Egypt’s digital forensic lab to improve IPR’s protection and enforcement

Egypt piracyThe government of Egypt has announced to set 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, aims to resolve business software and internet-based piracy cases, recover data from digital devices and unearths new fraud techniques.

The latest measures applied focuses on enhancing 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 practised procedures aim to 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 (ITIDA) 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, judges and prosecutors, police officers and copyright owners”, said Dr Mohamed Hegazy, IPR office manager in Egypt.

Aimed at developing the necessary skills, the fully dedicated IPR office has delivered extensive training and capacity-building programmes 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.

“The launch of this lab enables us to achieve our targets,” Hegazy noted.

“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 per cent, a ratio lower than most of competing countries and leading global outsourcing locations including Morocco (65 per cent), the Philippines (67 per cent) and Vietnam (78 per cent).

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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