Register a Trademark in Kenya – What is a trademark, why should you register your mark and how do you even do it are some of the common questions that our clients ask. We are here to help you solve that equation and hopefully start you up on the journey.  

A trademark protects certain words and designs, their variations and combinations that distinguish your brand from another. It protects the intellectual property and the use of a specific symbol or idea. Copyright, on the other hand, protects the distinct creative works. 

According to the Trade Marks Act, a trademark is a mark that is used to distinguish the goods or services of a specific business venture from another. A mark in this sense describes a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter or numeral or any combination thereof whether rendered in two dimensional or three-dimensional form. 

Why do you need to Register a trademark in Kenya

  • A trademark helps your business by aiding customers to distinguish your brand or your products from another company. 
  • Helps your company in building its brand by providing high-quality products or services. 
  • A registered mark is a valuable asset to you because it can be bought, sold or otherwise appropriated to the owner’s benefit.  

Registration of a trademark is done with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and is governed by the Trade Marks Act, Cap 506 of the laws of Kenya 

Anyone such as Individuals, legal firms, partnerships, companies, and cooperative societies can register a trademark as long as they meet the requirements of the Act. 

Examples of registered Trademarks right here in Kenya are Jogoo which is owned by the Unga limited group, KCB which is a registered mark of the Kenya Commercial Bank, Pride of Africa which is a slogan owned by Kenya Airways and KTN which is owned by the Standard Group. 

The requirements to register a Trade Mark in Kenya includes the following: 

  1. Name of the individual, firm, cooperative society and company that wants to register. 
  1. Nationality of the applicant so as to determine the cost. 
  1. Postal address, email and telephone number of the applicant. 
  1. Representation of the Trade Mark. 

Forms involved in the Registration of a trademark: 

  • Form TM 27 – it is not mandatory but highly advised. 
  • Form TM 2   – application for registration of the Trademark. 
  • Form TM 32 – application to enter or alter the address of service. 
  • Form TM 1 – for foreign applicants and appointment of agents. 

The procedure is as follows: 

  1. Preliminary Search 

This first stage is not necessarily mandatory and the form that is used here is the TM 27.  

The applicant conducts a search to find out whether there is a trademark that could be confused with the intended trademark or if it can be registered or not 

2. Applying for registration 

The application forms that are to be used in this stage are Form TM 2 which is accompanied by seven representations of the mark and Form TM 32 which details the address of service. The application is done to the registrar. 

Foreign applicants are required to file through an agent and the application forms are accompanied with an authorized Form TM1 or a power of attorney that is duly completed and signed and has a duty stamp. 

3. Examination stage 

The application is examined to ensure correct documents have been filed and the trademark does not resemble any mark. If the report that will be issued confirms approval, then the applicant is required to pay both the advertisement fee and registration fee. 

4. Advertisement stage 

The mark will be put up in the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI)  journal for 60 days to allow for objection. 

If there is no objection, then the applicant can proceed to registration, and if there is an objection, a notice of opposition in the form TM6 is filed and opposition proceedings begin. 

5. Registration 

The application will be registered and the registrar will issue a certificate of registration of the Trademark.  

Click here to speak to an Expert for proper guidance on how to Register a Trademark in Kenya


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