On the eve of its 40th anniversary, the Harare-based African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) has recently published the findings of a survey on collective management organisations (CMOs) conducted among its member states. A copy of the survey is available here. In the foreword, ARIPO Director General Mr. Fernando Dos Santos explains that:
“The findings [of the survey] indicate that CMOs in the ARIPO Member States are growing in numbers. It was also found that there is growth in collections of royalties and distributions. However, CMOs are also facing challenges which include insufficient or lack of awareness of copyright laws by users and the general public, users’ unwillingness to pay royalties, piracy of the copyrighted works, inadequate resources and manpower within the CMOs and inadequate availability of technologies that can be used by the CMOs.”
Recently, a leading newspaper published a story here stating that Safaricom Limited had obtained interlocutory orders against Colour Planet Limited stating that the latter was “forbidden from interfering with any contracts Safaricom has under the banner Okoa Stima, suggesting to any third party that Safaricom does not have the right to use the name Okoa Stima.” The rest of the story is filled with several contradictory and confusing facts regarding trade mark searches made, trade mark applications filed and trade mark registrations with respect to the Okoa Stima mark by both Safaricom and Colour Planet.
This blogpost is intended to set the record straight on the specific issue of the chronology of events at the Trade Mark Registry of Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) involving both Colour Planet and Safaricom between March 2015 and January 2016. For intellectual property (IP) practitioners, this post may also serve as a cautionary tale on the importance of care and caution when handling your clients’ matters pending before KIPI.
Today, the Law Society of Kenya reports that the Chief Justice (CJ) Dr. Willy Mutunga has made Practice and Procedure Rules for enforcement of the Bill of Rights under Article 22(3) as read with Article 23 and Article 165 (3) (b) of the Constitution of Kenya. A copy of these Practice and Procedure Rules (hereafter “Mutunga Rules”) is available here.
Jurisprudentially, the Mutunga Rules mark the beginning of a new era in the determination of constitutional questions by the courts of Kenya. From as far back as the Gibson Kamau Kuria vs Attorney General case of 1988, the courts relied on the absence of such rules made by the CJ to argue that they lacked jurisdiction to enforce rights and fundamental freedoms that were alleged to have been denied, violated, infringed or were threatened.
The right to property is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. The said right was protected by Section 75 of the former Constitution. As discussed elsewhere, the 2010 Constitution in Article 40 read with Article 260 fundamentally transformed the right to property by extending its definition of property to cover both real property and intangible property rights such as IP rights. Article 40(6) also imposes a positive obligation on the State to support, promote and protect the IP rights of the people of Kenya.
Read the rest of this article over at the CIPIT Law Blog here.