Endless wrangles in Kenya’s collective management system have made us all experts in copyright law. The thorny question of how and to what extent key players in the collective administration of copyright and related rights must comply with the Constitution remains a hotly debated topic. This brings us to a recent judgment by the High Court in the case of Laban Toto Juma & 4 Others v. Kenya Copyright Board & 2 Others Consolidated Kakamega Petition No. 3B of 2017 delivered on 13 July 2018. A copy of this High Court judgment is available here. Not surprisingly, both sides in this see-saw legal battle are claiming victory following the court’s final verdict. So, this blogpost will attempt to examine the key issues tackled by the court in its judgment as well as some of the questions that have been left unanswered.
- 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!
Since 2014, we have chronicled on this blog here, here and here an interesting trade mark dispute in Kenya between local company Sony Holdings and Japanese electronics maker Sony Corporation. This blogger is reliably informed that an appeal has already been filed in the Court of Appeal against last month’s decision of the High Court in the reported case of Sony Corporation v Sony Holding Limited  eKLR. In order to discern the likely grounds of appeal, it is important to consider this recent judgment made by the High Court.
“I am acutely aware of the far reaching consequences of my conclusive finding that purely constitutional issues and questions have been borne out of a hitherto commercial relationship and hence the court’s jurisdiction rather than agreed mode of dispute resolution. I however do not for a moment view it that the framers of our Constitution intended the rights and obligations defined in our common law, in this regard, the right to freedom of contract, to be the only ones to continue to govern interpersonal relationships.” – Onguto, J at paragraph 101 of the ruling.
A recent well-reasoned ruling by the High Court in the case of Bia Tosha Distributors Limited v Kenya Breweries Limited & 3 others  eKLR tackled the complex question of horizontal application of the Constitution to private commercial disputes governed by contracts with private dispute resolution mechanisms. More interestingly, the court had to consider whether the amount of Kshs. 33,930,000/= paid by the Petitioner to acquire a ‘goodwill’ over certain distribution routes or areas of the Respondents’ products can be defined as ‘property’ held by the Petitioner and as such protected under Article 40 of the Constitution.
This week, Netflix, the popular American multinational subscription video on demand (SVoD) internet streaming media service provider announced that it’s service has gone live globally. Kenya is among 130 countries that can now access internet streaming TV from Netflix. In Kenya, Netflix is now available via their official website: https://www.netflix.com/ke/ which means that for one monthly price Kenyan consumers can sign up to enjoy Netflix original series as well as its huge catalog of licensed TV shows and movies simultaneously with the rest of the world. As of October 2015, Netflix had 69.17 million subscribers globally, including more than 43 million in the United States of America.