A trade mark is a distinct sign which serves to distinguish the goods of a specific person or enterprise. The same definition applies to service marks except that as the name suggests it serves to distinguish the services of a specific person or enterprise
The mark may consist of one or more distinct words , letters , numbers , drawings or pictures , signatures, colours or combination of colours etc. Registration of a trademark is not mandatory . One can use a mark for a certain length of time and establish his or her ownership under the common law.
However it is highly desirable to register your trademark since the system of establishing ownership of trademark through common law involves long and lengthy expensive legal process.
The most effective way of proving ownership in a trademark in Kenya is through registration and the burden is upon anyone challenging y our rights in a mark to proof his or her rights in a dispute.
Registration also assists in keeping off potential infringers who would be tempted to ride on the good will of your mark
A registered Mark is also a valuable asset for business expansion especially through licensing franchises