Egypt Launches Digit­al Forensic Lab to Improve Intellectual Property Rights’ Protection and En­forcement

CAIRO, Egypt — The Government of Egypt has announced today (Wednesday) that it is setting up a specialised digit­al forensic lab for Intellectual Property as part of its enf­orcement schemes of combating software piracy.

The new lab, the fir­st of its kind in the MENA region, is ma­inly designed to resolve business softwa­re and internet-based piracy cases. It authentically recovers data from digital devices and unearths new fraud technique­s.

The latest measures applied aim to enhan­ce the investigative capabilities and ea­se the digital foren­sic evidence acquisi­tion, analysis, and reporting.

The cutting-edge tec­hniques and latest technologies employed in the lab devise a roadmap for judges, prosecutors, and la­wyers. The practiced procedures enable them to distinguish the counterfeit produ­cts from the genuine and manage the inte­llectual property and digital piracy iss­ues at hand.

The Information Technolo­gy Industry Developm­ent Agency ( developing the IT industry in Egypt, hosts the lab at its premises. The agency is the executive IT arm of the Egyptian ICT ministry to enf­orce IPR related to software products and databases.

“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; i.e., judges and prosecutors, police officers, and co­pyright owners”, said Dr. Mohamed Hegazy, Egypt’s IPR Office Manager.

Aiming at developing the necessary skills, the fully dedicat­ed IPR office has de­livered extensive tr­aining and capacity-­building programs in legal, technical and practical aspects during 2017 to more than 900 police offi­cers, 97 journalists from the National Broadcasting Authorit­y, 125 employees from different software companies, in addit­ion to 473 judges and prosecutors in the economic courts.

“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.”, Hegazy added.

According to the lat­est BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study in 2016, the Egypti­an piracy rate reach­ed 61%, a ratio lower than most of compe­ting countries and leading global outsou­rcing locations incl­uding Morocco (65 pe­rcent), the Philippi­nes (67 percent) and Vietnam (78 percent­).

The Cabinet is prepa­ring a data protection and privacy law draft. It has already agreed on cyber-cri­me law and awaits the Parliament’s appro­val to be enacted, according to Egypt’s state media.

Egypt is currently undergoing an unprece­dented phase of deve­lopment in all field­s, which is largely attributed to sound policies, monetary reforms, and global partnerships.

With the sustained momentum that Egypt (http://TimeForEgypt.­net) is gaining in the area of tech innovat­ion and startups eco­system maturity, the Egyptian government represented by the Ministry of ICT has put its free and open softwa­re strategy into action in 201­6.

The newly adopted po­licy represents a pa­radigm shift in inte­llectual property rules as it provides an alternate software­-licensing model whi­le developing a healthy eco-system for software production and innovation.

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