How covid-19 has hit anti-counterfeiting in Africa and what brand owners can do to fight back

The Long Read: The pandemic and related effects of lockdown have had a big impact on the continent’s IP ecosystem. Vanessa Ferguson at Von Seidels runs through some of the most significant upheavals and sets out what rights holders should do to safeguard their brands.

How covid-19 has hit anti-counterfeiting in Africa and what brand owners can do to fight back
The two laws set to shake up the Kenyan IP system in 2021
25 Nov 2020

The two laws set to shake up the Kenyan IP system in 2021

The latest legislative reforms in a series of ongoing improvements to the national IP regime offer welcome news for rights holders in Kenya.

Coca-Cola to discontinue 200 brands; hoax Woolworths causes stir; adidas mulls Reebok sale – news digest
27 Oct 2020

Coca-Cola to discontinue 200 brands; hoax Woolworths causes stir; adidas mulls Reebok sale – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the boss of Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Authority departing following a fake number plate scandal, IP Australia launching a new quality approach, and much more.


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17 Aug 2021

Important developments regarding anti-counterfeiting - what brand owners need to know

For a number of years, there has been talk that every brand owner that imports goods into Kenya will be required to record its trademark with Customs. This requirement is now becoming a reality as a result of the publication of two new regulations. Read more

24 Mar 2021

Renewal of overdue trademarks in Kenya - an update

As part of the Kenya Industrial Property Institute’s initiative to rid its Trademarks Register of all unwanted registrations, three special journals containing trademarks that were not timeously renewed have now been published. Read more

4 Jan 2021

Navigating the Kenya trademark landscape: what the future holds after recent developments

The Intellectual Property Bill 2020 is only the latest in a series of developments that rights holders need to know about when building their brands in Kenya. Read more

26 Nov 2020

Kenya publishes new guidebooks on fighting fakes

The National Council on the Administration of Justice and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers prove that a multi-agency approach is key to fighting counterfeits in the country. Read more


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31 Jul 2020

Jeff Bezos on fake goods; Dyson counterfeiters jailed; trademarks at risk in Kenya – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at INTA’s Unreal Campaign going virtual, how counterfeiting is on the rise in India, Romania upgrading its e-filing system, and much more. Read more

8 Jul 2020

Enforcement in Africa: key qualities of a continent-wide brand protection strategy

WTR traverses the whole of Africa to provide brand owners with a comprehensive guide to brand protection across the region. Read more

3 Dec 2019

Counterfeit hotspots in Kenya that brand owners should be aware of

In the latest edition of our regular series on marketplaces around the world that are reportedly notorious for the trade of counterfeit goods, we head to the African nation of Kenya. Read more

1 Mar 2019

Customs recordals now possible in Kenya

As a result of a recent amendment to the Anti-counterfeiting Act, Kenya now has a system of recording trademarks with the customs authorities. Under the new system, the Anti-counterfeit Agency will be able to stop the import of counterfeit goods at ports of entry. Read more

Brand management

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19 Jun 2020

Kenya trademark removal risk; warning over “egregious” scam email; ‘.brands’ scrap heap – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at AT&T considering the sale of Warner Bros Interactive, a sushi trademark dispute, ICANN and Global Cyber Alliance partnering up, and much more. Read more

1 Oct 2019

Trademark licensing in Africa: an A-Z whistle-stop tour

With Africa proving to be a particularly lucrative region for brands seeking licensing opportunities, we examine what rights holders need to know about trademark licences from a swathe of nations across the continent. Read more

26 Sep 2019

Trademark licensing in Africa: inside three key jurisdictions

With Africa proving a particularly lucrative region for brands seeking licensing opportunities, we examine what rights holders need to know about trademark licences in three key jurisdictions from across the continent Read more

26 Feb 2019

Brazil calls for ‘.amazon’ delay, Swatch and Samsung face-off, and Lithuanian open IP data: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Jerry Seinfeld filing a lawsuit over a ‘counterfeit’ Porsche, a draft policy in India that could empower platforms to blacklist counterfeit sellers, and much more. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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30 Jun 2020

Kenya’s journey towards a harmonised IP legal regime

The Intellectual Property Bill 2020 represents a significant step towards the strengthening of IP rights in Kenya. However, the bill contains gaps that threaten the practicality of the legislation. Read more

13 Jun 2019

Cross-examination and the WOKOZIM case: a new direction for proceedings in Kenya?

A recent decision of the assistant registrar of trademarks within the context of an application for expungement of the mark WOKOZIM shows that, in certain circumstances, a deponent can be asked to appear physically for cross-examination. Read more

2 May 2019

High Court clarifies legal position on conflicting trademark and business name rights

A recent Kenyan High Court decision has clarified the legal position in respect of the conflict between trademark and business name rights, which has arisen primarily because the trademarks registry and the business names registry are not interlinked. Read more

27 Jun 2018

Important amendments to IP law proposed: dual trademark registration to be introduced?

