Intellectual Property Bill 2020 Proposes to Abolish KIPI, KECOBO and Anti-counterfeit Authority

IP Bill 2020

There is a new proposed bill in place, named The Intellectual Property Bill, 2020. The piece is based on a suggestion made by the taskforce on parastatal reforms, which calls from a merger of three intellectual property agencies: Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), Anti-counterfeit Authority (ACA) and Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) to form a single government-backed entity.

The suggestion led to the development of the named proposal that has since been drafted. The bill touches many aspects of what KIPI, KECOBO and ACA have been tasked to accomplish, including cases of copyrights, trademarks, and ant-counterfeiting.

The goal of the proposal key is to the Kenya economy because it purposes to encourage creativity and research. As a result, people and organizations involved with research work can augment their competitive positions locally and in the global economy.

The proposal, which has since closed public participation forums, is also exploring cases of piracy. There are hundreds, probably thousands of cases of companies making profits from counterfeit goods and designs that are protected by intellectual property rights.

Piracy and counterfeiting are some of the biggest cases of IP rights violations in Kenya, implying that certain acts are conducted without the consent of IP rights holders.

To this end, the proposal calls for the establishment and administration of the Intellectual Property Office of Kenya. If established, the office will inform and raise public awareness on intellectual property information and combat counterfeiting, among many other functions.

The lengthy document further discusses the financial obligations of the new office in terms of licensing fees, levies, and revenues generated from any proprietary interests, to mention a few.

The bill proposes the establishment of an Intellectual Property Tribunal that will hear and determine disputes and appeals in line with the law.

A detailed description of what constitutes patents and patentability is also given. The rights to inventions and the naming of the inventor are also discussed.

More details about the proposal can be found here.