Intellectual Property LawCopyright in eCommerce and the Music Industry in Kenya – Chapter 8

Counterfeit trade takes three main forms. First, pirates counterfeit the product itself, as is the case in counterfeit medicines or machine spare parts. Second, they counterfeit the trade mark or service mark of legitimate products, the general presentation or get-up of the product, or a combination of these.

The second category includes counterfeiting the packaging of the product and may include marks and any brand names or labels. The fourth may be a collection of any of the foregoing.

Mark, label and packaging counterfeiting is more common than product counterfeiting because these are simpler and cheaper to effect than it is to produce a product. For instance, a counterfeiter therefore finds it more economical to purchase generic medicines and market them.

Kenyan manufacturers lose an estimated Ksh 30 billion annually due to counterfeiting. Over 80% of popular trade marks in Kenya are being counterfeited. The music and movie industries are one of the worst affected industries with 97% of music CDs and DVDs being pirated. It is estimated by the World Bank that Kenya loses Ksh 1.3 – Ksh 4.8 billion in music alone.

In Kenya, everything from electronics to bottled water continues to be counterfeited. Software piracy is also rampant in Kenya. Most computers are sold with “free” software. Even Government offices use pirated software.

To read the full chapter, download the PDF here.

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