SONY Not a well-known brand in Kenya rules the Court, KIPI will not register its trademark locally

A Kenyan court has ruled that the Japanese electronics giant SONY’s is not a well-known brand here, the judge thus reinforced and upheld the Registrar of Trademarks 2015 ruling that Sony Corporation had not provided sufficient proof that Sony is a well-known brand in Kenya.

Justice Francis Tuiyot made the findings in a suit Sony Corporation had filed against owners of Westgate Mall seeking to retain exclusive rights over the “Sony” tag.

“The conclusion by the Assistant Registrar, and now upheld by this court, that the appellant had failed to prove that SONY is a well-known trade mark in Kenya may be shock to many. Is it not obvious to the assistant registrar and the judge that Sony is a well-known global brand it can be asked?” Justice Tuiyot asked before concluding that the court ‘cannot draw a conclusion from its own personal perception’.

The court in reviewing evidence stated that while Sony Corporation had produced evidence of sponsoring numerous sports and other international events, there was no clear evidence was adduced to show millions of Kenyans accessed and viewed those sports as claimed.

In contesting the ruling, Japan’s Sony held that the registrar ignored crucial evidence it provided in support of its opposition to the recording of the Sony Holdings trademark.