A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, it can be a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. In order to be patentable, the invention must fulfill several conditions. It must be of practical utility. It must show an element of novelty and have an inventive step.
In Kenya an innovation that fails to meet this criterion can be protected by Utility Model.
Patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold without the patent owners consent. Patents provide recognition to individuals for creativity and economic reward for marketable inventions.
In Kenya patents are filed and registered at KIPI, patents can also be filed at African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) at Harare Zimbabwe and can also be done at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva Switzerland.
Patent protection is for 20 years while for Utility Models in Kenya is for 10 years.