In Business, patent gives the entrepreneur the exclusive rights to prevent others from manufacturing, using or selling the protected invention in a given country. A patent is a legally enforceable right granted by the government in return for disclosure of the invention to the public. Patent protection is territorial meaning every country grants patents that are only applicable and enforceable in that country.
Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) is responsible for examining and granting patents in Kenya. KIPI operates under the Industrial Property Act 2001. However, it is also possible to obtain a patent through the African regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), which is a regional intergovernmental organization, based in Harare Zimbabwe and which is mandated to grant patents on behalf of its member states.
In general, any device, substance, method or process can be patented. For a patent to be granted, the invention must satisfy three requirements, that is the invention must be new, which means that the invention has not been publicly disclosed anywhere in the world; Involve an inventive step, that is the invention must not be obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the technological field of the invention; and be industrially applicable, in that the invention must be capable of being used in industry
There are certain things that are excluded from for patent protection. These include methods and schemes of doing business, scientific and mathematical formulas, method of treatment of animals and humans and artistic creations.
Patent protection is not automatic. One is 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.
See Also: How To Apply For Patent In Kenya
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.
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