with all the latest IP commercialisation trends.
Eldib & CoIn 2016 Eldib & Co joined forces with much-respected Abdelhadi IP to take its trademark practice to new heights; the latter has brought extensive courtroom experience and longstanding client relationships to the table, making the full-service firm a prime choice for companies seeking holistic, commercially informed counsel. With a broad reach into Africa and Asia, it is particularly strong on multi-jurisdictional matters. Anti-counterfeiting is also a forte; it astutely leverages its resources to orchestrate effective border seizures and has forged close links with customs officials. Managing partner Amr Eldib is a reliable first port of call.
Helmy, Hamza & Partners (a member of Baker McKenzie International)As part of Baker McKenzie’s sprawling international network, Helmy, Hamza & Partners has abundant resources at its fingertips and can easily call on overseas partners to assist on tricky cross-border matters. The 49 lawyers on board here are all fluent in both Arabic and English – many speak other foreign languages, too – making the team a popular choice among multinationals. Enforcement is unquestionably its metier; its practitioners leave no stone unturned in their preparations for battle and advocate clients’ cases with force and eloquence. Leading the team is Mohamad Talaat, a business-minded sage with deep know-how in pharmaceuticals.
Saba Intellectual PropertyFounded in 1926 – when intellectual property was still a nascent field in the Middle East – boutique Saba eats, sleeps and breathes the discipline. It has expertise across the trademark spectrum, as well as in neighbouring areas such as designs, copyright, unfair competition and advertising law. It prides itself on treating each client, no matter what its size, with equal attention, serving up uniquely tailored solutions aligned with long-term commercial goals. The team is at its best when counselling regional businesses on matters surrounding the Madrid Agreement.
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