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By Caroline Wanjiru Muchiri

In 2013 the Presidential Task Force on Parastatal Reforms made wide ranging recommendations among them the merger of Intellectual Property Agencies namely the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) and the Anti Counterfeit Authority (ACA). To achieve this, a Task Force on the Merger comprising of members drawn from ACA, KECOBO, KIPI, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development and the Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) drafted a bill- the Intellectual Property Office of Kenya Bill. To download a copy of the Bill, click here.

From the Preamble, it is a ‘Bill for AN ACT of Parliament to consolidate the laws relating to intellectual property, to provide for the establishment of the Intellectual Property Office of Kenya; to provide for its functions, organisation and administration; and for connected purposes.’

The Bill has a raft of amendments and is also missing some aspects that we believe should be included in a Bill proposing to ‘consolidate intellectual property laws in Kenya’. The Taskforce has requested for comments on the document to be submitted on or before 17th May 2020. If interested in submitting comments to the Taskforce for their consideration before the said deadline, please see the notice here.

We at CIPIT, have opened our Jadili Platform to avail the bill and its contents for continuous comments and conversations. Jadili is an interactive civic engagement platform offering technical capacity for public participation in decision making in Kenya. Sign-up, engage by commenting, asking and providing responses to enrich the Bill.

Although the Task Force has set a deadline to submit comments, Jadili shall remain available throughout the life of this Bill. We shall endeavour to aggregate the comments and avail them to the relevant authorities in due course. The Bill is in its formative stages and is not yet tabled in Parliament. We believe once tabled, the statutory public participation forum will be open providing us yet another opportunity to further comment on the content of the Bill. We at CIPIT shall keep the content of the Bill as hosted on Jadili updated as the process moves to Parliament.

For now, we seek the assistance of the public and the stakeholders to enrich the public participation process for the Intellectual Property Bill, 2020.

Go to Jadili Page.