The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) has seized counterfeit goods worth KES 50 million from China Square Mall, following a complaint from M/s Smithmo Company Ltd about “FINDER branded tools.”
The company holds the registered trademark of “FINDER” in Kenya, and ACA’s Enforcement Directorate promptly acted on the complaint. They conducted an inspection on February 16, 2023, at the China Square Mall, leading to in-situ seizures of goods, including hardware materials and tools owned by the brand owner.
The ACA takes the protection of intellectual property rights and fair trade practices seriously, and the recent seizure of “FINDER branded tools” is a clear demonstration of the Authority’s efforts to curb counterfeiting and piracy.
The Authority promotes public awareness on intellectual property rights and fair trade practices by engaging in education and advocacy programs aimed at creating awareness of the importance of respecting these rights and practices.
Meanwhile, China Square’s legal team is working with the government to resolve the standoff. However, in a statement dated Sunday, February 26, China Square management announced an indefinite closure and did not give a timeline for when they would resume operations.
The mall has been at the centre of controversy since its launch on January 29, 2023, after Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria revealed his intentions to kick the China Square owner out of business. Later, the Trade CS offered to assist the China Square owner to set up a manufacturing plant in Kenya.
Lei Cheng, the China Square proprietor, said that the infringement claims were a plot to kick him out of business. He added that the dispute was a misunderstanding from the manufacturer based in China and was already resolved. He expressed concerns that the business would not reopen.