How to register your trademark in Kenya
The Trademarks Act (Cap 506 – Laws of Kenya) describes a trademark as a distinguishing guise, slogan, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter or numeral or any combination thereof. By getting your trademark registered, you gain a array of exclusive rights to the mark including the right to exclusive use of the mark in relation to the products or services for which it is registered.
In Kenya, Trademark registration can be initiated and completed by any individual or registered entity. While it is always advisable to use Intellectual Property professionals like Thinkly IP trademark agents, it is a requirement that foreign applicants MUST use local trademark/patent agents who are registered by Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) to handle their trademark services in Kenya. The registration process takes an average of seven (7) months in a case where there are no technical back and forth process motions. The process involves the following steps:
It is not a mandatory step in the process but it is advisable to carry out a trademark search to determine whether the application has a chance of success or whether it would be a waste of time and money to register it in its present form. Once engaged, we will advise you on many aspects of registrability of your mark even before the search.
2. Application for registration
After the search has been conducted and with positive search results, an application is made for registration. The mark is further examined for registrability and any possible conflicts with any other mark in the registers or any other well-known marks. This process may take up to two (2) months. Foreign applicants must appoint a registered trademark agent in Kenya by a form of authorization or power of attorney duly completed and signed and must have duty stamp affixed on it.
Upon approval of the mark for registration at stage two, the mark will then be advertised in the IP journal for 60 days to allow any person or entity opposed to the registration of your mark to raise their objection. In the event that an opposition is raised a notice of opposition is filed and opposition proceedings begin.
4. Approval & Certification
With or without an objection, if the mark sails through stage 3 above, the trademark will be registered and the registrar will enter it in the Trade Marks Register. A certificate will then be issued which will be valid for ten (10) years from the date of registration. The mark owner will be required to renew the certificate every ten years after the registration. Your trademark agent may assist you in the renewal process.
For assistance and representation with the trademark registration processes, we need from you:
- Name and postal address of the applicant(s)
- A copy of the mark (word or logo) with a brief description of the elements you would like to protect
- A list of products or services associated with the mark(s)
- Power of attorney (duly filled agency form) which we will provide upon request
- Proof of payment of the required fees (account details will be provided upon request)
- Priority details (if any)