July 20, 2024
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Kenya commemorated this year’s World Anti-Counterfeit Day by hosting the second edition of the International Symposium on Intellectual Property, Protection, and Enforcement (ISIPPE-2).

The event, themed “Uniting Against Counterfeiting for a Healthy and Safe Future,” aimed at fostering collaboration and innovation in intellectual property (IP) protection, raising awareness about the dangers of counterfeit products, and highlighting the importance of safeguarding IP rights for economic growth and public safety.

Graced by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry, Ms. Rebecca Miano, the event brought together key stakeholders, policymakers, and industry leaders to discuss the critical role of IP protection in ensuring consumer safety and fostering innovation.
In her opening address, CS Miano emphasized the importance of robust IP frameworks in safeguarding consumers from counterfeit products and promoting a healthy, competitive market.

“Consumer safety is paramount, and strong intellectual property enforcement is essential to protect the public from the dangers of counterfeit goods. This forum underscores our commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers globally,” said Ms. Miano.

The Principal Secretary, State Department of Industry, Dr. Juma Mukhwana, highlighted the government’s collaboration with WIPO and leading government agencies in formulating a comprehensive national IP policy and strategy to support innovation and competitiveness. “We have a draft National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy (NIPPS) which lays the groundwork for Kenya’s national IP policy and strategy for the period 2023-2027,” said Dr. Mukhwana.

Hon. Josephat Kabeabea, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Anti-Counterfeit Authority, reiterated the Authority’s commitment to supporting the government’s vision of industrial development and economic growth. “Our mission is to create an environment where innovation thrives, driving sustainable growth and ensuring that our SMEs and innovative enterprises can thrive in a secure and supportive environment,” said Kabeabea.
Dr. Robi Mbugua Njoroge, Executive Director of the ACA, emphasized the importance of the symposium, stating, “ISIPPE-2 is a crucial platform for uniting efforts against the global menace of counterfeiting. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, we can create effective solutions to protect intellectual property, which is vital for innovation, economic growth, and public health.”

As part of efforts to tighten controls against intellectual property contraventions and provide redress mechanisms for aggrieved parties, the forum saw the launch of the ACA Integrated Information Management System (AIMS) for this purpose. The system allows owners or holders of intellectual property rights to record their products with the ACA as a safeguarding measure against potential infringements or to provide pathways for protection in case of violations.

“This is an important step towards not only upholding the intellectual property rights and commercial interests, but also in positioning our country as competitive environment for doing business. Let me take this opportunity to thank out funders, namely, the UK and Danish development agencies, for supporting the development of this system,” TradeMark Africa Country Director, Ahmed Farah, remarked.
The system also has an Enforcement and Case Management component, which allows for anonymous reporting, investigation, inventory management and prosecution of intellectual property infringers.

The forum included panel discussions with representatives from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Japan Intellectual Property Office, and leading multinational corporations. Participants explored collaborative strategies to enhance IP enforcement, share best practices, and address emerging challenges such as the rise in online counterfeiting in this digital age.

 

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