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How To Apply For A Patent In Kenya

Patent protection is not automatic. Entrepreneurs are required to file an application with a patent office, which will assess whether or not the invention is patentable. It is therefore important that an invention must not be disclosed to the public before a patent is filed. In order to obtain a patent in Kenya, the applicant is required to submit an application form in KIPI. The form can be downloaded from KIPI’s website.

The application form should be accompanied by a full description of the invention, which must illustrate the characteristics of the invention and state the scope of patent rights sought. If one intends to sell their products in overseas markets, it may be important to consider whether to obtain patents overseas and in which countries. The decision will be based on the market potential in each country.

Patent costs vary from case to case and increase significantly if one seeks patents overseas. The cost may also vary if the applicant uses the services of patent agents, who have their own set of fees.

Related Reading: What You Need To Know About Patent

To file an application in Kenya, at a minimum the following fees are applicable.

  • Filing fee of Ksh. 3000/, which is due when the application is filed;
  • Publication fee of Ksh. 3000/, which is due after 18 months from the filing date;
  • Examination fee of Ksh. 5000/, which is due within 3 years from the filing date;
  • Grant fee of Ksh. 3000/, which is due once the patent has been accepted for grant.

KIPI is required to assess or examine the patent application to ascertain that it meets the requirements of the Industrial Property Act 2001.

Examination is not automatic, and the applicant must request within 3 years for the patent application to be examined. Patent applications are often not accepted in their initial form.

The Institute informs the applicant of any deficiencies and gives the applicant an opportunity to make changes to the application. Frequently, problems occur because the application is either not clear, or the applicant is seeking protection for something that is already known. When the Institute is satisfied that the deficiencies have been corrected, the application is accepted and a patent certificate is issued.

Here is to your success in protecting your business

Photo Courtesy of ZAIP

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