Intellectual Property

MMC Africa Law (MMC) has over the years cut out a niche for itself in the intellectual property (IP) sector. It boasts of both local and international clientele.

MMC offers practical solutions to a wide range of IP matters including trade marks, industrial designs, domain names, utility models, and plant breeders’ rights in Kenya and Africa and our team has ensured quality, efficient and effective service delivery to clients.

We advise both established and developing businesses on its IP practice areas as well as legal issues regarding the introduction into and management of products in the relevant markets.

The Firm has built good working relationships with the examiners and senior officers at various IP offices in various jurisdictions in Africa. This cordial relationship facilitates the Firm’s regular transactions with the IP offices hence enabling the department to attend to clients’ instructions promptly and comprehensively.

MMC’s IP practice has a presence in Uganda, Tanzania, DRC, South Sudan, Rwanda, Malawi, Ethiopia and Burundi. With an established network of IP associates, MMC is able to handle IP-related legal matters in other African regions such as in East and Central Africa, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI).

In addition, MMC’s practice network in East Africa has been developed especially by the common market opportunities by the East African Community Market Protocol.

Top IP Matters

Below are details of some of the recent transactions the Firm has been involved in that demonstrate the Firm’s capabilities in offering legal services in various IP Rights:

Trade Marks

  • Acting for Safaricom Limited in registration and renewal of numerous trademarks in Kenya including but not limited to ‘”SAFARICOM FLEX” which identifies the new data bundles services offered by the company, “BE YOUR OWN BOSS” which made a huge impact on the youth through promoting and inspiring entrepreneurial spirit in the young people, “G-ONEE”, “FUNZIKA” “TAPLAY” “SAFARICOM GENERATION” “M-PESA 1 TAP” which identifies a product used as a card or a phone sticker device that simplifies payment services through the M-PESA account  “SAFARICOM HOME”  which identifies our client’s product that allows fast, reliable and unlimited internet access in the comfort of their homes and “#TWAWEZA”.
  • Acting for Solpia Kenya Limited in protection, registration and enforcement of numerous trademark in East and Central Africa including but not limited to “SOLPIA”, “CROCHET BRAID”, “IT’S A BRAID” “BRAZILLIAN HAIR”, “ASANTE BRAID”, “SHAGGY CUT”, “OUTRE”, “LOOSE CURL” and “VOGUE CURL” .
  • Acting for The Legal Group, Dubai, UAE in registration of various trademarks such as “HUNTSMAN” “ARADUR” and “ARALDITE” in Kenya.
  • Advising Kenafric Industries Limited, one of the largest manufacturers of Footwear, stationery products, confectionery and food, on protection and registration of its trademarks under ARIPO. We are currently undertaking registration of over thirty of its trademarks under the ARIPO including “Chewy”, “Oyo”, “Lollipop”, “Squeezy”, “Ki Lotto”, “Ki Special Veve”, “Ki Milk Munch”, “Ki Creamy Yoghurt”, “Ki Fruit Drops”, “Ki Orange Drops”, “Sparky” “Atomic”, “Faba”, “Pago Pago” and “Ki fresh”.
  • Advising Tanga Cement Limited, a cement manufacturing company in Tanzania, on its branding strategy and assisting in registration of its trademarks “MKOMBOZI” and “TOFALI CHUMA” in Kenya.
  • Advising the Meru County Investment & Development Corporation on protection and registration of its logos in Kenya.
  • Acting for P. Bhavanbhai Family Trust of Johannesburg, South Africa, the sole proprietor of trade mark NIKKI, in opposition proceedings against registration of a similar mark NICKI by Style Industries Limited.
  • Acting for Toto Limited, the proprietor of the world-famous and internationally recognized trademark “VOLT” which it uses in its popular energy drink products available in a number of countries worldwide, in opposition proceedings against registration of a similar mark VOLT by International Distillers Uganda Limited. Toto Limited is a Maltese company and a beverage producer in South America, Africa and Asia.
  • Advised Parallel Media Limited, a medium level television and digital production company, on its branding strategy as well as protection of its trademarks in Kenya. We are acting for the company in registration of trademarks for its television platforms.
  • Advised Neotech Kenya Limited, a software company that provides lead generation to pharmaceutical and health related products to retailers, on protection if its software applications and assisted in registration of its logos in Kenya.

Copyright

  • Acted for Trimble Solutions, owner of copyright in TEKLA structures software in prosecution of infringement against its software. 

Patents

  • Acted for Crystal Lagoons (Curacao) B.V, an international company with about 16 offices around the world and a leader in innovation and technology, in renewal of its patents such as patent application no. RW/P/14/003, patent application no. RW/P/14/00006 and patent application no. RW/P/14/000030 in Rwanda.
  • Acting for Iceutica Pty Limited in renewal of its patents, patent applications No.131- 135/ARK in Rwanda which provide clinical benefits for patients with respiratory diseases.
  • Acted for Sanofi Aventis, a global life science company that transforms scientific innovation into healthcare solutions in human vaccines, in renewal of its patent, patent application no. 128/ ARK in Rwanda.
  • Acted on behalf of Schwarz Pharma AG, SABMiller Investments II B.V. among others in renewal of their patents in Rwanda and Burundi respectively. 

Industrial designs

  • Advised Just Plastics Limited, a manufacturing company in Kenya specialised in production of plastic products on protection and registration of Industrial Designs in Kenya, Assignment and licensing of the IP rights from their mother company, Just Plastics Limited situated in the UK and who have registered their industrial designs under ARIPO and OAPI.

Awards

MMC Africa Law has cemented its place as one of Kenya’s leading law firms, being consistently recommended and ranked by the leading international group on Intellectual Property, Managing IP, as a leading trademark and patent firm in Kenya based on global interviews with Intellectual Property Law firms and Multinationals. The Firm has also been consistently ranked among the top Intellectual Property Law Firms by the World Trademark Review and ILO Choice Awards.

MMC was ranked under tier 2 by Managing Intellectual Property – IP STARS in 2015 and 2017.

MMC was ranked in the Silver Band by World Trademark Review (WTR 1000) in 2014.

MMC was ranked in the Silver Band by World Trademark Review (WTR 1000) in 2015.

Related Professionals

Esther N. Omulele
Juliet Mazera