Proposed amendments to the Anti-Counterfeiting Act suggest that all marks relating to goods to be imported into Kenya must be recorded with the Anti-counterfeit Authority<span id="_mce_caret" data-mce-bogus="1" data-mce-type="format-caret"><strong></strong></span> and trademark registration will be a prerequisite.

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12 Feb 2019

Plain packaging passed in Singapore, cat photo trademarks, and US Senate IP subcommittee: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a new report showing 70% of Kenyans use counterfeit products, a new system developed to identify fake logos, the Spanish football league scoring a piracy win, and much more. Read more

10 Dec 2018

How INTA is helping to shape the trademark environment in Africa and the Middle East

This week, INTA is hosting its 2018 Middle East and Africa Conference. As the event kicked off, we spoke with an INTA representative to look at recent developments and why an annual meeting in the region is “a natural step”. Read more

1 Nov 2017

A new dawn for Kenya

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 Read more

28 Sep 2016

Court of Appeal upholds High Court decision in Doshi case

The Kenya Revenue Authority, a statutory body which assesses, collects and accounts for all revenues for the Kenyan government, has appealed against the judgment in <i>Doshi Iron Mongers Ltd v Weights and Measures Department</i> that found in favour of Doshi, a private Kenyan company dealing in general merchandise.

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Law Firms

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15 Aug 2016

Venturing into Africa: law firm opportunity and risk in an evolving IP landscape

For this week’s blog post from the <em>WTR 1000</em> research team, it is timely to consider the current state of trademark protection in Africa.

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IP Offices

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25 Aug 2020

Renewal of overdue trademarks in Kenya – what you need to know

Within the context of an initiative to rid its Trademark Register of all unwanted trademark registrations, the Kenya Industrial Property Institute has published a Special Industrial Property Journal listing some 2,000 lapsed registrations. Read more

18 Mar 2014

IP bodies consider proposal to merge them into one

Chief officers from the Kenya Copyright Board, the Kenya Industrial Property Institute and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency are currently discussing the government’s proposal to merge them into one body called the Kenya Intellectual Property Office. The merger proposal is based on, among other things, the fact that the functions undertaken by the three agencies complement each other.

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Portfolio Management

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9 Dec 2019

Confusion over non-use and assignment of associated marks in East Africa

Rights holders in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are reaping the benefits of associated trademarks. However, a lack of relevant case law means that legal provisions concerning non-use and assignment of such marks are leaving many scratching their heads. Read more

28 Sep 2018

How similar is too similar? Lloyd Schuhfabrik Meyer test affirmed

The assistant registrar of trademarks in Kenya has found that Jaguar Land Rover’s F-PACE mark is not similar to Shanghai Durotyre’s earlier PACE mark and affirmed the test laid out in Lloyd Schuhfabrik Meyer. Read more

2 Aug 2018

High Court Sony decision: are well-known marks really protected?

In a decision that "may be a shock to many", the Kenyan High Court has held that Sony Corporation had failed to prove that its SONY mark was a well-known mark in Kenya.

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5 Apr 2018

Does mere use confer protection? High Court provides answer

Following the decision of Kenya's High Court in <em>Fibrelink Limited v Star Television Production</em>, prior use of a similar mark is now sufficient grounds for an opposition.<br>

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Trademark law

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10 May 2018

Counterfeiting in Africa: part one of an A-Z guide

The world is awash with counterfeit goods, with Africa proving no exception. In the first of part of our A-Z, we examine the anti-counterfeiting frameworks from Algeria to Morocco. Read more

15 Sep 2017

Changes in Mozambique and Kenya to trademark applications and renewals

The Mozambique Industrial Property Institute has announced that it will increase its official fees for the filing and prosecution of trademark and patent applications. In Kenya, the Registrar of Trademarks has published practice directions which effectively remove the additional 30-day notice period for the renewal of trademarks.

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29 Mar 2017

Trademark procedures and strategies: Kenya

Any person claiming to be the proprietor of a trademark that it uses or proposes to use may apply to register the mark. Where an applicant appoints an agent to act on its behalf, the applicant must provide the agent with a power of attorney signed in the agent’s favour. This power of attorney need not be legalised.

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14 Oct 2016

High Court upholds registrar of trademarks’ decision to admit new evidence after close of arguments in opposition proceedings

A recent High Court decision confirms that a writ of judicial review is a special remedy used only in the most deserving of circumstances, and suggests that parties can apply to file further evidence at any time in opposition proceedings as long as a decision has not yet been issued.

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