It has been announced in the local dailies that the body responsible for granting all rights in Industrial Property including Trademarks, The Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) has issued a Certificate of Trademark Registration to the former President for the name ‘KABARAK’.
From the news reports it is not evident if the mark was just the name or logos or servicemarks of all the institutions and service providing – entities managed and operated under the group.
According to the Trademarks Act, CAP 506 of Kenya, a “mark” includes a distinguishing guise, slogan, device, brand,
heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter or numeral or any combination thereof whether rendered in two-dimensional or three – dimensional form.
Kabarak, which in Kalenjin means high or elevated, is in Rongai constituency in Nakuru. Kabarak is 22 kilometers from Nakuru town. The former President owns Kabarak High School, university and farms in the region.
According to the monhtly publication – Industrial Property Journal, Mr Moi applied for registration of the trademark for 45 classes in 2016 and was granted the registration certificates having no oppositions raised.
According to an interview reported by the Daily Nation, KIPI Managing Director Sylvance Sange said it is possible to register the name of a location. They quote –
“… One can register a geographical name so long as it has acquired distinctiveness with respect to the goods or services it is used in relation to and the goods/services are actually produced or offered in that geographic location,”
But the MD said KIPI can reject registration of a geographical name if it is an original geographical name. In such a case, the applicant must sign a disclaimer.
“This means that upon registration of the mark, the applicant shall not prevent others from using the mark apart from the distinctive features, for example, the use of the word Nakuru,” added Mr Sange.
Trademarks in Kenya do not subsist automatically as a form of Intellectual Property and must be registered by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute.