IP livewire John Syekei (Coulson Harney) has reliably informed Afro Leo of a Court of Appeal decision just out of Kenya:
"This is an interesting case- hot off the Court of Appeal bench.
The genesis is a High Court Judgement issued early in the year which ruled that the current applicant's trademark be disallowed for registration on the basis that it is confusingly similar to another mark on the register by taking judicial notice that pronunciation of the two marks in certain communities /tribes in Kenya would be phonetically similar.
The Court of Appeal is of the view that the High Court should have asked for evidence /facts ( possibly a report, and oral testimony from people who would pronounce the words because of the dialects in the same way) in support of the assertion that there are communities that would pronounce the words in a similar manner- ZINACEF and SYNERCEF.
Readers may recall that we have a very similar decision in the High Court in RSA, explained by this Afro-IP post here. Does anyone know if the chameleon controversy has been taken on appeal?
Meanwhile Afro Leo has just finished an absorbing day at the PIPRA/USPTO/UCT IP workshop in Cape Town attended by some powerful minds in local IP. One highlight was moderator Kyle Jensen's wrap-up-request for a "few last quick fire questions" which was met with a paradigm shifting idea on open access raised by Dr Tobias Schonwetter, that could have stoked discussion to last a week! Tomorrow's program looks even better.