It has always been our understanding that the Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2002 would only be brought into effect after the Implementing Regulations had been published. However, as the Regulations will have a retrospective effect when they are published, the Trade Marks Registry has taken it upon themselves to issue certificates of registration and renewal indicating the term under the new law.

However, further confusion has arisen, because of the manner in which the Registry is applying the terms of the new law. The Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2002 is dated 23 August 2002, and when the Implementing Regulations have been published, its terms will have effect as of that date. We consider that this should mean that applications filed before 23 August 2002 were filed under the terms of the old law, and should carry an initial term of 7 years. Similarly, registrations with a renewal date before 23 August 2002 should be renewed for a period of 14 years. Any applications filed on or after 23 August 2002 should carry an initial term of 10 years, and any registrations due for renewal on or after 23 August 2002 should be renewed for 10 years.

However, the Kenyan Trade Marks Registry has stated that ?all marks whose date of renewal was due on or before 23 August 2002 and whose application for renewal had been received at the Registry by then should be renewed for 14 years while all the rest should be renewed for 10 years" and that "all marks that have been advertised on or before 23 August 2002 should be registered for an initial period of 7 years while all the rest should be registered for an initial period of 10 years.? We cannot accept that this interpretation is correct, and we are taking issue with the Registry on the matter.

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