CFL Advocates is a leading full-service law firm with extensive experience and expertise in all fields of intellectual property that offers a wide range of client-focused legal services, particularly in East Africa.
Our dedicated team continues to provide a broad spectrum of services with an aim of strengthening and protecting our clients’ rights. We are known for having one of the quickest turnaround times in all the countries we operate in. This has resulted in our clients entrusting us to take over and manage sizeable IP portfolios.
Our IP practice covers aspects of the following, among others;
- IP portfolio management;
- clearance and freedom to operate searches;
- contentious IP matters, including infringement, passing off, oppositions and cancellations;
- customs recordals;
- regulatory compliance;
- domain name registration, maintenance, renewals and disputes;
- IP watch services;
- commercial aspects of intellectual property, including reviewing, drafting and negotiation of IP-based agreements; and
- IP advisory in mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings, including legal compliance, audits, risks analysis, due diligence, restructuring and optimisation of IP portfolios.
We are members of global and regional bodies of IP owners and practitioners in which we have formed long-lasting strategic relationships with IP stakeholders. Our services extend to the entire East African region – in particular Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda; and the Africa regional registries of ARIPO and OAPI. We also have extensive experience filing international trademarks, of which we have handled close to 100 country designations. Further, CFL has been instrumental in following up on the acknowledgement of the various IP rights in Somalia and Somaliland (where the IP registries are not operational) through the publication of cautionary notices in both English and the local Somali language, to enable IP owners inform the public of their rights.
We endeavour to identify and understand each client’s needs with certainty to ensure that the solutions offered not only address our client’s needs, but also add value to their businesses by improving their position in the market as far as their IP rights are concerned. To this end, we aim to develop a close professional relationship with our clients and understand their commercial interests in order to best serve them.
Our docketing system enables us to inform our clients on all matters on a real time basis. The system assists in monitoring timelines for clients’ applications/registrations to always ensure that all deadlines for responses to office actions and renewal due dates are notified to the client in adequate time. The system also assists in the efficient and cost-effective management of bulk global IP portfolios. Additionally, we have subscribed to legal know-how databases in order to access the latest news, case law, drafting notes and legislation in our areas of practice.
We have been involved in the review of various pieces of legislation relating to intellectual property across East Africa. These include the Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Act and Regulations under the auspices of the Legal and Regulatory Committee of Kenya Association of Manufacturers, the draft Trademarks Bill and the draft Rules under the Bill, proposed amendments to the Kenya Industrial Property Act, the Trademarks Act, the Copyright Act and the Geographical Indications Bill.
Our team comprises over 10 highly skilled lawyers who have expertise in a wide variety of legal areas and experience in handling transactions in the East African Region. Our lawyers are supported by a number of paralegals, pupils and other support staff. As a result, we are among the top law firms in East Africa in terms of the value and volume of the IP matters we handle.
We have also been consistently ranked as an exceptional trademark law firm by the WTR 1000 (for the past seven years) and Managing Intellectual Property (for the past five years).
We are active members of INTA, the Pharmaceutical Trademarks Group and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Anti-illicit Trade Sub-committee.
PO Box 23555-00100
- Lorna Mbatia, Managing partner