Behold, The Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Executive Forum and Technical Working Group

Kenya Gazette July 2018 Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Executive Forum and Technical Working Group Ministry Industry Trade

The recently formed Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade clique sounds like it could have been a WhatsApp group. In last Friday’s Kenya Gazette, the Minister at the time announced the establishment and appointment of both an Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Executive Forum (23 members in total) and an Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Technical Working Group (24 members in total). The Executive Forum and Technical Working Group are apparently expected to deliver on the President’s Big 4 Agenda pillar of enhancing manufacturing so that the sector contributes 15% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 9.2% in 2016.

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#ipkenya Weekly Dozen: 22/06

  • Confédération Africaine de Football cries foul over infringement of World Cup broadcast rights [Official]
  • Celebrating Twenty Years of the WIPO Academy [Yup Its a Big Deal]
  • ARIPO IP Roving Seminar Meets Academic Institutions in Namibia [Official]
  • Engineering seeds: implications for African farmers [Pambazuka]
  • The problem with simply growing more tech hubs in Africa [Quartz]
  • Zimbabwe set to launch its National IP Policy and Strategy [Chronicle]
  • The cost of changing a country’s name: Swaziland is now the Kingdom of eSwatini [Kudos Afro Leo]
  • Uganda Farmers Working on Geographical Indication for Coffee [Observer]
  • Senegal: Akon wants to build ‘real-life Wakanda’ using a cryptocurrency called AKoin [Stay Tuned]
  • South African Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry Debates a General Copyright Exception [infojustice]
  • Nigeria: Need to address serious flaws in Patents and Designs Act [DailyTrust]
  • Kenya: Watch out for fakes on virtual shopping sites [Captain Obvious]

 

For more news stories and developments, please check out #ipkenya on twitter and feel free to share any other intellectual property-related items that you may come across.

Have a great week-end!

#ipkenya Weekly Dozen: 15/06

Matthew Inman Oatmeal World Cup 2018 DfmH7qZVMAAkmZe

World Cup 2018 starts this week!

  • ARIPO holds the Second Symposium on Copyright and Related Rights [Official]
  • Tete Goat – First Geographical Indication of Mozambique [Inventa]
  • Namibia introduces new Industrial Property Act [A+ Bunch of Lawyers]
  • Competition Authority confirms Egypt’s right to air 22 World Cup games [Egypt Today]
  • Should Africa let Silicon Valley in? [The Guardian]
  • Kenya to publish draft data protection bill this month [Reuters]
  • Rethinking Uganda’s State Brand Strategy Using Intangible Assets [Amani IP Network]
  • Restriction on Parallel Imports Gets Red-Lighted By Competition Authority of Kenya [BD Africa]
  • Stolen melodies: Copyright law in Africa [Deutsche Welle]
  • Rwanda: Experts call for autonomous Intellectual Property office [The New Times]
  • Kenya: Sharing books online kills creativity, it’s outright theft [One-sided coin]
  • Anti-Counterfeit Agency Insults Intelligence of Stakeholders at ‘Consultative Forum’ on Proposed IP Law [Shameless Plug]

For more news stories and developments, please check out #ipkenya on twitter and feel free to share any other intellectual property-related items that you may come across.

Have a great week-end!

For Your Own Protection: Why Proposed Anti-Counterfeit Act Amendments Make Sense

Nairobi-Fashion-Hub-Disconnect-Movie_1

The word ‘Disconnect’ (see caption image above) may be the title of the latest Kenyan blockbuster film but it also embodies the current raging debate over proposed changes to The Anti-Counterfeit Act No. 13 of 2008. In our previous blogposts here and here, we have largely dwelt on the demerits of the proposals contained in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018, which if enacted, would radically affect intellectual property (IP) enforcement in Kenya, principally undertaken by Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA).

Meanwhile, some readers of this blog, who happen to be IP practitioners specialising in brand enforcement and anti-counterfeiting matters, have rightly pointed out that it is equally important to consider the merits of and benefits expected from the proposed changes to the Act if and when the omnibus Bill is enacted. In particular, this blogpost will focus on the proposals relating to offences and the ‘recordation’ requirements.

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Anti-Counterfeit Agency Defends Flawed Proposals on Mandatory Intellectual Property Rights ‘Recordation’

ACA Kenya Tweet

Yesterday the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) posted this response in the comments section of our blogpost last week titled: ‘Controversial 2018 Proposed Amendments to The Anti-Counterfeit Act’. In the face of widespread criticism from intellectual property (IP) experts, ACA has defended its proposed amendments to the Anti-Counterfeit Act which, if enacted, would effectively introduce a system for mandatory ‘recordation’ of trade marks, copyright and plant breeders rights to be administered by ACA.

Prior to writing that blogpost, this blogger had reached out to ACA for an official comment asking the following question: ‘What is your response to public concerns about the implications of the draft amendments to your Act on 1) the mandates of Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO); 2) ease of doing business in Kenya generally; 3) international best practice?’ All the various responses from ACA will be considered in this blogpost.

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Customs Officers Cannot Enforce Intellectual Property Rights: Court of Appeal Judgment in Kenya Revenue Authority v Doshi Iron Mongers

doshigroup-630x315

In the case of Kenya Revenue Authority v Doshi Iron Mongers & another [2016] eKLR, the Court of Appeal was called upon to determine whether Section 5 of the Customs and Excise Act gives an officer of the Appellant (KRA) under the Act powers, rights and privileges akin to those given to a police officer in execution of his duties under Cap 84 of the Laws of Kenya, in particular that such an officer can enforce intellectual property (IP) rights including raids, arrests and seizure of goods not listed under Schedule 8 of the Customs Act.

In the lower court, the respondents had complained that their warehouses in Mombasa and Nairobi were raided between 1996 and 2006 by the appellant for no rhyme or reason, purporting to search for counterfeit, substandard and uncustomed goods particularly ‘BIC’ biro pens, battery cells, and other items at the behest of companies such as Haco Industries who were the assigned users of the trade mark.

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Court Upholds Anti-Counterfeit Agency Raid and Seizure: Shikanisha Shoes Collection v Attorney General

simba land counterfeit shoes timberland shikanisha nakuru kenya ACA anti-counterfeit agency raid 2016

How to spot ‘fake’ Timberland shoes 101

Following the high profile raid and seizure of a ‘fake’ shoes shop in Nakuru (see video footage here), the court has delivered a recent judgment in the case of Paul Kihara Nduba t/a Shikanisha Shoes Collection v Attorney General & another [2016] eKLR in which the owner of the Nakuru shoes shop challenged the enforcement actions taken by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA). The Petitioner sought several declaratory orders from the court to the effect that Section 23 (c) of the Anti-Counterfeit Act No. 13 of 2008 is unconstitutional and inconsistent with Articles 23 (2), 25 (c) and 31 (a) of the Constitution of Kenya and that ACA acted in excess of and in violation of Section 31 (a) and (b) of the Constitution.

In determining this petition, the court addressed the following issues: 1) Whether this petition is competent; 2) Whether the seizure of the Petitioner’s goods by ACA was lawful; and 3) Whether the Petitioner is entitled to the orders sought in the petition.

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