East Africa: IP Quarterly Newsletter – Q2 2024

Welcome to the latest issue of the East Africa IP Newsletter, where we bring you insightful articles and updates from Bowmans. Our IP and Technology Practice team has diligently compiled the key legal developments from the past few months into an engaging and informative read.

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Kenya: Commercialization and monetization of Intellectual Property Rights

With Kenya often representing innovation, cultural, creative ingenuity, and technical advancements, understanding the regulatory and commercial landscape in relation to intellectual property rights is increasingly critical. IP rights are territorial, which means that they are generally afforded protection in the country where the intellectual property is registered and/or used. Various international treaties have harmonized a great deal of intellectual property law, and there are ways of obtaining registrations in international regions.

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Kenya: Behind the green veil: Legal perspectives and best practices on environmental claims in advertising in East Africa

In today’s eco-aware market, advertisers often use environmental claims to attract consumers. However, unfounded or misleading claims not only deceive consumers but also undermine genuine environmental sustainability efforts. The evolving legal landscape emphasises the need for corporate entities to navigate environmental claims carefully to reduce legal risks. Courts no longer view advertisements as mere puffery but demand truthfulness, especially when claims significantly impact consumer decisions.

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Kenya: Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2024 – A new chapter in competition law enforcement

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has initiated amendments to the Competition Act, Chapter 504, Laws of Kenya (Competition Act). On 28 May 2024, the CAK published the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (Amendment Bill) (here) and invited the public to submit comments on the proposed changes. The Amendment Bill will inter alia grant new and expanded powers to the CAK in the regulation of digital activities and will extend the CAK’s investigative mandate by substituting the abuse of buyer power provisions in the Competition Act with the broader concept of abuse of a superior bargaining position. We briefly discuss some of the key proposals in the Amendment Bill below.

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The Kenya Green Finance Taxonomy

Kenya has set itself ambitious goals to lead the way as a champion in climate change action in the region. The country made a commitment towards a nationally determined contribution (NDC) target of abating greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030. The total cost of implementing mitigation and adaptation actions in the NDC is estimated at USD 62 Billion. In order to meet the cost of the NDC target various economic sectors have a role to play, including the financial sector.

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Kenya: High Court issues its decision in the abuse of buyer power case against Carrefour

In its May 2024 decision, the High Court fortified the principles of fair administrative action as provided in the Constitution of Kenya (Constitution) and the Fair Administrative Action Act (FAA Act) by overturning the decision of the Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) requiring Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets Limited (trading as Carrefour) (Carrefour) to amend all its supplier agreements. However, the High Court agreed with the Tribunal’s decision that Carrefour was guilty of an abuse of buyer power in relation to its dealings with its then supplier of probiotic yoghurt, Orchards Limited (Orchards).

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