In order to curb the rise of counterfeit goods offered for sale online in Kenya, the Kenyan Anti-Counterfeit Authority is proposing to partner with Kenya’s Digital Markets.
A meeting was held between leading Kenyan Digital markets and the Kenyan Anti-Counterfeit Authority.
The plan is to have online platform owners evaluate their vendor base to ensure that adhere to the requirements to identify sellers who trade in counterfeits. The aim is to ensure that the e-commerce platforms are not conduits of counterfeiting.
The meeting was instigated in response to the increased number of cases of reported in relation to online counterfeiting. The counterfeiting occurs on online platforms, social media, and instant messaging services.
The Authority regularly conducts research on online counterfeiting in the country and found that the levels of counterfeiting online were at 18% in 2017. By 2022 the number was 20%. The increase has been attributed to change in business models from physical sales to online channels, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nairobi Region Head of Enforcement Mr. Martin Luther, gave a word of caution at the meeting as follows:
“Online counterfeiting is a crime just like physical counterfeiting”. He added that; “Online counterfeiting is a form of cyber-crime in the country. It is the responsibility of e-commerce platforms operators to sanctify their trade to avoid criminal liability”.
The meeting concluded with a call for the establishment of a collaboration framework for enforcement, public awareness, and sharing of information in relation to counterfeiting. In addition, the participants set to support the efforts of law enforcement authorities to curb Intellectual Property law infringement.