TRADEMARKS 101. A Kenyan Guide to Trademarks

What is a trademark?

A recognizable sign, word(s) or phrase that is legally registered or one that is a established to represent a company or a brand and a company’s ownership of the brand.

6 Reasons why Trademarks are valuable for your business

  1. To distinguish your product from similar products.
  2. Make it easy for customers to find you.
  3. With the growth of your company, your trademark becomes an asset. Examples of trademarks that are valuable as an asset are coca cola, Safaricom and tusker. The trademark on its own makes the company money.
  4. They are an effective communication tool. They communicate quality and familiarity to the consumer.
  5. A registered trade mark is absolute evidence of exclusive ownership of the Trademark Kenya and helps keep off potential infringers who attempt to ride on the goodwill of your mark.
  6. It’s less than 240 characters! It is therefore easy to use your trademark on social media to represent your company.

How to Register A Trademark?

  1. Carry out a search of the trademark with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute. This is to ensure that the TM registrable according to the provisions of the law and to ensure that it is not similar to another Trademark.
  2. Once this is done and you have a registrable name. File an application through a trademark application form. The details needed are; contact details, illustration of the mark, description of the goods and or services and class (es) for which you wish to obtain trademark protection, and pay the required fees.
  3. The mark may be renewed indefinitely by paying the required renewal fees after every 10 years. However, the mark may be removed from the register by the Registrar for non-payment of renewal fee.


Things to Note

Foreign applicants are required to file through an agent and thus the application should be accompanied by the form of authorization or the power of attorney duly completed and signed and must have a duty stamp affixed on it .

The application should also be accompanied by a form for entry of the address of service in Kenya.

The applicant is required to file a separate application for each mark in each different class.

All forms referred to in this article can be found here.

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