In July 2015, a firm sued Safaricom alleging that the Telco was infringing on its Okoa Stima trademark. Safaricom launched a credit facility product in collaboration with Kenya Power that allows customers to borrow any amount based on a pre-determined credit limit based on the customer’s relationship with Kenya Power. The loan is charged a facilitation fee of 10% and is payable in 7 days. The IT firm, Color Planet, claimed it registered the Okoa Stima trademark name in May 2015 with the Kenya Industrial Properties Institute (KIPI). Color Paint said the name Okoa Stima is one of an electricity purchase software it developed and even introduced to Kenya Power seeking to partner in November 2013.
Safaricom on its part claimed that the trademark is not registered with KIPI meaning there is no copyright infringement of any form. Safariciom further stated it conducted a search with KIPI and the trademark was not registered. The telco then sought to register the trademark but was informed by KIPI that Color Planet was seeking to register the same trademark. Safaricom then entered into correspondence with Color Planet in June informing the IT company of its intent to contend the trademark application. A court in Nairobi has now stopped Color Planet from using the name until arguments by both parties involved in the suit are brought to the judge according to Business Daily. Safaricom claims it opposed the registration of the trademark but its claims were thrown out on a technicality. We will keep you posted on more regarding this suit.