Thursday, 28 August 2008

EU-Egypt Action Plan: the IP details

Recommendation No 1/2007 of the EU-Egypt Association Council of 6 March 2007 on the implementation of the EU-Egypt Action Plan has just been published this morning on the website of the Official Journal of the European Commission. This recommendation has some IP content. In particular:
Recommendation 2.2.4

(c) Intellectual property rights

— Accede to the conventions within the timeframe stipulated in the Association Agreement and apply the standards of protection stated in such conventions or other conventions and agreements to which Egypt is party. Strengthen enforcements of IPR legislation within TRIPs requirements,
— reinforce the fight against piracy and counterfeiting and promote cooperation between the authorities involved, police, judiciary and customs. Significantly reduce circulation and trafficking of counterfeit/pirated goods,
— increase awareness at both public and private level and encourage the establishment and effective functioning of associations of rights holders and consumers,
— explore the possibility of enhanced interaction with other Euromed partners,
— initiate a policy dialogue covering all aspects of IPR, including further legal/administrative improvements and possible membership of additional relevant conventions, etc.
There is also something with an IP flavour in terms of technical cooperation:

"2.5. Science and technology, research and development, information society and audiovisual cooperation

(a) Science and technology, research and development

Accelerate the integration of Egypt into the European Research Area and the Community Framework Programme

— Start implementation of the agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation,
— put into place and ensure the well-functioning of a network of national contact points for the 6/7th Framework programme and link them up with the national RDT and innovation operators as well as with other EU Science and Technology activities,
— pursue EU-Egypt cooperation in RDT-I, identifying the priority sectors of mutual interest, the instruments and means of cooperation and implementation policies and strategies, including the promotion of links between centres of excellence on both sides,
— disseminate research results to all potential users, develop a ‘patent culture’ and set up intellectual property offices in technology parks and universities, including support for the introduction of a doctoral level programme in intellectual property law in the framework of the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

Develop the scientific and technological capacity with a focus on the use of RTD results by the industrial and SME sector

— Strengthen human, material and institutional resources in order to improve the capacities of RDT-I operators, including quality evaluation and management processes,
— adopt a strategy for regional technopoles with a view to organising a dialogue between all those involved in research and end-users (industry, SMEs) and implementing interaction mechanisms between research and industry, public-private sector,
— explore possibilities for EU support in the setting up and running of a National Fund for Scientific Research and Development".

I don't know (i) why it has taken so long for a March 2007 item to be published in the Commission's Official Journal or (ii) whether there has been any follow-up on the IP provisions and, if so, what. If any reader can enlighten me, I shall be delighted.

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