How East African companies are protecting their brands

By John Syekei, head of Bowmans’ newly-established East African Intellectual Property Practice

East African economies have grown so rapidly in recent years that large brand-owners are not only making substantial investments in their brands, but are willing to go to court to protect them. Kenya in particular has seen a sharp increase in High Court litigation on intellectual property (IP) matters, and regional markets generally have become more complex and litigious as far as IP is concerned.

Until relatively recently, the region’s economies were not big enough to make it worthwhile for brand-owners to enforce their rights when these were infringed. They tended to either allow infringements to occur or to deal with them commercially. That has changed. Markets are growing, the middle class…

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