On March 12, an International Trademark Association (INTA) delegation comprised of Mr. Tat-Tienne Louembe the Representative Africa and the Middle East and local members Lorna Mbatia (CFL advocates), David Opijah and Agnes Akal (Bowmans Law) met with Mr. Elema Halake, Executive Director of Anti Counterfeit Agency (ACA); Dr. John Akoten, Deputy Director Research, Awareness, Policy and Quality Assurance; Johnson Adera, Deputy Director Enforcement & Legal Services.
Headquartered in New York City with offices around the world, the International Trademark Association (INTA) is a private sector entity of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation.
INTA’s members are more than 7,200 organizations from 191 countries. INTA members collectively contribute almost US $12 trillion / €8.8 trillion / ¥73 trillion to global GDP annually. For comparison, the 2016 annual GDP of the top three markets was $11.2 trillion (China), $16.4 trillion (European Union) and $18.6 trillion (United States).
During the meeting, the two parties discussed ACA leading role in promoting Intellectual Property Rights, protecting local and international TM to leverage key resources at the national and international level. ACA reiterated its willingness to curb the flow of counterfeit goods, partner with strategic stakeholders such as INTA. Mr. Halake mentioned that ACA’s mandate is aligned to the Government’s Big Four Agenda to protect consumer and boost manufacturing through the creation of1.3 million jobs in this sector by 2022.After presenting recent activities undertaken by ACA, the Executive Director emphasized the importance of promoting Inter-agency collaboration in the fight against counterfeits.
In line with INTA Strategic Plan (2018-2021) Mr. Louembe expressed the Organization’s readiness to share best practices with ACA and develop joint activities. He further praised the Agency’s commitment to facilitate trade and engage with brand owners.
The Association’s member organizations represent some 31,000 trademark professionals and include brand owners from major corporations as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, law firms and nonprofits. There are also government agency members as well as individual professor and student members.
Besides engaging with the Anti Counterfeit Agency, the INTA delegation headed by Mr. Louembe met with key officials at the National Assembly, Attorney General Office & Department of Justice as well as at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. INTA’s Representative for Africa and Middle East also engaged with the European Union, local private sector entities and Kenyan members.
Mr. Louembe also attended the Private Sector Business Meeting as well as the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union Heads of State and Government organized in Kigali during which the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was officially launched.