Celebrating Trailblazing Kenyan Women in Innovation and Creativity: World Intellectual Property Day 2018

The theme for this year’s World Intellectual Property (WIP) Day on 26 April is ‘Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity’. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), this year’s WIP Day campaign ‘celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.’ The UN specialised agency in charge of intellectual property (IP) urges its member states ‘to reflect on ways to ensure that increasing numbers of women and girls across the globe engage in innovation and creativity, and why this is so important.’ In Kenya, many observers note that women remain significantly underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) despite the country’s significant progress in achieving gender parity in education.

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Open AIR Researcher Presents at University of Cambridge Seminar Series on Open Intellectual Property Models

On 28 February 2018, the Centre for Research in Art, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge continued its seminar series on ‘Open Intellectual Property (IP) Models of Emerging Technologies and Implications for the Equitable Society’. The topic of the seminar was ‘Open IP in emerging and developing economies’ where the goal was to examine whether emerging and developing economies have an opportunity to take a radical approach to intellectual property (and also collaborative innovation practices) when it comes to areas like manufacturing, green tech, biotech and computing/artificial intelligence. If so, what could that look like and what would it mean for equitable and sustainable development? The speakers during this seminar included: Elisabeth Eppinger (Freie Universität Berlin); Kenneth Huang (National University of Singapore) and Valeria Arza (CENIT). The presentation made on behalf of Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) was on our on-going work on open and collaborative innovation in and around high-tech hubs in Africa, particularly if/how they are using IP to facilitate openness.

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Are Computers Legal Persons? – A Student’s Perspective

By Emmanuel M. Nzaku**

In 1892, when Mr. Aron Salomon was making leather boots and shoes in his White Chapel High Street establishment, he had no idea that his enterprise would shape the nature and operation of modern trade. Since his sons wanted to become business partners, he turned the business into a limited liability company. The company purchased Salomon’s business at an excessive price for its value with his wife and five elder children becoming subscribers and the two elder sons directors but as nominee for Salomon, making it a one-man business. Not only didn’t Mr. Salomon take 20,001 of the company’s 20,007 shares, the company also gave Mr. Salomon £10,000 in debentures. When the company’s business failed and it went into liquidation, Salomon’s right of recovery against the debentures stood prior to the claims of unsecured creditors, who would, thus, have recovered nothing from the liquidation proceeds.

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Solid Intellectual Property Strategy Key to a Successful Events Planning Business

By Jade Makory**

There is a noticeable boom in Kenya’s entertainment scene. People want to meet up with friends and family, eat and drink while listening to good music or enjoying art or cultural performances. This has led to fierce competition among event planners, who feel the need to set themselves apart from other event planners. To do so, they would need to have distinctive and original features to set their events apart. These unique features may manifest themselves as intellectual creations that would require protection and management as intellectual property (IP). These features may be: branding elements such as logos, slogans and names falling under trademark law in accordance with the Trademark Act; ornamental or aesthetic features of their products falling under industrial design law in accordance with the Industrial Property Act; and original works falling under copyright law in accordance with the Copyright Act.

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Using Blockchain Technology to Digitise the Land Registry in Kenya

by Njeri Waweru**

Blockchain technology is set to be the most revolutionary technology since the Internet. it is famous for facilitating bitcoin transactions but it can serve many purposes, one of which is land title registration. Land title registration is an issue that plagues many African countries fraught with corruption and lack of transparency inhibiting the realisation of land an individual and the country as a whole.

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E-Commerce and the Law in Kenya: Taxation

This semester, we kick off a brand new course for final year undergraduate law students on e-commerce and the law. This course aims at explaining the legal challenges that are posed by electronic commerce. We shall also contextualise and problematise on-going legal/policy developments in Kenya to regulate electronic commerce. In this blogpost, we explore the implications of taxation. Take for instance the case of Karura, our fictional Kenyan answer to Amazon, an established e-commerce business, with dozens of online platforms. It offers a variety of goods and services to its customers worldwide. Delivery of goods and services takes place on the Internet and payments for purchases are made electronically. Karura is incorporated in Mauritius and has a presence throughout East Africa. Their management board sits in South Africa and decisions are often taken in the United Kingdom. If Kenya wishes to assert the authority to tax Karura in Kenya, is there a basis for exercising such taxing jurisdiction?

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E-Commerce and the Law in Kenya: Consumer Protection

This semester, we kick off a brand new course for final year undergraduate law students on e-commerce and the law. This course aims at explaining the legal challenges that are posed by electronic commerce. We shall also contextualise and problematise on-going legal/policy developments in Kenya to regulate electronic commerce. In this blogpost, we explore the implications of consumer protection law. What kind of goods and services fall within the ambit of laws governing consumer protection issues including advertising and marketing? All goods? All services? What of goods or services traded electronically/online (Jumia? Skiza Tunes? Mdundo? Mondo Ride?)

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Comments on Kenya Computer and Cybercrimes Bill 2017

The Computer and Cybercrimes Bill 2017 has undergone First Reading according to Parliamentary Standing Order 127 (3) and is currently committed to the Departmental Committee on Communications, Information and Innovation. The Bill proposes to provide a framework to prevent and control the threat of cybercrime. Parliament recently called for submission of memoranda on the Bill. Upon receipt of the call for memoranda, CIPIT called on members of the public to contribute their views on the bill which we have uploaded on the Jadili platform. Members of the public contributed their views on various issues as compiled here.

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Comments on Draft Copyright Amendment Bill 2017

The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2017 is currently pending before Parliament (Committee stage). In the Bill, there are 13 areas of changes to the Copyright Act identified as follows: Definitions; Functions of the Board; Composition of the Board; Qualifications of Executive Director; Copyright and Related Rights (Exclusive Licensing); Artist Resale Right; Copyright in Broadcasts; Rights of performers (Royalty Collection); Infringement (Intermediary Liability); Collective administration of copyright; Copyright Tribunal; Exceptions and Limitations (Fair Dealing). A copy of the Bill is available here. This blogpost will briefly highlight some of the areas of concern arising from the proposed amendments.

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Internet of Things for Agribusiness in Africa

by Njeri Waweru**

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a more integral part of the evolution of technology. It refers to a system of interrelated computing devices, objects, mechanical and digital machines that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network. It serves many different industries including healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and home and consumer electronics. The agricultural sector would benefit greatly from the evolution of IoT.

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