It is official, Kenya now has a recordal system

Kenya now has a system of recording intellectual property rights with the Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Authority (“ACA”).

This is as a result of the amendment to the Anti-Counterfeiting Act where parliament passed regulations [the Anti-Counterfeit (Amendment) Regulations, 2021] which provide clarity on how to deal with the recordal process. The Regulations were advertised in the Kenyan Gazette (Supplement No. 143) on 23 July 2021, meaning that the regulations are now law in Kenya.

The Regulations allow for intellectual property owners who reside outside of Kenya or have a principal place of business outside of Kenya to be represented by an agent to act on their behalf. Furthermore, the portion of the regulations dealing with the recordal [The Anti-Counterfeit (Recordation) Regulations, 2021], provides the manner in which the recordal application should be made as well as the renewal period of said application.

To apply for the recordal, the intellectual property rights owners need, inter alia, to provide details relating to the name of their appointed agent in Kenya or their local distributor, a sample or photographic representation of the protected goods, the place of manufacture of goods bearing the recorded intellectual property right, to name a few.

This legislation seeks to streamline applications to record intellectual property rights where the consequence is to seize counterfeit goods imported into Kenya for the purposes of destruction. The Regulations, together with the Anti-Counterfeiting Act, provide clarity on how anti-counterfeiting matters are to be handled in Kenya. The recordal of intellectual property rights, once registered, shall be renewed annually.

This is certainly good news for intellectual property owners and it also ensures that those who import counterfeit goods into Kenya will be stopped in their tracks and called to book.