During the first week of June, an INTA delegation comprising INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo and INTA Representative, Africa and the Middle East, Tat-Tienne Louembe, undertook an official trip to Nairobi, Kenya. The visit presented an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the Kenyan government in enforcing the rights of brand owners and protecting consumers. It was also an occasion to introduce the Association, explore potential synergies, and advocate for the strict enforcement of IP rights in Kenya.
At the Supreme Court of Kenya, Mr. Sanz de Acedo briefed the Honorable Justice David K. Maraga, Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH), Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, on the Association’s recent and forthcoming activities in the region, including the 2018 Middle East and Africa Conference: Innovation, Investment, and IP, which will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on December 10 and 11. Additional discussion focused on concrete areas of cooperation between the judiciary and INTA, including the key role of the judiciary in protecting consumers and enforcing IP rights.
In the same vein, INTA met with Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki, Attorney General, State Law Office and Department of Justice, who has shown a strong interest in facilitating INTA’s work in Kenya. At the Commercial and Tax Division, which handles IP matters, the Division’s Presiding Judge, Lady Justice Mary Kasango, welcomed INTA’s outreach and voiced interest in collaborating with the Association in enhancing IP knowledge through seminars, trainings, and other types of awareness-raising activities.
At the Kenya National Assembly, Mr. Sanz de Acedo introduced the Association to the Honorable Justin Muturi, Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH), Speaker of the National Assembly. He further underscored the key role of the legislative branch in protecting trademarks and IP rights. The two men shared ways to transform Kenya into an “IP hub” in East Africa.
Prior to meeting with Mr. Muturi, Mr. Sanz de Acedo was warmly welcomed by the lawmakers who attended INTA’s 140th Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, and with the chairs of select committees, including the Trade, Industry and Cooperative Committee, the Committee on Delegated Legislation, and the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. Meetings were also held with Jerome Ochieng, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, and Chris Kiptoo, Permanent Secretary, State Department for International Trade. The INTA delegation also met with senior officers at the Kenya Anti-Counterfeit Agency and with representatives from the private sector.
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