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Kenya (KE)

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07-12-2016 (Newsletter Issue 13/16)
Registered Trademarks May Block Company Registrations
The Registrar of Companies in Kenya is now required to consider trademark registrations when assessing company names. The Registrar is required to refuse a company name if the name is ‘offensive’ or ‘undesirable’. A company name will be deemed to be offensive or undesirable if it includes the name of a registered trademark. A written consent from the trademark owner will overcome the problem.

This change of practice is a result of the promulgation of the Companies Act 2015, and the Companies (General) Regulations 2015. There is no provision for the removal of names registered in violation of this requirement. It is also important to note that the situation does not apply in reverse - the Registrar of Trade Marks does not need to consider company names when assessing trade mark applications.

Companies might want to consider filing trade mark applications for their company names. It is, however, worth bearing in mind that a trade mark application does require a genuine intention to use.

Source: Spoor & Fisher, South Africa


04-01-2014 (Newsletter Issue 6/14)
Accession to Madrid Protocol
The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments and has the honor to refer to the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Kenya on March 26, 1998, of its instrument of accession to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, adopted at Madrid on June 27, 1989 ("Madrid Protocol (1989)"). Please see the Madrid (Marks) Notification No. 102, for ease of reference.

In this respect, the Director General of WIPO has the honor to notify that the Republic of Kenya deposited, on March 12, 2014, the following declaration:

- that in accordance with Article 8(7)(a) of the Madrid Protocol (1989), the Republic of Kenya, in connection with each international registration in which it is mentioned under Article 3ter of the said Protocol, and in connection with the renewal of any such international registration, wants to receive an individual fee, instead of a share in the revenue produced by the supplementary and complementary fees.

The said declaration will enter into force on June 12, 2014.

Source: www.wipo.int


10-25-2011 (Newsletter Issue 12/11)
IP Journal Available Electronically Now
The Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) discontinued the printing of the hard copy of the Industrial Property Journal effective from 30th September 2011. In compliance with the provisions of the Industrial Property Act 2001, an electronic copy of the Industrial Property Journal (the “Journal”) will be availed to members of the public every month, free of charge.

To access the September Journal please click here

Source: Ndikimi & Company Advocates, Kenya


Legal basis is the Trade Marks Act Chapter 506 of the Laws of Kenya (“the Act”), as last amended by the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act No. 7 of 2007.
Registration provides protection for the trademark in Kenya only. Trademark protection under the Trade Marks Act is available for registered Trademarks and for well known marks. An unregistered trademark protection is possible only via an action for passing off or the remedies in respect of the same.
Kenya is a member of the Madrid Protocol and the Madrid Agreement.
Though the Trade Marks Act was amended to give effect to the Banjul Protocol on Marks administered by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Kenya is yet to ratify the Protocol to allow the implementation of its provisions.
Nice classification, 10th edition
Registrable as trademark are distinguishing guise, slogan, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter or numeral or any combination thereof whether rendered in two-dimensional or three-dimensional form.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, defensive marks, certification marks and collective marks.
A trademark application is filed at the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI).
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney is necessary. No legalization or notarization is necessary.
Before registration the mark is published in the monthly KIPI Industrial Property Journal which is electronically available since September 2011.
National:
The opposition period is 60 days from the publication date of the trademark application.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
Trademark protection is valid on its registration with the effective date of the registration being the date of the application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years thereafter.
The mark may still be renewed within 30 days from the advertisement of non-payment of the renewal fee, upon payment of both the renewal fee (depending on the number of classes) and a late renewal fee per mark.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
A trademark may be removed from the Register on the grounds of non-use on an application by any person if it has not been used in Kenya for a continuous period of five (5) years or if the trademark was registered without any bona fide intention of use and if there has been no bona fide use of the trademark by the proprietor up to the date one month before the date of the application. The onus of proof is on the applicant.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
A foreign fee (payable in USD) is applied if the person paying the fee or on whose behalf the fee is being paid does not reside in Kenya and does not have a principal place of business in Kenya:
The official fee for application is USD 200.00 for one class and USD 150.00 for each additional class. The official registration fee is USD 150.00 for each class and USD 100.00 for each additional class. The fee for advertising is USD 60.00 for each class and USD 50.00 for each additional class.
There is also the official fee of USD 50.00 for the filing of the power of attorney.

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Search type First class Add. class
Word Mark Search (availability) 340,00 € 250,00 € 
Word Mark Search (identical) 310,00 € 220,00 € 

The Prices above are SMD Group Search Fees
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
05-10-2016
Coulson Harney Advocates, Nairobi, Kenya

08-29-2013
Ndikimi & Company Advocates, Nairobi, Kenya

08-07-2012
Ndikimi & Company Advocates, Nairobi, Kenya

12-15-2011
Kenya Industrial Property Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

06-15-2011
Ndikimi & Company Advocates, Nairobi, Kenya

01-19-2011
Coulson Harney Advocates, Nairobi, Kenya



Coulson Harney Advocates

ICEA Lion Centre, West Wing, Riverside Park, Chiromo Road
Nairobi
Kenya (KE)

Mwale & Company Advocates

Mara Road
254 Nairobi
Kenya (KE)

Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI)
Popo Rd. off Mombasa Rd. South “C”
Weights and Measures Complex
P.O. Box 51648 - 00200
Nairobi
Tel +254 20 600 2210 or 11
Fax +254 20 600 6312
Mail info@kipi.go.ke
www.kipi.go.ke

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8
www.wipo.int

African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO)
11 Natal Road
Belgravia
Harare
Zimbawe

P.O. Box 4228

Tel +263 47 94 0 65 68
Fax +263 47 94 07 2 or 3
Mail mail@aripo.org
www.aripo.org