2012 for Intellectual Property in Kenya

IPKenya is back for a second year, hoping to be more informative and relevant than last year and still gunning for that coveted “Kat-approved” badge.

To start things off, here is a small list of IPKenya’s twelve expectations for 2012:-

1. The Geographical Indications Bill will be signed into law.

2. The Copyright Amendment Bill will be adopted.

3. The Music Copyright Society of Kenya will turn over a new leaf, or else!

4. The Traditional Knowledge Bill will be completed and tabled before Parliament.

5. KIPI and KECOBO will launch more online IP products and services including: videos, articles, notices, public search database systems and even online registration?

6. Musicians will form a united Musicians’ Union, which would, inter alia, undertake lobbying and advocacy on copyright and related intellectual property concerns.

7. The Anti-Counterfeit Agency will increase its visibility both through awareness programs and enforcement actions.

8. A few court precedents on industrial property and/or copyright would be nice.

9. The Communications Commission of Kenya and Anti-Counterfeit Agency will carry out the deregistration of counterfeit phones as initially intended.

10. The Creative Commons Kenya team will finally be set up and the porting process will be completed.

11. Prof. Ben Sihanya of Nairobi University, IPKenya’s mentor, will finally publish his long-awaited book on intellectual property law in Kenya.

12. The IP blogosphere + twittersphere in Kenya will begin to take shape.

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An ambitious list, one could say, considering that 2012 is election year in Kenya, not to mention the backlog of constitutionally mandated acts of parliament still to be debated and passed.

That said, IPKenya remains optimistic that all the expectations (even those requiring government facilitation) in the list can be met by the end of the year.

As early as April 26, 2012, when Kenya joins the global village to mark World IP Day, IPKenya shall return to this list to see what items can already be ticked off.

And so, let the year begin!