African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) / Competition / Industrial Designs / Intellectual Property in Kenya / IP News / Kenya Industrial Property Institute KIPI / Patents

Patent Litigation in Kenya: Lessons from the Sanitam Services East Africa Cases

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UPDATE: The Star Newspaper has confirmed the invalidation of Sanitam’s patent no AP 773 in an article published here.

IPKenya’s friend and the Chief Patent Examiner at KIPI informs us that the Industrial Property Tribunal has recently made a ruling invalidating patent no AP 773 granted to Sanitam Services with respect to is sanitary bin. This brings to conclusion a long and arduous battle fought by Sanitam against several manufacturers since the late 90s to protect its sanitary bin invention.

In 1997, Sanitam alleges that it designed and invented a foot-operated litter/sanitary disposal bin for use in the hygienic storage and disposal of sanitary towels, tampons, surgical dressings, serviettes and other waste material. One of the novel features of the sanitary bin invention claimed by Sanitam is that it has a flap opening to receive the waste and covering the contents inside so that whoever is operating it cannot see the contents inside even when using it and also the odour is minimized by the invention. This invention titled “Foot Operated Sanitary/Litter Bin” (ARIPO patent No AP 773) was granted and issued in October 1999 by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO).

This blogpost chronicles the various court cases brought by Sanitam both nationally and regionally to assert its patent rights. It is argued that Sanitam has made an enormous contribution to advancing intellectual property law jurisprudence and raising pertinent issues in the area of patent prosecution and litigation.

Read the full article here.

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