Book Review: “Digital Kenya: An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making” edited by Bitange Ndemo & Tim Weiss


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The editors of Digital Kenya: An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making describe it as a ‘book of arguments and ideas’ and this blogger agrees with this analysis. Published in 2017 and originally published in 2016, a copy of the e-book is freely available under open access. The focus of the book is Kenya’s entrepreneurial revolution in the tech sector. Digital Kenya is authored and edited in a very interesting way; 14 key figures in the Kenya’s tech startup scene were interviewed (including Jay Larson, co-founder of the Tunapanda Institute discussed in a post here) and they provide a unique insight into the inner workings of the Kenyan tech scene and what it takes to be a digital entrepreneur, in addition the book was written by professors, contributors and scholars and edited by Bitange Ndemo and Tim Weiss.

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Startups Must Keep Innovating to ‘Survive’


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Source: Click2View

Image Source: Click2View

The stronger the assumption that the future will function as today does, the greater the gravitational force of the status quo. Organizations set in their ways slow down and never strive for new horizons. They are doomed to wither- Piero Formica

In his article, Piero Formica outlines why innovators should study the rise and fall of the Venetian Empire. He describes the rise of a strong nation, complete with both geographical and technological advantage, which came to a startling fall because of its veil of complacency to established practices and preferences. I recommend all my readers to read the article here.

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Fuzu & Flare: 2 Kenyan Tech Startups to Watch in 2017


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Following our earlier post here on 5 Kenyan startups recognised globally for using digital technology to positively impact the society, this blogger has come across two Kenyan startups featured on a list of African startups to watch out for in 2017. These 2 Kenyan startups are: Fuzu and Flare. This post will highlight these startups and their use of modern technology to power their businesses.

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WIPO’s 11th Edition of the Nice Classification of Marks Now in Force


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The Nice Classification is the international classification of goods and services used when applying for the registration of marks. The 11th edition of the Nice Classification came into force on the 1st of January 2017. The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) published an article discussing the amendments in the recent edition of the Nice Classification. These amendments include 15 class headings and explanatory notes in 7 classes. The list of goods and services has also been extended to include a more comprehensive list of goods and services. This blogger would like to explore some of the amendments to the Nice Classification and the impact of these changes would have when applying for the registration of a mark.

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Deep Heat in Image Rights Suit from Kenyan Athlete: Joseph Kibunja v. Rohto Mentholatum & Harleys

Henry Wanyoike Foundationkikuyu facebook 29 October 2014

According to media reports, the latest image rights suit involves Joseph Kibunja, an athlete and guide for well-known Kenyan Paralympian Henry Wanyoike. The suit filed by Kibunja in December 2016 seeks to bar two companies, Rohto Mentholatum Limited and Harleys Limited (the defendants in the case) from using his image to promote their product “Deep Heat” without his consent. Kibunja wants the court to declare illegal the usage of his image by the defendants in the promotion of their product without his consent. In addition, he has asked the court to award him compensatory damages for the unauthorised commercial appropriation of his image by the defendants.

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Mombasa Court Clarifies Collective Administration of Copyright and Related Rights in Kenya

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In a recently reported judgment in the case of Michael Branham Katana t/a Harsutak Bar & 4 others v Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) & 3 others [2016] eKLR, a claim was made that Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) acted unreasonably by licensing two collective management organisations (CMOs) namely, KAMP and Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRiSK) to collect royalties. The Petitioners claim that by the act of collecting and enforcing royalty collection, the CMOs violated their constitutional rights including the right to equality, and property and that by virtue of the act of licensing the CMOs to operate, KECOBO is complicit in the alleged violation of the Petitioners’ constitutional rights.

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New Peer-Reviewed Article: CIPIT Makes Case for Substantive Examination of Utility Model Applications


Dr. Isaac Rutenberg (CIPIT Director) and Ms. Lillian Makanga (CIPIT Researcher) have co-authored a new peer-reviewed article titled: “Utility model protection in Kenya: The case for substantive examination” published in the African Journal of Information and Communication in late December 2016. A copy of the article is available online here. In the article, it is argued that a return to substantive examination of applications for utility model certificates (UMCs) would be on the whole beneficial to Kenya’s innovative ecosystem and the authors recommend that such examination be reinstated.

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What is a Tech Hub, Anyway? – A New Perspective


Towards the end of 2016, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited tech hubs in Kenya and Nigeria during his first trip to Africa and he remarked: “The future will be built in Africa”. Indeed the emergence of Africa’s technology hubs is of crucial importance for those living within the continent, as the trend represents an opportunity for home-grown entrepreneurship devising local socio-economic problems and propelling Africa’s innovation revolution.

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Towards a Tripartite Free Trade Area Protocol on Intellectual Property


On 10 June 2015, the Agreement establishing a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) was signed in Egypt bringing together 26 African countries from three major regional blocs namely the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Following the signing, the current phase of the TFTA negotiations is meant to cover ‘the built-in agenda’ in five areas namely: trade in services, cooperation in trade and development, competition policy, intellectual property (IP) rights and cross border investment. The fourth of those five areas was the subject of the second Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) talk by Dr. Henry Mutai at Strathmore University.

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Renewing the Call for a National Intellectual Property Strategy in Kenya

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In 2005, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) commissioned an IP audit in Kenya to assess the prevailing situation of the IP system in Kenya making findings on strengths and weaknesses that would be used to develop a national intellectual property (IP) policy and strategy. Although the final audit report was prepared and submitted by WIPO to the Kenya government in 2006, the formulation of a national IP policy and strategy has never been formally completed with the last known attempts dating back five years. Meanwhile, from 2006 to-date, there have been several major IP-related legal and policy developments in Kenya touching on Culture and the Arts. These developments include Kenya Vision 2030, National Policy on Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Traditional Cultural Expressions 2009, National Policy on Culture and Heritage 2009, Copyright (Amendment) Acts of 2012 and 2014, National Music Policy 2015, Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions Act 2016.

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