Safaricom, IT Firm In Legal Tussle Over Okoa Stima Trademark

okoa stima

A firm has gone to Court alleging Safaricom is infringing on its trademark. Safaricom launched a credit facility product in collaboration with Kenya Power that allows customers to borrow any amount based on a pre-determined  credit limit based on the customer’s relationship with Kenya Power. The loan is charged a facilitation fee of 10% and is payable in 7 days.

The IT firm, Color Planet, claims it registered the Okoa Stima trademark name in May with the Kenya Industrial Properties Institute (KIPI). It then alleges that the Telco has violated its ownership rights to the name by using a similar name.  Color Paint says the name Okoa Stima is one of an electricity purchase software it developed and even introduced to Kenya Power seeking to partner in November 2013.  The company further claims it has worked on the software since 2012 and that the infringement by Safaricom has in deed watered down the quality of the Okoa Stima trademark. The IT firm wants Safaricom barred from using the name until the case is resolved.

The case highlights the increasing developments of intellectual property in Kenya with more users registering trademarks, copyrights and patents. Microsoft recently partnered with Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), to develop an online portal, IP Hub, that will allow creators of intellectual property ranging from  musicians, innovators, developers, artists to creators to register it. The system is currently live for testing and review. Following the review and feedback phase, the system will be finalized and made available to all Kenyans.

Kenya power begun its partnership with Safaricom in 2009, which allowed consumers to pay their electricity bills through Safaricom’s mobile money service M-pesa. Kenya power customers are charged a fee of Kshs. 10 for power bills between Sh100 to Sh10, 000 and a fee of Sh25 for bills between Kshs 10,001 and Kshs 35,000 settled via M-pesa.

Source: Daily Nation