New report reveals value of IP in Kenya

          • Tanzania, 19 March 2013

          A study commissioned by ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative reports that Kenya’s current intellectual property rights (IPR) regime performs poorly in international gauges, ranking 95th of 130 countries in the IPR Index and 106th of 140 economies in the Global Competitiveness Index 2010. The BASCAP report, Promoting and Protecting the Value of IP in Kenya, sets out BASCAP’s recommendations for policy and legislative changes needed to bring Kenya’s IP regime and IP enforcement efforts up to international standards and was presented as an example of how a report like this can be replicated in other African countries.

          BASCAP Policy Advisor Louis Bonnier presents the new BASCAP report in Kenya

          Results of the commissioned survey were presented at a three-day regional workshop entitled "Workshop on the Practical Approaches to IP Utilization and Protection in Africa", which took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 19-21 March 2013. The workshop was organized by the US Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program, the newly formed Africa IP Group (AIPG) - an Africa-wide umbrella organization of African IP officials, industry, and IP stakeholders - in coordination with US interagency partners and input from private sector partners from the International Trademark Association and BASCAP.

          The report shows the growing body of evidence describing the positive link between the strengthening of IPRs and economic development and increased rates of innovation. It illustrates the important role that IPR plays in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), and promoting research and development and technology transfer.

          "Economic growth is closely related to how well the economy encourages, stimulates and fosters its creativity and innovation," said BASCAP Policy Advisor Louis Bonnier, presenting the report to the workshop. "A critical factor in maximizing the value of this intellectual capital is a clear legal and regulatory system that recognizes the importance of the underlying intellectual property and establishes and protects the property rights of the creators, inventors and innovators."

          The BASCAP recommendations are put forward as a roadmap for improvement and can go a long way in helping to meet new and higher standards required by the World Trade Organization's trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS). The full set of policy and legislative recommendations are delineated in the report.

          "Combating counterfeiting and piracy must become a public policy priority," BASCAP Steering Committee member, Karl Lallerstedt, BASCAP Steering Committee member said. "This effort must start with the Kenyan government sending a clear message to the criminal networks and others involved in counterfeiting and piracy that this activity will no longer be tolerated - and that increased enforcement of stronger IP laws will result in increased punishments. These actions will help convince legitimate business owners and consumers that the government is serious about protecting IP rights, and encourage them to support these efforts. ICC, through its BASCAP initiative and in partnership with Kenya's ACA (Anti-Counterfeit Agency), stands ready to do its part to help the Government of Kenya to achieve these important goals."

          Download the Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Kenya report

          Download the Long term Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy on Increased Foreign Direct Investment and Employment in Kenya report

          For more information visit ICC BASCAP's East Africa regional iniatives page.

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