Do you have a logo, a word, a symbol, or a brand that you associate with? It is not yours and you have no exclusive claim to it until you register it.
A trademark is a mark that is used to differentiate the goods or services of one business venture from those of others, according to the Trade Marks Act. In this aspect, a mark refers to a device, a brand, a heading, a label, a ticket, a name, a signature, a word, a letter, or a numeric, or any combination of these, whether portrayed in two-dimensional or three-dimensional
A trademark protects specific words and designs, as well as modifications and combinations of those words and designs, that differentiate your brand from others. It safeguards intellectual property as well as the usage of a particular symbol or concept. Copyright, on the other hand, safeguards unique creative works.
Any person, company, partnership, or organization can register a trademark if they meet the needed requirements.
Why do you need to register your trademark in Kenya?
It helps to differentiate your products from those of your competitors. Registration of your Trade Mark grants you exclusive rights to that mark, serves as proof that the mark is yours, and provides you with legal protection against those who might try to infringe on your rights.
The registration process also includes thorough research to ensure that your mark does not resemble any existing Trademarks, which helps you avoid being sued for trademark infringement.
Requirements to register a trademark.
I. The name of a company, individual or firm, represented in a special or particular manner
II. The signature of the applicant for registration
III. An invented word or invented words;
IV. A word or words having no direct reference to the character or quality of the goods, and not being according to its ordinary signification a geographical name or a surname.
V. Any other distinctive mark.
Procedure for registration of trademark in Kenya
Before applying for registration, a search must be done to determine whether the Trade Mark can be registered. If the mark/sign is too similar to another registered trademark, registration will be denied. Although it is not required, conducting a search before beginning the registration procedure is recommended to avoid wasting time and money on an application that will be rejected. Form TM 27 is the one to use.
2. Application for registration of Trademark.
You've done your preliminary research and are confident that the mark can be registered. The next step is to submit a registration application. This is done using Form TM 2 and Form TM 32.
In order for foreign companies to register their trade marks in Kenya, they must establish an agent in Kenya, which necessitates the submission of Form TM 1 in addition to Form TM 2 and TM 32.
Basic Fees for Registration of Trade Marks (Fees schedule can be downloaded from home page under Resources/Downloads menu)
The Registrar reviews your application to confirm that all of the required documents have been submitted and that your mark does not resemble any other trademarks that have already been registered. After that, you'll receive an examination report, which will tell you whether or not your mark has been accepted for registration. You must pay the advertisement fee and the registration fee if it is authorized.
If the Registrar authorizes your trademark for registration, you will be required to pay an advertisement cost. The mark will then be advertised for 60 days in the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) journal, giving anyone who objects to the registration of your mark the opportunity to object. It proceeds to registration if no opposition is made. However, if an objection is raised, a notice of opposition in the form of Form TM 6 is filed, and the opposition process begins.
The application will be registered and the Registrar will issue a certificate of registration of Trademark if no resistance is made after the advertisement.
Forms for registration of a trade mark
1. Form TM 27 (not mandatory but advisable)
2. Form TM 2 – Application for registration of Trade mark
3. Form TM 32 – Application to enter or alter address of service
4. Form TM 1 – For foreign applicants (appointment of agents)
Trademark registration is done in Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI).
Their offices are located at;
KIPI Centre, Kabarsiran Avenue, Off Waiyaki Way, Lavington
P.O. Box 51648-00200, Nairobi.
Tel: 020-6002210/11, 6006326/29/36, 2386220
Mobile: Safaricom: 0702002020; Airtel: 0736002020