Egypt launches digital forensic lab to improve Intellectual property protection

As part of Egypt’s on-going enforcement schemes to combat software piracy, the government announced it is setting up a specialized digital forensic laboratory for intellectual property.

Egypt is considered one of the top countries in copyrights infringement and the government has since focused on copyrights protection until its focus changed due to the revolution in the country in 2011.

Mohamed Hegazy, Egypt’s IPR Office Manager noted that “over the last couple of years, ITIDA’s IPR office has undertaken comprehensive actions to increase IP enforcement with all the stakeholders like the economic courts; example judges, prosecutors, police officers, and copyright owners.”

According to the International Intellectual Property Alliance report, software piracy in Egypt was 61 percent and it affected mostly software and IT sectors. International Data Corporation (IDC) and BSA also stated that reducing the software piracy in Egypt by at least 10 percent could generate $254 million in the gross domestic product.

With the new laboratory that is designed to resolve business software and internet-based piracy cases, fraud techniques will be unearthed and data from digital devices will be recovered. Counterfeit product can be distinguished from intellectual property and these cutting-edge techniques will serve as a roadmap for judges, prosecutors and lawyers to manage and tackle the country’s piracy issues head-on.

To ensure all involved have the required skill set, the IPR office has delivered extensive training and capacity-building programs in legal, technical and practical aspects to more than 900 police officers, 97 journalists from the country’s National Broadcasting Authority, 125 employees from different software companies, in addition to 473 judges and prosecutors in the economic courts.

Reinstating the government’s commitments to fighting software piracy, Hegazy stated “we are committed to sustaining our success in combating IP infringement and expanding IP rights. The launch of this lab enables us to achieve our targets”. “Only in 2017, we have delivered technical expertise reports of 96 cases to the economic courts, registered 203 computer software programs and issued 267 licenses for the first time.”

Confirming the government’s seriousness, Egypt’s state media noted that the Cabinet is preparing a data protection and privacy law draft as it awaits the parliaments approval on the already decided cyber-crime law.