The registration of a trademark under our current legislative regime gives the you the exclusive right to the use of the trademark upon or in relation to the goods in respect of which it is registered, or in relation to services for the purpose of indicating that a particular person is connected, in the course of business, with the provision of those services. It follows that you, as the proprietor of the mark may sue for infringement where there has been an unauthorized use of the registered mark. In addition, you, as the registered owner of a trademark also retain the right to protect any reputation acquired through use of the trademark by means of a passing-off action.
Briefly, the procedure for registration of a trademark is as follows:
- A preliminary search is conducted to determine whether the mark is available for registration;
- If the mark is available for registration, an application is made, in the prescribed form, for the registration of the same. The mark will then be examined by the registrar to determine whether it meets the statutory criteria for registration;
- After examination of the application, the registrar may refuse it, or accept it absolutely or subject to such amendments, disclaimers, modifications, conditions or limitations, if any, as he may think right to impose;
- If the registrar objects to the application, he must inform the applicant of his refusal to do so;
- As soon as possible after an application for registration of a trademark has been accepted, the registrar must cause the application as accepted to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette, and the advertisement must set forth all conditions and limitations subject to which the application has been accepted;
- Within sixty (60) days from the date of any advertisement of an application to register a trade mark, any person may give the registrar notice of opposition to the registration;
- Subject to whether there is an opposition to the registration, the registrar will, as soon as possible after the expiration of sixty days from the date of the advertisement, enter the trademark in the register and issue a certificate of registration of the mark to the applicant. The registration of a trade mark shall be for a period of seven years, but may be renewed from time to time after the expiry of such period.
The registration of the trademark will take a total of 3-5 months this takes a long time due to the statutory period for the advertisement.
Eugene Mweresa Sudi