MUSCAT: Forging a new relationship in the fields of intellectual property, science and technology, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and the Egyptian Patent Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday at a ceremony held at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

H E Dr Ali bin Masoud bin Ali al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, signed the MoU with Egypt’s Professor Dr Mahmoud Mohammed Saqr, head of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.

Following the agreement, MoCI’s Patent Office will receive technical assistance and training by the Egyptian Patent Office and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.

H E Sunaidi said that the assistance and expertise from Egypt will be invaluable to the sultanate. “The sultanate’s rapid expansion and innovation in industries such as plastics, packaging, petrochemicals, mining and other areas means an increasing number of patents are issued every year. Signing this MoU allows the sultanate to use the expertise of Egypt’s Patent Office. A training programme will also be launched, which will increase the efficiency of the Department of Intellectual Property in the Ministry of Commerce. This MoU is a preliminary step towards further cooperation in the fields of intellectual property as well as science and technology between the two countries.”

Professor Dr Saqr said, “Egypt is the only Arab country registered with the World International Intellectual Property Organization. There are approximately 140 patent examiners in several fields, evaluating up to 3,000 patents per year. This MoU will enable cooperation between the two countries. Training will be provided as per Oman’s needs, and a secure network will be set up to share information.”