Overcoming Challenges Facing Enforcement of Trade Marks in Kenya
Trade marks are a type of intellectual property. Trade marks play an important role in any market. They help consumers to distinguish between competing goods and services in the market. They also act as guarantees of quality of goods and services coming from different sources. The economic role of trademarks in any country is important. This calls for an effective regime for trade marks enforcement. The Kenyan legal and institutional framework for trade mark enforcement is found at international, regional and national levels. International law on enforcement of trade marks is found in international treaties, conventions, and agreements. The main international bodies that play a role in enforcement of trade marks are WTO, WIPO and ARIPO. At the national level, the legal framework constitutes the constitution, statutes, common law and doctrines of equity. There are a number of statutes that make provisions for enforcement of trade marks. Most of these legal provisions create offences for infringement of trade marks. The constitution and the statutes have created several institutions that enforce trade marks. These institutions include the judiciary, NPS, DPP, ACA, KIPI, KRA and KEBS. The legal and institutional framework for enforcement of trade marks has underlying challenges that limit its efficacy. The challenges are legal and institutional. There is need to reform the frame work to make it more effective. An effective trade mark enforcement system will curb infringement of trade marks. This will contribute to market efficiency which in turn helps in economic growth. This is a study to identify challenges that face trade mark enforcement in Kenya and to make recommendations to overcome them.
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