Trade mark Renewal Guidelines in Kenya.
The Registrar of trade marks, Mr Sylvance A. Sange, through a practice note published in the Kenya Industrial Property Journal dated 30th June, 2017 stated that he has resolved to discontinue issuing the further thirty (30) day notice for lapsed trade marks in the Trade marks Register through the discretion granted under rule 66 of the Kenya Trade Marks Rules.
The Trade Marks Law which provides for the renewal of trade marks upon expiry of the ten (10) years from the effective date of registration or from the date of the last renewal stipulates that for the trade mark to be removed from the Register, the Registrar must first send a sixty-day (60) notice in writing to the registered proprietor at his business address as well as at his address for service, reminding them of the renewal due date and the conditions as to payment of fees. In the event that the renewal fees as still not remitted after the lapse of the sixty (60) days, the Registrar may issue a further thirty (30) day notice to the afore-mentioned parties.
The Registrar has advised that the thirty (30) days’ notice shall no longer be issued and that at the lapse of the sixty (60) days’ notice, the trade mark shall be advertised in the Kenya Industrial Property Journal for a period of thirty (30) days. If the renewal application is filed within that one month of advertisement, then there will be a surcharge for late renewal and the trade mark shall not be removed from the Register. If not, then the trade mark would be removed from the Register.
Further, Mr. Sange also clarified that where an Examiner provisionally refuses registration of a later trade mark on account of existence of an earlier trade mark that is due for renewal and whose sixty (60) day notice under the Trade Marks Law has not been duly issued, the Examiner shall ensure that the notice is issued immediately and shall also notify the applicant of the later trade mark, in the provisional refusal letter, of the actual date of the notice for the purposes of determining the date when the sixty (60) day period lapses.
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Authors: Patricia Muthoni