In a recent article in the Business Daily titled: ‘Proposed law on counterfeits will hurt businesses’, the foremost intellectual property (IP) law practitioner in the country, William Maema, has faulted Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) on its proposed amendments to Anti-Counterfeit Act previously discussed on this blog here, here and here. In his hard-hitting article, Maema notes:
‘Apart from the vainglorious step of christening the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) by renaming it the Anti-Counterfeit Authority ostensibly to raise its profile to that of premier parastatals such as the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Airports Authority and Communications Authority of Kenya, the new proposals achieve little else that is praiseworthy. ‘
The full unabridged version of Maema’s article was posted on his law firm website and a copy may be accessed here. The IP law guru is the latest in a long line of IP law experts that have publicly criticised both ACA’s process of coming up with the proposals as well as the proposed amendments themselves.
At this point, it seems fair to say that ACA failed to consult some obvious stakeholders prior to making its proposals. This long list of stakeholders who were clearly not consulted by ACA includes: Office of the Attorney-General, Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and academia, to name but a few. It is indeed unsurprising that to-date no one has publicly written anything in support of ACA’s proposed amendments – well, except us.