Intellectual Property LawTraditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expressions and Intellectual Property Rights Management in Kenya

This article may be cited as;

Ben M. Sihanya (2016) ‘Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expressions and Intellectual Property Rights Management in Ken’, The Law Society of Kenya Journal (LSKJ), vol 12(1), pp. 1-38.

The immediate context of this article is the debate on Kenya’s Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Act 2016. The overarching argument is that there is an urgent need to operationalize and further review the Act to implement the key questions on traditional knowledge (TK). Traditional cultural expressions (TCE) or folklore in Kenya. That law needs to capture at least three key parameters.

First, conceptualize accurate definition and interpretation of the key terms. Second, the proposed Act should address TK and TCE in a cultural as well as socioeconomic context of Kenya’s political economy. This includes the licensing, assignment, transfer and related transactions regarding TK and TCE. Third, the proposed Act should establish or stress the linkage among appropriate institutions.

This article conceptualizes, problematizes and contextualizes traditional knowledge (TK), traditional cultural expressions (TCE) and intellectual property (IP) rights management in Kenya. TK, also referred to as traditional cultural expression (TCE), folklore or indigenous knowledge has increasingly gained significance over the recent years. This has been as a result of recognition of the importance of protection of traditional knowledge in light of the rise of the “knowledge economy.”

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