Today there was the much anticipated session on Intellectual Property led by John Syekei, Head of Intellectual Property at Coulson Harney Advocates. Here are a few points that came out during the talk.
There are two types IPs:
Industrial property- This is acquired through registration
Copyright- This is acquired through the fixation and expression of ideas and in certain jurisdictions deals with software. It’s almost automatic you do not need to register.
Trademarks denote origin and distinguish you from your competitor.
Patents need to be new, non-obvious and something that can be utilized for example formulas, new machines. Patents in Kenya give twenty year protection.
There are two ways you can get copyright:
If you want to get a copyright you need to express it first: write it, document it. Create copyright before you look for funding or share the idea. Write the source code, mail it to your mail address and you get the postal slip that shows the date when you came up with the copyright.
Alternatively you can deposit the documentation with the Kenya Copyright board. They will give you a slip that shows the date you came up with the copyright. But yet again copyright is all about dates, who came first; if someone has evidence that they came up with the new product before you and they can prove it, they can get the copyright.
See a lawyer who will also stamp an affidavit confirming your copyright over your asset.
Non Disclosure agreements-they create an obligation of confidence between yourself and the person you are sharing the idea with. Make sure that the NDA does not end even when the discussions are terminated and make sure it is in writing.
Document and create dates as soon as possible.
Don’t rush when signing contracts or NDAs.
Consult a lawyer before signing.
He who asserts proves. If you say I own this copyright then you need to prove it.
For more information on IP law *PLEASE* consult a lawyer.
If you missed this, take heart there will be other sessions like this. :-)