Kenya Trade Marks & Patents

Kenya Trade Marks

Kenya is a first to use country and whomever first uses a particular trade mark gets the rightsKenya recognises the goods and services classes from the Nice Classification and allows for multi-class filing. Kenya trade marks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and renewable for further periods of 10 years.

Kenya is a member of the Madrid Protocol treaty which offers international trade mark filing, registration and maintenance. A single application in Kenya can be applied to multiple jurisdictions so long as those countries are members of the Madrid Protocol. Kenya is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states. The Paris Convention provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trade marks and designs.

Smit & Van Wyk IP lawyers and Africa agents deal exclusively with trade mark law in most African countries, including Kenya trade marks. Our fields of practice encompass all aspects relating to trade mark applications, renewals and protection. Our services includes trade mark searches, prosecution, maintenance and enforcement, but more specifically:

(1) Providing advice on the registrability, selection, use and retention of trade marks;
(2) Preparing and prosecuting trade mark applications;
(3) Helping clients license or franchise their rights;
(4) Handling of trade mark maintenance including payment of renewal fees and recording amendments.

Kenya Patents & Designs

Kenya patents have a duration of 20 years from the filing date with no possible extensions. Kenya is a member of  the Patent Cooperation treaty (PCT) which provides a unified procedure for filing patents applications in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application or PCT application.

The patent lawyers at Smit & Van Wyk deal exclusively with patent law including all aspects related to filing patents, PCT national phase applications and industrial designs in most African countries, including Kenya. Our dedicated team of patent lawyers include engineers and scientists. We provide a wide range of patent-related services across multiple industries and fields of technologies, including patent drafting, filing, prosecution:

(1) We prepare and prosecute patent and design applications;
(2) Advise on the patentability of inventions;
(3) Help clients license, franchise or assign their rights;
(4) Conduct patent searches;
(5) Handle the payment of maintenance fees;
(6) Record amendments to a patent and translate patent specifications into local Languages to maintain the clients rights.

Kenya designs have a duration of 5 years from the filing date which is extendable for a further 10 years.

Kenya Trade Marks & Patents


Kenya is a member of ARIPO which means that patents and designs may be registered with the official intellectual property office of Kenya or ARIPO.


Paris Convention

Types of Patents:
Patents of Invention
National Phase PCT Application
ARIPO application or ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application

Non-PCT Filing Requirements:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English translation (required upon filing)
  • International patent classification (can be late filed)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)
  • Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable) with verified English translation (can be late filed)

Duration and Renewal:
The patent has a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Annual renewal fees are payable from the first anniversary of the filing date.


Paris Convention
The Hague Agreement

Types of Designs:
Industrial Design

Filing Requirements:

  • Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Drawings, photographs or other graphic representation of the design (required upon filing)
  • A statement indicating the kind of products for which the design is to be used (required upon filing)
  • Certified copy of priority document (if applicable) with verified English translation (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed).

Duration and Renewal:
The design has an initial term of 5 years from date of filing, with possible extensions of 2 further terms of 5 years each.

Trade Marks

Paris Convention
Madrid Protocol
Nice Classification

Types of Marks:
Goods and services
Collective marks
Certification marks
Series marks
Defensive marks

Filing Requirements:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney
  • Details of the Applicant (full names, physical address, nationality/country of incorporation)
  • Representation of the trade mark(s)
  • List of goods and/or services
  • Certified copy of priority document (if applicable)

The Nice Classification of Goods and Services is followed. Multi-class applications are possible.

10 years from filing date and renewable every 10 years.