Kenyan Court Will Soon Rule Whether the Anti-Counterfeiting Law is Constitutional

Daniel Rosenholtz
March 16, 2010

The Kenyan Supreme Court was scheduled, on March 8th, to hear the petition of three HIV positive Kenyans who claim Kenya’s recent Anti-counterfeit Law will stifle their access to affordable HIV medicine, thereby violating their right to life under the Kenyan Constitution.  However, the Court only addressed the case to postpone the hearing and require the petitioners to serve the recently formed Anti-Counterfeiting Agency, which was not yet established when the petitioners first filed suit.  It is unclear whether the Anti-Counterfeiting Agency or the Kenyan Attorney General will participate in the coming hearing, as neither had filed a response to the petitioners’ claim as of the 8th when the hearing was originally scheduled.  The Court has re-scheduled the official hearing for March 18th, this Thursday.  Since Kenya is the only East African country to pass an anti-counterfeiting law that contains multiple TRIPS-plus IP protections, this case could influence the debate over similar anti-counterfeiting laws in the rest of the East African Community.  More on this important case coming soon.

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