Intellectual PropertyHow To Protect Imported Goods And Products In Kenya

13/06/2022

This how to protect imported goods and products goods in Kenya for manufacturers and importers of goods. The great thing is that the law has created agencies such as the Anti-Counterfeit Authority to assist you in the protection of intellectual property rights surrounding your good and products.

What is a counterfeit?

A counterfeit is a product that imitates the genuine one which is an infringement of the intellectual property rights (IPR) of a genuine product.

This involves the manufacture, labeling, distribution, production, and packaging of goods that are identical or substantially confusing with goods and products protected under intellectual property rights or IPR.

For Kenya, counterfeit goods and products are of great concern as they deny legitimate IPR owners their deserved rights both legally and economically. Further, in order for the Kenyan consumer to be assured of the quality of a product, companies rely on the enforcement of their trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

A trademark allows consumers to easily identify the particular goods or services a particular company provides. Learn more about how to register a trademark in Kenya.

This identification is a sign that can come in various forms i.e., a text, symbol, sound color scheme, etc.

On the other hand, trade secrets protect the secrets of a business, (their formulas, and strategies) which can help businesses gain a competitive advantage.

While a patent prevents an invention from being sold or created by another party without permission. Lastly, a copyright protects the copying of tangible forms of creation and original works i.e., drawings, and audio-visual.

Section 34B of the Anti-Counterfeit Act provides for the recordation of IPR relating to imported goods, irrespective of the place of registration.

What are the effects of counterfeit goods and products?

Counterfeit products have social, economic, political, and social effects. Counterfeit products contribute to unfair competition, loss of government revenue, reduced investments, loss of fair bargain, Loss of brand reputation, loss of creativity and innovation, reduced direct foreign investment, consumer health risks, etc.

As a manufacturer or importer of goods, it is important for you to understand how to protect goods and products goods in Kenya. The great thing is that the law has created agencies such as the Anti-Counterfeit Authority to assist you in the protection of intellectual property rights surrounding your good and products.

A brief example of the effects of counterfeit goods is that if genuine and counterfeit products are mixed together, even the genuine one gains a reputation of being poor quality which will in turn cause export losses that imply loss of job opportunities and foreign exchange.

Some of the sources of counterfeit goods include direct imports, transit goods, and alteration of products.

Fast-moving goods such as electronic equipment, seeds, food products pens, and detergents are some of the goods that are prey to counterfeiting.

Since Kenya’s port is a gateway for international trade for neighboring East African countries and a regional hub for trade, counterfeit goods remain a major problem.

How To Protect Imported Goods And Products In Kenya Through The Process Of Recordation

Subject to the provisions of the Kenya Anti-counterfeit (Recordation) Regulations 2021, recordation is a mandatory process in which Intellectual property owners who import goods will be required to register their IPR with the exception of raw materials and items used as ingredients in the manufacture of goods.

Once an IPR has been recorded with the ACA and a recordation mark issued, the registrant (owner of the IP) gets an exclusive right to import into Kenya products bearing the recorded IPR.

  1. Search – Upon payment of an application fee of Kshs. 5,000.00 an applicant for recordation may conduct a search to confirm whether the IPR has been recorded as the ACA preserves a register of recorded IPRs.
  2. Application for recordation – The application may be made by the owner or by an appointed agent of the owner. It should contain details of:- a place of manufacture, applicant, manufacturer, and samples or photographic representations of the goods.
  3. Grant of recordation certification mark – the application will be examined and within 30 days, the certificate of recordation will be granted or denied. The anti-counterfeit recordation mark will be issued in the form of an anti-counterfeit security device.
  4. Validity period – from the date of the approval, the recordation will remain in force for a period of one year or the current registration period of the trademark depending on which time is shorter.
  5. Renewal – An application for renewal of the recordation shall be made within 30 days before the expiry of the initial recordation period.

Subject to the provisions of the Kenya Anti-counterfeit (Recordation) Regulations 2021, recordation is a mandatory process in which Intellectual property owners who import goods will be required to register their IPR with the exception of raw materials and items used as ingredients in the manufacture of goods.

An agent must be appointed where the owner of an IPR either resides outside Kenya or has a principal place of business outside Kenya. An agent should be an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

The Anti-Counterfeit Authority shall have a register of agents appointed by owners of IPRs. An intellectual Property rights owner may appoint an agent to act on their behalf by filling in Form ACA 15.

The agent needs to meet the requirements set out under the Anti-Counterfeit Regulations, No. 126 of 2010 and any conditions set out by the ACA.

Recordation will strengthen the fight against counterfeit goods by confiscating them at points of entry to Kenya before dissemination in Kenya.

Recordation is thus beneficial to Intellectual property owners as they help protect their IP from infringement. In addition, anti-counterfeiting interventions can be quick and efficient, also proving to be effective in tackling the online availability of goods across borders.

Find out more about what Intellectual Property legal services can be offered to you or your business, by contacting our law practice at +254 20 2100 999 or email us at [email protected].

Book an Appointment today.

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