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iHub By Hilda Moraa / March 12, 2013



Number Of Startups That Have Copyrighted Their Software. 15 start-ups interviewed total.

Late last year, iHub Research released a report on Intellectual Property In Technological Innovations: Perceptions From Tech Startups In Kenyan ICT Hubs  which aimed to better understand how tech startups working out of ICT Hubs view IP in their technological innovations. iHub Research conducted an exploratory research with 15 tech startups. Over half of those interviewed have registered their companies, with most having secured various domain names for their innovations. A number of respondents did not know where to go for IP services. None of those interviewed has filed any form of patent and the majority have not copyrighted their technological innovations as they perceive the process to costly and cumbersome which is not true. Research on competitors’ IP as a protection tool did not seem of importance to a majority of them. The results suggest that at this stage, most start-ups are still validating their ideas and the IP process is confusing, timely, and expensive for these start-ups. Most of the interviewed tech startups felt there should be more awareness raised about IP rights in Information Technology. Greater knowledge about IP will assist developers and tech startups to determine if IP suits them and if so, which aspects will be most relevant for them.

More so, the tech startups provided a couple of recommendations to the ICT Hubs. A key recommendation that was raised by all of the 15 who were interviewed was to have  an  IP ‘customer help desk’ services at the Hub. Stating there is need to have representatives from the different IP service providers, sitting in these Hubs to understand how the tech startups work, their background and then assisting them in conducting the IP processes for their innovations and to ask real time questions based on the IP challenges an individual tech startup is facing.


iHub Research collaborates with CIPIT to hold  FREE one-on-one IP advisory services at iHub 

It is on this note that iHub Research  in collaboration with CIPIT (Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law) which is part of Strathmore Law School, will be holding a FREE one-on-one advisory clinic on 22nd March, 2013 with tech startups on their IP issues. The startups will have a chance to receive free one-on-one 40 min consultations with an expert from CIPIT. They will also receive technical assistance and solutions to their challenges. We can only accomodate 7 startups for this first session. The slots for the first session are limited so if you are a budding tech startup and want to participate in the one-on-one IP advisory services, sign up for a slot  here.

As a tech startup you will have a chance to:

  • Receive FREE  private IP and legal advise on anything based on your business opportunities and challenges from  Dr.Isaac Rutenberg, Director at CIPIT;
  • If you wish to conduct any form of IP (trade mark, copyright, patent, trade secret) then you will get one-on-one technical assistance and all the answers to your questions based on your business;
  • You will be provided with further networks based on the other services in IP that may not be available in this sessions;
  • You will have a chance to ask questions and get answers with regards to  your contractual materials and frameworks with your clients e.g. MOU (Memorandum of Understanding, NDA (Non disclosure agreement)  etc

Author : Hilda Moraa

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