Bowmans (Coulson Harney)


5th Floor, West Wing, ICEA Lion Centre
Riverside Park, Chiromo Road

Tel:+254 20 289 9000

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With a robust historical economic growth rate and a middle class population of over 35 million, East Africa remains the investment destination of choice for investors seeking to expand operations into Africa. The entry of multiple brands into the region has made the ability to register and protect the rights that investors and clients obtain in their products, services and brands an essential success component in the business environment.

Securing a knowledgeable and experienced legal adviser who understands the local complexities with the appropriate track record in navigating through the legal landscape is pivotal to this success. Working as one team coordinated across three jurisdictional offices, our unparalleled dedicated East Africa replace with Intellectual Property (IP) practice handles:

  • IP litigation focuses on trademarks, patents, designs and copyright infringements 
  • Multi-jurisdictional anti-counterfeits actions/raids;
  • Trademark oppositions and expungement matters in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania;
  • Designs and patent revocations;
  • Brand migration advice;
  • IP due diligence;
  • Franchising; and
  • Competition and IP opinions.

We act for clients both locally and internationally under the Madrid and ARIPO systems of registration, as well as national protection in other countries worldwide through a network of associate agent law firms.

The IP team is headed by John Syekei, who is regionally and globally renowned for his excellence in the IP space, and has received several recognitions and awards in his field. The 20-strong team consists of seven lawyers – including a lead partner in each of member office jurisdictions – and 13 patent agents and other support staff.

We have been ranked by the World Trademark Review 1000 (WTR) for the past few years. According to WTR, our dynamic and deeply experienced team is among the best in the country; we show great professionalism and know how to get things done. We won the Intellectual Property Team of the Year Award at the 2017 African Legal Awards and also recently named ‘Firm to Watch in African IP’ by Managing IP at a ceremony held in London in March 2018.

Our clients include leading multinationals from around the world within the financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, and technology, media and telecommunications sectors.

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Last updated 29th August 2018

Sector Expertise:


  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Construction & Materials
  • E-Commerce
  • Electronics & Semiconductors
  • Entertainment
  • Publishing & Media
  • Fashion & Luxury Goods
  • FMCG & Retail
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Green Technology
  • ICT & Software
  • Instruments
  • Life Sciences & Chemistry
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunication
  • Tobacco