John Syekei was admitted as an Advocate in 2005. He trained at Daly & Figgis Advocates and Deloitte and headed the Intellectual Property Department at a leading Firm as a Partner until joining Coulson Harney in March 2010. He was admitted into the Coulson Harney partnership on March 1 2011.
John advises clients on M&A transactions in the IT, Telecommunications and Healthcare sectors. He is increasingly doing deals in the above areas. His practice areas and experience cover commercial intellectual property advice, IP litigation, advertising law and litigation, advice on drafting and/or negotiation of information technology agreements on seller or buyer side, and advice on the protection and enforcement of trade mark, patent, copyright and industrial designs. He practices across Africa directly for local clients. He also acts for clients in intellectual property infringement actions, anti-counterfeiting raids, due diligence investigations and reports, drafting of licensing and franchise agreements, trade mark oppositions, trade mark cancellations and domain name dispute resolutions before WIPO.
He advises a number of leading technology companies in the world including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM. He also acts as the Kenyan counsel on regulation, compliance and corporate matters for Philip Morris International.
- Advised Google on the regulatory landscape relating to the applicability of the National Payments Systems Act to Electronic Commerce Trading Platforms and E-money issuance and the subsequent establishment of a Payment Card system for use within Kenya’s transport sector known as the BEBA card (similar to the OYSTER card in use in the United Kingdom) as well as on an e-commerce platform in Kenya in association with a local Bank.
- Advised Liquid Telecommunications on its acquisition of the majority shareholding in Altech Kenya Data Networks and Altech Swift Global Kenya Limited, Altech Stream Rwanda, Infocom Uganda and Altech International Mauritius from Altech SA. The transaction involved a share swap arrangement with Altech SA acquiring a minority stake in Liquid Telecommunications in exchange. Local merger control and COMESA merger control approval needed.
- Advised Cowbell International Inc on brand protection internationally, and proceeded to register their trade marks in Kenya, and internationally, through a Madrid System application, in several countries including the European Union, United States of America, Australia, Botswana, China, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria and Zambia.
- Advised Red Bull GmbH/ Spoor & Fisher, T.M.A. KE/T/2008/67288 BULZAI ENERGY DRINK & BULL DEVICE Trade Mark Opposition before the Registrar of Trade Marks.
- Sony Corporation/ Bowman Gilfillan, Miscellaneous Civil Application Number 165 of 2012. Republic versus Registrar of Trade Marks and Sony Corporation (Judicial Review).
- Advised Wananchi Programming Limited on media and entertainment contracts for TV programmes and content across Africa for Zuku TV.
- Advised IBM Corporation on setting up of research lab in a joint venture with the Kenyan government.
- Successfully represented 24.com, a South African subsidiary of the leading multinational media group Naspers, in relation to a domain dispute against a Nigerian entity. The matter was decided by the World Intellectual Property Organisation Arbitration Dispute Resolution Centre as the domain host was based in the United States and the parties based in different jurisdictions. The disputed domain was transferred to the client.
- Advised ADIDAS GmbH in relation to the filing of a Counterfeit action before the Kenyan Anti- Counterfeit Agency resulting in the successful raid, seizure and destruction of a consignment of counterfeit products infringing on the protected trademark rights of ADIDAS.
- Advising Vestergaard Frandsen Group SA in a complex Patent Entitlement and Breach of Confidentiality action in the High Court of Kenya as well as a Patent entitlement action before the Industrial Property Tribunal 2009, 2010, 2011. This action is being litigated in 9 other countries simultaneously.
- Advised Kopo Kopo Inc, an American entity from the Bay Area of San Francisco (Silicon Valley) as a merchant aggregator for MPESA’s buy goods functionality on the regulatory landscape relating to mobile money, and negotiated contracts with Safaricom in relation to its MPESA platform and the establishment of a mobile phone point of sale payment solution in Kenya.
- Advised MIH East Africa, a subsidiary of Naspers Group, a JSE listed entity, on the regulatory landscape relating to the applicability of the National Payment System Act to electronic commerce trading platforms and e-money issuance and the establishment of an e-commerce shopping mall in Kenya.
- Advised on and managed the legal aspects of a transaction where UAP Holdings Ltd was acquiring an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution comprising of software, hardware and professional services provided by Microsoft and its regional partners. The project involved the implementation of the ERP system across borders for use by multiple subsidiaries.
- Advising Bimeda Pharmaceutical PLC, Ireland, a leading veterinary pharmaceutical company, in an M & A transaction- purchase of the entire issued share capital in Assia Kenya Pharma Limited from Phibro Corporation.
Areas of Practice
- Article for Managing Intellectual Property on the new Anti counterfeit Law and the impact on the Kenyan Pharmaceuticals Industry September 2010.
- World Bank – Doing Business in Kenya Articles – 2007, 2008 and 2009.
- IP Litigation
- Advertising law and related litigation
- Technology, data privacy and e-commerce
- Commercial IP transactions