What can you Trademark in Kenya?

3D illustration of two rubber stamps with the word trademark and the symbol TM over brown paper background. Trade-mark Registration Concept

One of the most effective ways to protect your brand identity and idea is by registering a trademark. A trademark is how your customers recognize you in the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors. Here are some examples of things that you can trademark.

  1. Word (s)

Recently, the Kenyan Deputy President set tongues wagging when he reportedly trademarked his nickname “Riggy G.” This means that he won the right to the phrase and if anyone wants to use it commercially they have to get a licence from the Deputy President or else they will be liable for Trademark Infringement.

2. Scents

Your favourite scent could belong to someone else. It is possible to trademark a scent or combination of scents that you have uniquely developed. For example, if you develop a perfume fragrance, you can get the scent protected by Trademark which would mean that you officially own it. For example, in the US, a company called Lactona has trademarked the scent of strawberry toothpaste so be careful the next time you mix strawberries and toothpaste. 🙂

3. Logos/Symbols

Thirdly, you can also trademark the logos and symbols that identify your product, for example, if you have ever drunk a bottle of coca cola you will note that it has a unique coke logo. The logo has been trademarked by Coca Cola and belongs to the Company.

Practically, registering a Trademark is an important but lengthy process that takes about 6 months and can cost around 12,000 shillings for a single trademark.  Once you have identified what it is you want to register, it is important to conduct a preliminary search to see if the mark is available for registration. If it is available, you can seek the services of a trademark lawyer to help you classify your mark under the Nice Classification System.

Once your mark has been classified, it will undergo examination where the mark is taken through a thorough examination by a qualified examiner. If it passes scrutiny it is advertised in the KIPI Journal and subsequently registered.

Have you ever thought of registering a trademark for your brand?

The writer is a lawyer who specializes in offering legal services to people in technology, you can reach him through info@masibolaw.co.ke

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