Intellectual Property (IP), is crucial in academics and Kenya’s political economy. The meaning and significance of IP has not always been understood, in this article, Prof Ben Sihanya explains IP.
Intellectual Property (IP), or the property of the mind – as the name suggests, is the property of an individual. IP has a lot to do with one’s ideas, innovations and creativity. In some developed countries, IP is a resource against which one can actually borrow from a bank, as it has commercial value.
It is unfortunate therefore that many researchers are losing claim over their inventions owing to the low awareness on IP and related rights. “It is very disheartening when researchers come to our offices citing theft of their invention by another,” says Prof. Julius Mwangi, Coordinator, Intellectual Property Management Office, in most cases the University is unable to assist some of the researchers since most of them do not keep records or journals, detailing their research work and they are therefore unable to produce proof of ownership.
IP is human creativity embodied in tangible form. The Constitution of Kenya (2010), identifies IP as part of property. The details on the meaning and significance of IP are found in Acts of Parliament or statutes, rules, regulations and policies, including the University of Nairobi IP Policy 2013.
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