Social Media and the Law: High Court Rules Criminal Defamation is Unconstitutional

Backlit keyboard

In the recent case of Jacqueline Okuta & another v Attorney General & 2 others [2017] eKLR, the issue for determination was the constitutionality or otherwise of the offence of criminal defamation created under the provisions of section 194 of the Penal Code. As many may know, section 194 provides that:- “Any person who, by print, writing, painting or effigy, or by any means otherwise than solely by gestures, spoken words or other sounds, unlawfully publishes any defamatory matter concerning another person, with intent to defame that other person, is guilty of the misdemeanour termed libel.”

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World Intellectual Property Day 2017 Theme: “Innovation – Improving Lives”

World IP Day 2017 Poster WIPO

As readers of this blog may already know, on April 26th every year, the World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated with the purpose of “learning the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.” According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), this year’s focus is on exploring “how innovation is making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable, turning problems into progress.” In addition, the organisation highlighted the importance of looking at “how the intellectual property system supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators, encouraging them to develop their ideas, and ensuring that their new knowledge is freely available so that tomorrow’s innovators can build on today’s new technology.”

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A Review of the Computer and Cyber crimes Bill, 2016

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Source: Rediff.com

Image source: Rediff.com

Cybercrime, referred to as crime conducted through the internet or some other computer network, has been rampant both in Kenya and around the world. According to the Kenya Cyber Security Report of 2015, the top cyber security issues in Kenya were: data exfiltration, social engineering, insider threats and database breaches. The risk of cybercrime is exacerbated by the fact that the number of internet subscribers is on the rise every year. According to the 2015 Economic Survey Report of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics internet subscriptions increased from 1, 579,387 subscribers in 2009 to 8,506,748 in 2012. To top it off, there were about 26.1 million internet users in Kenya as of December 2014. Bearing in mind that the commission of cybercrime knows no territorial boundaries, there are numerous cyber security risks posed to companies, individuals and the government alike.

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A New Look at High Tech Hubs in the ‘Digital Savannah’: Part 1

iHub

Toward the end of 2016, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited tech hubs in Kenya and Nigeria. During this, he remarked: “The future will be built in Africa”. Indeed the emergence of Africa’s technology hubs is of crucial importance for those living on the continent, as the trend represents an opportunity for homegrown entrepreneurship, devising local solutions to socio-economic problems and being a major catalyst for the continent’s innovation revolution.

This is the first in a series of blog posts highlighting Open AIR’s latest working paper, A Framework for Assessing Technology Hubs in Africa, which will soon be published in the New York University Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. This is the first paper to offer a framework for systematically describing and assessing the emergence of high technology hubs throughout Africa. It is also the first paper to explain the legal and policy implications of Africa’s innovation revolution for those both within and outside the continent. It is hoped that this paper will be the foundation for new research into African high technology hubs and innovation.

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41,320 Reasons to Use CIPIT Trademark Database in Kenya

CIPIT TM Database 2017

Last year we launched our Trade Marks (TM) Database – a groundbreaking web-based portal for conducting free searches of recent trade mark applications advertised by Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI). The TM Database is now available here. It currently has over 40,000 fully searchable trademarks and this number is growing by the day as more applications are added to our platform.

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Book Review: “A Kenyan Startup Journey: My 10 Key Lessons” by Hilda Moraa

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Hilda Moraa

It was a tough journey I must say, though there were moments of joy too, and all that contributed to what we learnt as a team throughout the startup journey. I therefore feel it is important to share these key lessons with the rest of the startups in Kenya and across Africa and in turn build a better ecosystem. Hilda Moraa

Weza Tele is arguably the most successful startup in the Kenyan tech ecosystem. Founded in 2011 by Hilda Moraa, Sam Kitonyi and Newton Kitonga, the startup was incubated at Nailab for 6 months after which it set out on its own and was later acquired by AFB in 2015 for USD 1.7 Million. Like any other startup founder, Hilda Moraa had a dream which she had to toil and moil to bring to fruition. In her book  “A Kenyan Startup Journey: My 10 Key Lessons,” she highlights some of the fundamental lessons from her journey of running Weza Tele and hopes that the same will impact other startups in Kenya and Africa.
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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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