WIPO IP Facts and Figures 2011: Kenya Country Profile

According to the WIPO IP Facts and Figures 2011 Report, trademarks applications are highest both worldwide and also in Africa. The 2010 figures indicate that ARIPO recieved 2,782 trademark applications, 448 for patents and 209 for industrial designs.

Kenya’s Industrial Property Office recieved 1430 trademark applications.

In the same period, Kenya made a grand total of 13 international applications: 4 under the PCT system and 9 under the Madrid system.

A full graphical summary of Kenya’s national and international industrial property applications is listed below:

International Applications via WIPO Administered Treaties

Patent Applications (KIPI and PCT National Phase Entry)

Patent Applications by Top Fields of Technology

Patent Grants (KIPI and PCT National Phase Entry)

Utility Model Applications (to KIPI)

Trademark Applications (to KIPI)

Trademark Applications (to ARIPO)

Industrial Design Applications (to KIPI)

Kenya’s IP Offices Offering Real-Time Online Assistance

A recent visit to the websites of Kenya’s Copyright Office and Industrial Office, KeCoBo and KIPI respectively, reveals new and positive developments in the area of online services. On this particular occasion, it is indeed impressive to note that both sites have introduced online applications that allow users to interact with the IP Offices by sharing comments and asking questions.

KIPI’s version:

KIPI’s website has employed the “Disqus” comments system, similar to what you would expect to find on your average blog. Most comments are praises of the site’s eye-catching layout and design. However there are also several IP-related questions asked and answered.

Pros:
-Simple and User-friendly.
-Social media appeal eg, “like” button feature akin to Facebook’s, “reply” function for comments allows interaction.

Cons:
-Awkward positioning of the comments box smack in the middle of the home-page.
-Open to abuse and misinformation eg. I can post comments on Disqus and set it to “KIPI” or “Webmaster”

KeCoBo’s version:

For its part, KeCoBo has gone the extra mile and set up an independent online help page with a link appearing on the top right-hand corner of the homepage. The online help page has laid out guidelines and sets a 24-hour timeframe for answering of all questions asked.

Pros:
-Clear guidelines.
-Search function for key words or questions already discussed.
-Categories for data.

Cons:
-Tricky to use for mobile users.
-Unanswered questions don’t appear.

So, which system is better? KIPI’s or KeCoBo’s? Well, I guess that depends.

What is important to note is that these online systems go a long way in creating awareness on IP. More importantly, with both IP offices only having offices in the capital city Nairobi, having a multi-functional and updated website makes things much easier for Kenyans living in other cities, towns or even abroad.

We look forward to both IP Offices officially launching online registration services very soon!