Kenya has specific anti-counterfeiting legislation, the Anti-Counterfeiting Act No. 13 of 2008, as well as a dedicated anti-counterfeiting body, the Anti-Counterfeiting Authority (ACA). There has for some time been confusion as to whether IP owners who sell goods in Kenya are required to register their trade marks separately with the ACA.
Some background – dual registration
Earlier this year, Kenya introduced what has been dubbed a ‘dual registration’ system. What this means is that an IP owner who imports goods into Kenya will be required to register its IP rights separately with the ACA – it is worth noting that, although the Kenyan authorities use the term intellectual property rights (IPRs), the assumption has been that this was primarily about trade marks.
Failure to register with the ACA will be an offence.
The ACA Recordal registration process has been in place for a few months. And it is quite onerous – considerable detail is required regarding the rights owner, the country where the goods are manufactured (this is mandatory), and the identities of foreign users and distributors.
Samples or digital photos of goods are required, as well as evidence of trade mark registration and renewal certificates.
When everything is up and running ACA inspectors will have the same powers as customs officers in respect of imported counterfeit goods. The thinking seemingly is that the ACA recordal process will result in more counterfeit goods being seized at ports of entry. Read more