Intellectual Property

Q. What is a Trademark?

It is a distinct sign that will be used by your business for the product you have in mind which identifies your product to your consumers. It distinguishes it from other products. This design, logo, image or a combination of all three is known as intellectual property.

Q. How can I protect my Trademark?

Trademarks can be registered to protect somebody else imitating your product or using the design on their products. Most importantly and the basic reason for registration is that it gives you the legal right to defend your mark against misuse.

Q. Is a Trademark a property?

Yes a Trademark is regarded as a property and you can also lease it or license it to another person for use.

Q.  What is a Patent?

A patent is also an intellectual property and basically it is an invention which solves a specific problem of whose rights are accorded to the inventor
by the state for a specific period of time. It may relate to a product or a process. Registration of the patent is the stopping any other individual from whatever means of usage without the inventors permission.

Q. What is an Industrial Design?

It is a combination of lines and colours which gives a distinguished look to a product which creates a physical difference to give an edge to the marketing, branding and of course sales of the product.

Q. Why protect industrial designs?

An industrial design adds value to a product. It makes a product attractive and appealing to customers, and may even be its unique selling point. So protecting valuable designs should be a crucial part of the business strategy of any designer or manufacturer.

Q. How do you obtain protection for industrial design?

In Kenya, an industrial design must be registered in order to be protected under industrial design law. To register you must file an application form 27 at the Kenya industrial Property Institute.

Q. What rights are provided by industrial design protection?

When an industrial design is protected by registration, the owner is granted the right to prevent anuthorised copying or imitation by third parties. This includes the right to exclude all others from making, offering, importing or selling any product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied.

Q. What can be registered as an industrial design?

As a general rule, to be able to be registered, a design must meet one or more of the following basic requirements:
i)      The design must be "new" i.e it has not been disclosed to the public anywhere in the world.
ii)     The design must be "original" i.e it has been independently created by the designer and is not a copy or imitation of existing designs
iii)    The design must have "individual character" i.e the overall impression produced by a design on any informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any earlier design which has been made available to the public.

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