In devising IP strategies for East Africa, companies put a focus on strong brand protection in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. With that in mind, this year the WTR 1000 adds coverage of Tanzania – the largest country in the region – identifying six reputable firms alongside eight leading individuals that provide reliable assistance to those seeking to navigate trademark challenges in the jurisdiction. Counterfeiting is notable among them, as the country is experiencing a surge in fakes – not helped by weak border monitoring by Customs.
- ABC Attorneys
- Abenry & Company
- Vemma Consult Attorneys
A commercial firm with a flair for innovation, ABC Attorneys is a dynamic IP service provider that doesn’t just advise around problems, but solves them. Its specialised, talented team provides a comprehensive offering and is equally effective in portfolio management, enforcement and licensing and monetisation roles. The firm uses a proprietary web-based file management and communication system to ensure an efficient and timely service. Gerald Magubika is ABC’s well-organised IP practice manager.
Abenry & Company
Six-partner corporate, IP and litigation ensemble Abenry & Company is “one of the best trademark firms in Tanzania and is well versed in all aspects of the practice”. Responsiveness, timely action and a business-focused approach are hallmarks, appreciated by the diverse coterie of brand owners that enlist it for prosecution, portfolio management and litigation tasks. The key contact for many is Kenneth Leon Kolowa, who has made a vital contribution to improving Tanzania’s anti-counterfeiting regime.
“The leading law firm in Tanzania, with excellent commercial and IP practices”, Bowmans is also a natural choice for complex cross-border legal work of any kind in Africa, with 400 lawyers ready to deploy in seven jurisdictions on the continent. When it comes to brand entry and management in the eastern region, it is impressively well resourced, with an integrated team of specialists collaborating across its Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam bureaux. The local lynchpins are Audax Kameja and Francis Kamuzora – the former a seasoned commercial and IP litigator; the latter a well-rounded business, tax and IP counsellor.
Vemma Consult Attorneys
Having ramped up its IP capabilities in recent years, corporate outfit Vemma Consult Attorneys now handles a significant volume of trademark filings, oppositions and litigation. Its enviable success rate is thanks to tried-and-tested quality control mechanisms and the hawkish supervision of partners Haika-Belinda Macha and Patrick Sanga, who provide stellar leadership to a keen, proactive team. Collectively they act for a slew of prestigious international brands, including Davidoff, Chanel and Coca-Cola, for which they have recently handled renewal projects; and Philips, for which they have registered trademarks in Tanzania and Zanzibar.
Other recommended expertsThe holder of a PhD in IP law and an experienced professional, Saudin Mwakaje marries deep theoretical knowledge with practical wisdom. He practises at Nexlaw Advocates, with a focus on IP and investment law.
- Audax Kameja - Bowmans
- Francis Kamuzora - Bowmans
- Kenneth Leon Kolowa - Abenry & Company
- Haika-Belinda Macha - Vemma Attorneys
- Saudin J Mwakaje - Nexlaw Advocates
- Patrick Sanga - Vemma Consult Attorneys