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Kenya: THOMAS & FRIENDS decision clarifies nature and purpose of disclaimers

31 October 2023
– 1 Minute Read



  • The Assistant Registrar of Trademarks in Kenya has issued a ruling in an application for the registration of THOMAS & FRIENDS in Class 28 with respect to ‘games and playthings, gymnastics and sporting articles not included in other classes; decorations for Christmas trees; including toys’.
  • The registrar was requested to determine whether a call for a disclaimer of the word ‘Thomas’ had a proper basis.
  • The Registrar held that the purpose of a disclaimer is to delineate the rights of the trademark holder and not to confer a monopoly over the disclaimed elements. As such, the fact that a term is common does not necessarily mean that a disclaimer must be entered: the term must be common in relation to the goods or services in question.

This article first appeared in WTR Daily, part of World Trademark Review, in September/2023. For further information, please go to