Measures to protect intellectual-property rights (IPR) are based on Law 82/2002. Although the law explicitly mentions software and electronic data as items subject to copyright protection, software associations based in the United States continue to deem Egypt’s IPR safeguards as inadequate.Law 15, the electronic-signature law, was issued in April 2004 and went into effect on May 26th 2005, with Ministerial Decree 109/2005. The law and its executive regulations provide legal standing for electronic signatures with the aim of stimulating e-commerce growth by providing an amenable regulatory environment and bolstering IPR protection. The law calls for the formation of a regulator, the Information Technology Industry Development Authority (ITIDA), under the aegis of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The authority is to encourage the use of “electronic dealing mechanisms” by small and medium-sized enterprises and to promote exports in telecommunications and information technology.The ITIDA began operations in 2005, and it has begun preparing to issue code keys for electronic-signature transactions. The keys will be issued to Certificate Service Providers, which the government will license. Four companies received a licence from the ITIDA in July 2006: Security and Network Services, Egypt Trust, Advanced Computer Technology, and Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry. The ITIDA is also responsible for protecting electronic intellectual-property rights, and has signed a number of protocols with Egyptian IPR users, such as the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the E-learning and Business Solutions Union, a non-governmental organisation.Neither the electronic-signature law nor the IPR law specifies legal protections for e-commerce brands or marketing concepts.

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