The following news was provided by our friends at Saba & Co., inovia's agent for PCT national stage entry filings in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.
As of April 1, 2013, the Egyptian Patent Office started operating as an International Search Authority (ISA) and as an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). The PCT Assembly appointed the Egyptian PO as International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority at the 40th session of the Assembly of the PCT Union in September 2009.
This is an important milestone for the Egyptian PO as it sets itself with the likes of the Austrian Patent Office, the European Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Furthermore, this is a clear recognition from the Patent Assembly of the Egyptian Patent Office's competence to undertake such a task. This is the first office from an Arabic-speaking country to have developed and implemented such a capability.
The Egyptian PO has officially notified the PCT Assembly of the fees associated as well as the requirements for filing a PCT application where the office will act as the Receiving Office (RO/EG). As a member of the PCT, Egypt can be designated as the Receiving Office, at the time of filing an international application with the International Bureau, by applicants who are eligible to file with RO/EG.
With the implementation of this process, it is now possible for Egyptian and foreign nationals to file a PCT application through the Egyptian Patent Office. The applicant then has the choice to select between the following four patent offices to request an international search: Egypt, Australia, Europe or USA. It will not come as a surprise that the official fee for performing the search with the Egyptian Patent Office is cheaper at around the equivalent of USD 600. The three other offices charge over USD 2,000.
The Egyptian Patent Office will accept international searches in Arabic and English. Upon completion, the applicant will receive a copy of each document cited in the report alongside the international search report (ISR), free of charge. The applicant will have the option to protest for a set official fee of around the equivalent of USD 240.
Similarly, the Egyptian Patent Office will accept Arabic and English languages for performing international preliminary examinations. The total official fee for a preliminary examination is equivalent to about USD 650. In addition to the international preliminary examination report (IPER), the applicant will receive a copy of each additional document not cited in the ISR, free of charge. Here again, the applicant will have the option to protest for a set official fee of around the equivalent of USD 240.
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