The Kenya Industrial Property Office has issued a special notice to trademark owners that they will remove over 2,000 trademarks from the Register of Trade Marks soon.
Section 23 of the Trade Marks Act provides that registration of a trademark in Kenya shall expire after a period of 10 years. This act also provides that the proprietor of a registered trademark may make an application for renewal.
Also, under Rule 65 of the Trade Mark Rules, it provides that if there is no application for renewal of a registered trade mark is received, the registrar of Trade Marks shall notify the proprietor of this fact.
Under the rules, the Registrar of Trademarks made a public notice where they published a list of 2,162 trademark proprietors who were apparently duly notified but did not file applications of their respective trade marks.
The companies listed include well known companies like Shell, Reckitt & Colman, Robbialac Paints, BAT Kenya, Nestle, Gillette, Unilever, Finlays, Barcadi , Glaxo Laboratories, Smithkline Beecham, House of Manji, Monsanto, Exxon, Bayer, Colgate, Del Monte, Cadbury Schweppes, Proctor & Gamble, Bata, Timsales, Pfizer, Jonson & Johnson and more.
Tech companies that were mentioned in this list include LG Electronics for their trademark on the Gold Star Logo and Kodak for their trademarks on Velox and Verichrome.
Some of these trademarks were filed almost a 100 years ago, like Durham Duplex Razor company that registered their logo on 16/10/1999. Interesting enough, the expiry dates for the trademarks are equally as ridiculous. Some of the trademarks expired as early as 1967, which is 53 years ago!
The Kenya Industrial Property Institute has requested these companies to pay their trade mark renewal fee plus the additional late renewal fee within 30 days of the date of the publication. If they fail, the trade mark will be removed from the register of trademarks.