Kenya: anti-counterfeiting and dual registration

Much has been written about the proposed changes to the Kenyan Anti-Counterfeit Act 2008. The most significant change is the creation of a system that could be interpreted as a dual trade mark system. When this system comes into force, trade marks relating to goods that will be imported into Kenya will need to be registered at the Trade Marks Registry and recorded separately with the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA).

Following a recent meeting with the Deputy Director of the ACA, we understand that the date of implementation of the recordal system is pending. The delay is down to the fact that the fees relating to the ACA recordal and the draft regulations still need to be finalised and presented to the Kenyan Parliament. Spoor & Fisher has been asked to make representations in regard to these matters.

Concerns have been expressed about the costs involved in this dual registration/recordal process, especially as it will be necessary to renew ACA recordals annually. Following a public participation process, the Kenyan authorities have now significantly reduced the proposed official fees relating to ACA recordal. We will continue to monitor the situation.

At a recent forum involving the Kenyan Private Sector Alliance and the European Union Business Council, EU envoys and ambassadors from EU member states met with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. The parties agreed that corruption and related economic crimes are a major hindrance to the growth of business and the expansion of investment. The European envoys supported the president’s call for a crackdown on corruption and economic crimes including counterfeiting.

The European envoys agreed to support and/or increase funding for various Kenyan government activities and initiatives, including the improvement of the anti-counterfeiting operation at the port of Mombasa, as well as the consolidation of 26 government agencies into a more efficient four.

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Date published: 1 July 2019
Author: Spoor & Fisher