Kenya Trade Marks
Trade Mark Registration & Protection
Kenya trade marks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and are renewable every 10 years thereafter. Kenya is a First to Use country and whomever uses first will be granted rights over a mark. The first user of a mark is granted exclusive rights to use the trademark and protect it from infringement. Kenya is a member of the Paris Convention and the Madrid Protocol (an international system for obtaining trade mark protection for a number of regions through a single application) and the Nice Classification on Goods and Services is followed.
Types of Trade Marks:
- Goods and services
- Collective marks
- Certification marks
- Series marks
- Defensive marks
- Simply signed Power of Attorney
- Details of the Applicant (full names, physical address, nationality/country of incorporation)
- Representation of the trade mark(s)
- List of goods and/or services
- Certified copy of priority document (if applicable)
The Nice Classification of Goods and Services is followed. Multi-class applications are possible.
10 years from filing date and renewable for further periods of 10 years.
International and Regional Systems:
- Paris Convention
- Madrid Protocol
Kenya recognises the goods and services classes from the Nice Classification and allows for multi-class filing. The Nice Classification, established by the Nice Agreement, is an international classification for the registration of marks. A new edition is published every 5 years and a new version of each edition is published annually. Use of the Nice Classification is mandatory for the national registration of marks in countries party to the Nice Agreement:
OAPI (African Intellectual Property Organization);
ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization);
BOIP (Benelux Office for Intellectual Propert);
EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) and;
the International Bureau of WIPO.
Kenya is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trade marks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their intellectual property is protected in other countries. It applies to IP in the widest sense as it covers patents, trade marks and industrial designs to name a few.
Madrid Trade Marks in Africa
Only 9 of the 38 African members have enforced the Madrid Protocol through appropriate amendments to their national trade mark legislation, together with the implementation of enabling regulations, namely Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Even in these nine countries, practical issues exist such as the recognition of the national laws of each country, the enforceability of the International registration in those countries and the effect of national common law rights. Procedural issues include adhering to the system’s strict processing timelines, irregular publication of Trade Mark Journals, late examination or non-examination and issues related to record keeping. At this stage, it is recommended that clients pursue national trade mark applications in each African country of interest. We remain at your disposal to render advice as to which countries may enjoy a successful registration using the Madrid System.
Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of IP legal services in all African countries where Intellectual Property protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ IP needs in Africa.