Sculpture of Ulrich Uchtenhagen Unveiled at ARIPO

Maurice Okoth, CEO of Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) posing with the Dr. Ulrich Uchtenhagen Sculpture unveiled at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) on November 5, 2014.

Maurice Okoth, CEO of Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) posing with the Dr. Ulrich Uchtenhagen Sculpture unveiled at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) on November 5, 2014.

Between 5th and 7th of November 2014, the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in conjunction with the Norwegian Development Cooperation Association (NORCODE) have organised a workshop at ARIPO’s Headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe. The theme of the workshop is “Advancing Collective Management in Africa”, organised in cooperation with International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Among the topics to be discussed at the workshop are: Current Status of National Collective Management Organizations in the Region, Good Practices in Transparency, Accountability and Governance, Effective licensing in various sectors, Private Copying Remuneration, Critical Success Factors in Collective Management, Perceived Challenges in Copyright and Collective Management and Joint Strategies for the Future.

On the first day of the workshop, a special event was held namely the unveiling of Dr. Ulrich Uchtenhagen’s sculpture presided over by the ARIPO Director General Mr. Fernando Dos Santos and His Excellency the Ambasador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Mr Luciano LAVIZZARI. Below are some pictures from the unveiling:

ARIPO DG Dos Santos (in a purple tie) speaking at unveiling of Uchtenhagen sculpture, on his right is His Excellency the Ambasador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Mr Luciano LAVIZZARI.

ARIPO DG Dos Santos (in a purple tie) speaking at unveiling of Uchtenhagen sculpture, on his right is His Excellency the Ambasador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Mr Luciano LAVIZZARI.

His Excellency the Ambasador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Mr Luciano LAVIZZARI lighting candle at unveiling of Uchtenhagen sculpture at ARIPO.

His Excellency the Ambasador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Mr Luciano LAVIZZARI lighting candle at unveiling of Uchtenhagen sculpture at ARIPO.

His Excellency the Ambasador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Mr Luciano LAVIZZARI unveiling the Uchtenhagen sculpture at ARIPO.

Norway Ambassador Hopland unveiling the Uchtenhagen sculpture at ARIPO.

The Dr. Ulrich Walter Uchtenhagen sculpture unveiled at ARIPO, Harare Zimbabwe.

The Dr. Ulrich Walter Uchtenhagen sculpture unveiled at ARIPO, Harare Zimbabwe.

As many readers may know, Dr. Walter Ulrich Uchtenhagen is recognised worldwide for the contributions he made to the establishment of collective management organisations (CMOs). In the African context, Uchtenhagen is praised for his endeavours to strengthen copyright and related rights in ARIPO Member States and in Africa as a whole. Dr Uchtenhagen, a Swiss national and a consultant at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the field of copyright for many years, died on January 31, 2003 as a result of injuries sustained in a road accident near Rusape in Zimbabwe. He was on his way to Bvumba, Mutare to conduct a training course on copyright and related rights for the staff of the Secretariat of ARIPO.

In his seminal posthumous WIPO publication, The Setting-up of New Copyright Societies – Some Experiences and Reflexions”, Uchtenhagen starts with the following poignant remarks:

“The collective management of author’s rights is a profession that demands basic legal training, administrative capabilities, a well-founded knowledge of tariffs, the basic principles governing the collection of royalties (or remuneration for use of works), documentation, distribution, accounting and payments, data processing and social welfare. Anyone who sets about establishing a copyright society without having the necessary professional training runs the risk of rapidly running it aground as it would be a venture managed by an amateur. And since such problems frequently occur, it is important to point out that the successful establishment of a copyright society depends essentially on the professional training of its manager and of its staff.”

ARIPO Zimbabwe Ulrich Uchtenhagen

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Kenya Leads Africa in Celebrations of World Intellectual Property Day 2014

Winning team from Riara University at Inaugural IP Moot receive Trophy from The Hon. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.

Winning team from Riara University at Inaugural IP Moot receive Trophy from The Hon. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.

In case you missed it, Kenya’s planned activities for this year’s World Intellectual Property Day went off without a single hitch and exceeded all expectations. This year’s celebrations were the envy of the twitterverse judging from the volume of tweets with the hashtag #worldipdayke (click to view the live-tweets).

The highlight of the day’s event’s was undoubtedly the inaugural IP moot which was won by the impressive all-female team from Riara University. The IP Moot trophy was presented by none other than the Chief Justice and Head of the Judiciary, Dr. Willy Mutunga, SC (see picture above).

Surprisingly, the IP Moot topic was closely related to the World IP Day theme despite being prepared almost 5 months before WIPO announced this year’s theme. The topics are available here. The inaugural Moot attracted a total of eight (8) teams drawn from the various public and private universities throughout Kenya. However the success of the moot was due to an unparalleled cooperation between the government, the legal profession and of course academia, led by Strathmore Law School. At the governmental level, the Executive and Judicial branches of government played an instrumental role in offering practical guidance to the mooters. The Executive was represented by KECOBO and KIPI, whose senior management served as moot court judges. The judiciary’s role in the moot was indispensable and indeed the mooters benefited from the knowledge and experience of Court of Appeal Judge G. Kairu and High Court Judge J. Kamau.

The legal profession also came out in support of the IP moot led by three law firms namely, Coulson Harney, Kaplan & Stratton and Simba & Simba, Advocates. Each firm was represented by their IP-savvy advocates who served as judges in the moot.

The following pictures taken during the various rounds of the moot say it all:-

Mooter (standing) addresses moot court judges including KECOBO Legal Counsel Edward Sigei during preliminary rounds of the Moot.

Mooter (standing) addresses moot court judges including KECOBO Legal Counsel Edward Sigei during preliminary rounds of the Moot.

