Besides corruption and impunity, counterfeit trade is probably the third pillar in the unholy trinity of the devils that torment the Kenyan society today. This illicit multi-billion shilling trade continues unabated,10 years after the enactment of the Anti-Counterfeit Act,2008, leaving behind a horrid trail of destroyed lives and legitimate businesses.
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill, 2018 which seeks to amend the Anti-Counterfeit Act reads like a draft prepared by counterfeiters themselves. If enacted, it will not only significantly increase the cost of doing business but make it almost impossible for brand owners to lay valid complaints against counterfeiters. The proposed amendments also provide counterfeiters with lethal defences to defeat the claims of brand owners.
In an article published in the Business Daily on 29th May 2018, William Maema (Senior Partner), calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Bill and a thorough rethinking of how to tackle the monster of counterfeiting in Kenya. He proposes, instead, the enactment of a Customs Recordation law.
Unfortunately due to space constraints the published article has omitted many of the key arguments contained in the original article which we attach here.
The article was featured in the Business Daily on 29th May 2018 and can be accessed here.