A new dawn for Kenya

By Daniel Wanjau Muriu and Peter Kamero

The trademark landscape in Kenya is set to shift dramatically with proposed changes to the law. We examine some of the key developments and the issues that brand owners need to be aware of in order to protect their marks effectively in the east African nation

There have been a number of significant developments and proposed changes to the legal framework governing trademarks and intellectual property in Kenya. One of these is the proposed repeal of the Trademarks Act (Chapter 506 of the Laws of Kenya) – a fairly old statute which mostly replicates the UK Trademarks Act 1938. As well as more modern language and clearer style, the 2015 draft bill proposes widening the categories of trademark to allow the registration of sounds, colours and scents. It also proposes enacting into law the factors which must be considered by the registrar of trademarks and the courts in determining whether a mark is well known. In addition, the draft Trademarks Rules 2016 seek to provide clarity on extending timelines for proceedings brought before the registrar.

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Issue 71