Kenyan Intellectual Property Law Practice Strikes Gold

One of Kenya’s most prominent corporate law firms, Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates (IKM), has been named as one of the top 1000 global law firms in trademark law practice and related intellectual property matters. The World Trademark Review 1000, which is in its second edition, is an essential guide to the world’s leading trademark professionals. The WTR 1000 recommends 1000 global law firms and attorneys considered to be the leaders in the field and delivering top-quality trademark services.

IKM is now in the WTR 1000 Gold Band.

The WTR 1000 “Gold” band is described as follows:

“Firms and individuals in the gold band are those that attract the most positive comments from sources. We have identified them as the crème de la crème; their success hinges on reputations established over lengthy periods of time, something which enables them to secure the most high-profile, big-ticket work from the most demanding of clients.”

IKM Partners: (L-R) Martin Munyu, Anne Kinyanjui, James Mburu Kamau, William Ikutha Maema, Karori Kamau


In reacting to the news, William Maema, IKM Head of IP said, “As an indigenous law firm, we are humbled, yet encouraged by the gold ranking which speaks volumes of our professional capacity to deliver world class intellectual property and related trade mark counsel to our clients”.

He further added: “Intellectual Property specialisation may well be an emerging space within the local jurisdiction and we are proud that we have retained a wealth of experience to help us guide our clients through.”

In Kenya, IKM Advocates has been named as a Gold Band law firm alongside Kaplan & Stratton Advocates.

IPKenya would like to congratulate IKM as well as the other five firms in Kenya that have been named in the Silver Band. However IPKenya is disappointed that none of these law firms are publishing articles, reports and other useful guidelines on intellectual property law and practice as it evolves in Kenya and within East Africa. Hopefully, this will change and we will begin to demystify intellectual property law for SMEs and the public at large.

IPKenya is pleased that the World Trademark Review rightly recognises Kenya as the “commercial hub of East Africa and a focal point for trademark activity in the region”. WTR 1000 also acknowledges Kenya as an attractive market for multinationals seeking to protect and enforce their trademark rights because of the quick turnaround time on trademark registrations and the increasing levels of IP specialisation in the judiciary. Furthermore the WTR notes that the Anti-counterfeit Agency – established under the Anti-counterfeiting Act – is now in operation to enforce IP laws including the rights of brand owners.

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Kenya’s Top IP Lawyers to Attend International Trademark Association INTA Annual Meeting

You’ve probably heard that next week, 9,000 professionals from around the world are expected to attend the International Trademark Association (INTA) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC from May 5 to 9 2012.

Some of the topics on the agenda include international trademark issues, including developments in international trademark laws, tactics for fighting global counterfeiting and effective strategies for domain management.

Here are the IP practitioners from Kenya that have confirmed their attendance (in alphabetical order):

> Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) – represented by its CEO/Executive Director
> CFL – represented by 1 of its Partners
> Coulson Harney (CH) – represented by 1 of its Partners
> Hamilton, Harrison & Mathews (HH&M) – represented by 1 of its Partners
> Iseme, Kamau & Maema (IKM) – represented by 1 of its Partners
> Kaplan & Stratton – represented by 1 of its Partners
> Muriu Mungai & Company (MMC) – represented by 3 of its Partners

IPKenya has noted an interesting item on the INTA Meeting Program scheduled for Wednesday 9th May:

RW01 Regional Update: Africa
Intermediate Level

Panelists will discuss strategies and pitfalls for using an international system and the regional trademark registration systems in Africa, Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) and African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) to protect your trademarks. Many African countries are members of the Madrid System. The panel will also cover current hot topics in Africa.

Moderator:

Marco Van de Merwe, Spoor & Fisher (South Africa)

Speakers:

Ephraim N. Ngwafor, Ngwafor & Partners (Cameroon)
Michael F. Sevant, Spoor & Fisher Jersey (Channel Islands)
Gift Sibanda, African Regional Industrial Property Organization (ARIPO) (Zimbabwe)

Although IPKenya will not be attending this formidable meeting of IP minds, it is hoped that the participants representing Kenya and the other African participants will truly put African Intellectual Property on the map during this Africa Session at INTA.

IPKenya trusts that Afro Leo (who most certainly will be in attendance) will blog about the issues, discussions and outcomes of this session and the INTA Annual Meeting as a whole.

For those who, like IPKenya, will not be attending INTA, you can follow the events via the INTA website (http://www.inta.org) or on twitter using the #INTADC hashtag.