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C h a p t e r 8 I C T C h a l l e n g e s f o r t h e A r a b W o r l d
develop the country’s scientiﬁc potential). Moroccanresearch and ICT involvement, led by the Centre Nationalde la Recherche Scientiﬁque et Technique, was inspired by leading French research institutes. Six countries operatetechnopoles dedicated to research and development intechnology. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Scienceand Technology (KACST), for instance, has evolved from itspetroleum focus to include atomic energy, astronomy andgeophysics, computer and electronics, and aerospace. Othercountries, such as Jordan, with its newly established ICTplan, have adopted a narrower focus. Technology incubatorsplans are ready, but we identiﬁed only three operationaltechnology incubators of national magnitude across thearea. As venture funding is still marginal in the area, mosttechnology incubators have yet to ﬂourish.
Deployment of ICT infrastructure improvementprograms
There are several ongoing ICT-infrastructure developmentinitiatives in the Arab world; they are strategically importantbecause of the magnitude of investment, anticipatedbeneﬁts, and ﬁt with national ICT plans. Progress ismeasurable in network and teledensity achievements,regional and global connectivity, as well as in operationale-government facilities.National network upgrades, teledensity improvements,enhanced national connectivity, and the gradualintroduction of new Internet provider (IP) delivery technologies are creating a favorable environment for theuptake of ICT. However, much progress remains to be made.The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) hasranked states based upon national teledensities—Group A,the lowest rank, for countries with less than 1 percent ﬁxedline penetration rates in 2001; and Group G, the highestrank, with teledensity rates higher than the 50 percentthreshold in 2001 (ITU 2002). Of the thirteen countriesunder consideration in this chapter, six ranked in the Ccategory (teledensity between the 5 percent and 10 percent);the D and E categories each had three countries, and theUnited Arab Emirates was on par with Spain and Portugalin the F category (35 percent to 50 percent). Nationalteledensity improvement has to remain a priority in mostArab states.
Geographical disparities between the Gulf states and therest of the region have led to the adoption of divergingnational ﬁxed line development strategies. Most Gulf states are in the process of completing the digitalization of their public networks, whilst Maghreb states are workingon densiﬁcation and upgrading the existing telephonenetworks. With small populations but high investmentsin their national networks, Gulf states have matched oroutperformed international standards in ICT infrastructure,whereas the densely populated Levant and Maghreb
Selected IPR-related Laws Enacted per Country
Country Year:* Law/Decree/ActGulf
Kuwait2001: Patent Law2001: Trademark Law2000: Copyright LawSaudi Arabia1984: Trademark Law1989: Patent Law1989: Copyright LawBahrain1977: Patent Law1991: Trademark Law1993: Copyright DecreeQatar1978: Trademark Law1995: Copyright LawU.A.E.1992: Patent and Industrial Design Law1992: Trademark LawOman1987: Trademark Law2000: Royal Decree on Patent Law2000: Royal Decree and Law on Trademarks,Indications, and Secrets and Protection against UnfairCompetition
Lebanon1946: Patent Law1999: Copyright LawSyrian AR1949: Copyright Law1980: Patent Legislative DecreeJordan1953: Patent and Industrial Design Act1999: Trademark Law1999: Copyright Law2000: Layout Design of Integrated Circuits LawEgypt1949: Patent and Industrial Models Act1969: Trademark Act1992: Copyright Act
Tunisia1956: Patents decree1936: Trademark decree1994: Copyright decreeAlgeria1966: Decree 66–60 concerning patents andinnovation certiﬁcates1966: Ordonnance 66–57 relative aux marques defabriques et de commerce1966: Ordonnance 66–223 relative aux dessins etmodèles industriels1993: Décrêt legislative 93–17 relatif à la protectiondes inventions1997: Ordonnance 97–10 relative aux droitsd’auteurs1998: Décrêt exécutif 98–366 portant statuts del’Ofﬁce National des Droits d’Auteurs et des DroitsVoisins (ONDA)Morocco1916: Patents Dahir1997: Industrial Property Law2000: Copyright Law
*Dates indicate latest modiﬁcations and amendments.