The Moot Judges in the Final Round: L-R Kairu, JA; Kamau, J; Caroline Muchiri, Simba & Simba Advocates; Sudi Wandabusi, KIPI; John Syekei, Coulson Harney & Dr. Mutai, KIPI.

The Moot Judges in the Final Round: L-R Kairu, JA; Kamau, J; Caroline Muchiri, Simba & Simba Advocates; Sudi Wandabusi, KIPI; John Syekei, Coulson Harney & Dr. Mutai, KIPI.

As the moot rounds were underway, two separate events were taking place namely the “IP Pavillion” (exhibition stands) and a discussion forum on IP and Film. The day ended with a public screening of the award-winning movie “The Prestige” (2006) courtesy of the United States (US) Embassy in Nairobi. Here are some of the pictures from these events:

Liz Lenjo leads the discussions on Intellectual Property Rights in Film.

Liz Lenjo leads the discussions on Intellectual Property Rights in Film.

Peter Hime, an IP Lawyer at the ACA stand.

Peter Hime, an IP Lawyer at the ACA stand.

Discussion Panel on Film Industry in Kenya (L-R): Gerry Gitonga, Entertainment Lawyer; Krushil, Owner of MoMoviez; Gerald Langiri, Founder of Actors.co.ke; June Gachui, Actress, Singer & Lawyer; Timothy Owase, Kenya Film Commission and Mwaniki, Riverwood Ensemble.

Discussion Panel on Film Industry in Kenya (L-R): Gerry Gitonga, Entertainment Lawyer; Krushil, Owner of MoMoviez; Gerald Langiri, Founder of Actors.co.ke; June Gachui, Actress, Singer & Lawyer; Timothy Owase, Kenya Film Commission and Mwaniki, Riverwood Ensemble.

Although it was a Saturday, members of the public came out and interacted on issues affected the film industry and the role of IP in the context of film.

The day was also significant for KIPI Managing Director and Registrar of Trade Marks, Dr. Kibet Mutai who announced that his term was set to expire at the end of April 2014. Many will recall that Dr. Mutai took over from Prof. Otieno-Odek at KIPI in April 2011. Therefore this day was Dr. Mutai was his last public function and he took opportunity to award several awards for the highest number of trade mark applications.

A smiling Dr. Kibet Mutai gives away prizes at the World IP Day 2014. This is his final public event as KIPI Managing Director.

A smiling Dr. Kibet Mutai gives away prizes at the World IP Day 2014. This is his final public event as KIPI Managing Director.

While the IP Moot, IP Pavillion and IP Forum were taking place at Strathmore, there was a separate event taking place in the Nairobi central business district. The Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRiSK) had organised a procession walk from Kenya National Theatre to Nairobi County Hall. The procession finally gathered at Uhuru Park where members of the public got to interact and discuss the day’s theme. As many may know, PRiSK is the collective management organisation that represents the related rights of performers including actors.

poster by PRiSK

The theme of this year’s World IP Day was also the subject of the following WIPO interviews with two personalities in Kenya’s film industry:

Overall, this blogger is very pleased with the amazing team effort displayed by a whole cast of different stakeholders in Kenya’s creative industries, from government to private sector and academia. The result was a magnificent day marking World IP Day in Kenya. A quick online search reveals that only Algeria, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda had any online evidence of planned World IP Day activities, which is worrying given the low levels of IP awareness on the continent. Therefore it is clear that Kenya has set the bar very high for Africa!

This blogger hopes that Kenya will continue being active in its World IP Day outreach activities and events in the years to come.

Both Kenya’s National Intellectual Property Offices now on Twitter

It’s been almost a year since Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), the national copyright office officially launched it’s twitter page, a move which was widely applauded. A twitter presence has allowed KECOBO to reach the wider public and spread awareness about copyright and related rights in Kenya. KECOBO has managed the account exceptionally well with almost daily tweets on activities, events, programmes and most importantly they have engaged with twitter users with queries, questions and complaints.
All in all, twitter has been an important platform for KECOBO to carry out its mandate of administering and enforcing copyright and related rights in Kenya.

Now, Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), the industrial property office has also launched its official twitter account. Follow KIPI: “@KIPIKenya”

IPKenya is happy that KIPI has finally embraced this important social media tool. Unlike KECOBO which enjoys a fair amount of mainstream media coverage for its enforcement actions and its supervision of collecting societies, KIPI has always been shrouded in mystery. That said, the recently launched KIPI website has allowed members of the public to learn more about KIPI, its mandate and its services. However KIPI’s events, activities and programs are not widely publicised which makes public participation and discussion difficult.
IPKenya hopes that KIPI will use twitter to freely communicate and engage with the public on issues of industrial property and other related IP matters so as to demystify them and encourage the public to taje advantage of the IP system.

Are we all lazy? The debate over innovation in Africa is back

IPKenya came across this viral “article” by a certain Field Ruwe titled: “You Lazy (Intellectual) African Scum!”.

In case you haven’t already read it, please do. It is annoyingly true for the most part and perhaps what is being described in the “article” about Zambia could be applied to lots of other African countries.

However, IPKenya does not fully agree with this “article” in so far as it terms African intellectuals as “lazy” for their failure to innovate and create.

“Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the Lusaka markets and on the street selling merchandise. I saw them in villages toiling away. I saw women on Kafue Road crushing stones for sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the Zambian intellectuals? Are the Zambian engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher, or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers? Are you telling me that after thirty-seven years of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?”

First of all, not all intellectuals are inventors, creators and innovators. Most intellectuals are simply that, intellectuals. They’ve published, written and done studies on their native countries, for instance critically acclaimed Zambian-born and bred Dr. Dambisa Moyo.

Is this “article” suggesting that her and others like her are lazy?

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