Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Agency Launches Digital System to Combat Intellectual Property Rights

The Kenyan Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) has launched the Integrated Information Management System (AIMS), a digital system designed to combat counterfeiting and safeguard intellectual property (IP) rights and the commercial interests of businesses. The system was unveiled during the opening of the 2nd International Symposium on Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement (ISIPPE) at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

Themed “Uniting Against Counterfeiting for a Healthy and Safe Future,” the event aimed at enhancing collaboration and innovation in IP protection, raise awareness about the dangers of counterfeits, and highlight the importance of safeguarding IP rights for economic growth and public safety.

Developed with support from the UK and Danish governments at cost of approximately $900,000 through TradeMark Africa (TMA), AIMS allows IP holders to register their IP rights (trademarks, copyrights, and patents) through a user-friendly online portal. This documentation establishes ownership and serves as a reference point for enforcement actions. The system also equips enforcement agencies with the capacity to identify and seize counterfeit goods in the market or at entry points and pave way for prosecution of the infringer.

Kenya's Anti-Counterfeit Agency Launches Digital System to Combat Intellectual Property Rights

The launch was 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 crucial role of IP protection in ensuring consumer safety, fostering innovation, and advancing healthy competition.

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

TMA’s support entailed provision of technical expertise in the development of the software, supply of infrastructure and funding for change management activities.

“This is an important step towards not only upholding the intellectual property rights and commercial interests of rights holders, but also in positioning our country as competitive environment for doing business,” TMA Country Director, who graced the launch, said. “Let me take this opportunity to thank our funders, namely, the UK and Danish development agencies, for supporting the development of this system.”

Josephat Kabeabea, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Anti-Counterfeit Authority, reiterated the Authority’s commitment 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”.