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The Kenyan Copyright Board (KECOBO) in development collaboration with Microsoft 4Afrika has created an online intellectual property (IP) registration system. This new prototype system should make things easier for those who wish to register IPs in the East African country.
KECOBO hopes to replace the current IP manual registration process, which consists of downloading documents, paying a fee, and then submitting the documents to the KECOBO. The manual process isn’t ideal in today’s busy and internet-driven lifestyle.
Dr. Marisella Ouma, the executive director at KECOBO, explains the benefit of the new system:
With the new system, users will no longer have to come to the KECOBO office in-person to submit their applications. By simplifying the process and getting users to complete the entire process online, we hope to promote a stronger culture of IP protection across the country.
KECOBO is calling on all “musicians, innovators, developers, artists and creators of intellectual property (IP)” to try out and test the prototype system. They want users to provide feedback and their experience.
Once enough feedback has been accumulated, the final website and system will be launched. This will be done through the country-wide Huduma Centres, an initiative by the Kenyan Government to transform their public service delivery.
KECOBO seeks, among other things, to protect and promote creativity in Kenya. We want to ensure all creators of IP have exclusive rights to their works and the correct compensations, so that they will continue to be inspired to invent, develop and create. .
In June 2014, an online IP Hub was launched by Microsoft 4Afrika. The goal of this platform is to educate innovators about all aspects of intellectual property. Some of the education includes the ins and outs of copywrite, trademarks, patents, and general IP protection. IP Hub is looking to develop six new learning modules for users.
Though there are obvious differences between the countries, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) from 2009 to 2012 only 123 patents were registered in Kenya, opposed to 268 000 in the United States.
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