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Get Your Intellectual Property In Order Before You Launch Your Business

As an aspiring business owner, you have a myriad of tasks to handle while getting your venture off the ground. However, amid the excitement, it’s vital not to overlook a critical aspect of your business – your intellectual property (IP). Protecting your IP from the very beginning can be crucial to avoiding potential problems in the future if considering doing business in Kenya.

IP encompasses various assets, including your business name, logos, website domain, and original creations. Failure to properly register and protect these assets could leave your business vulnerable to infringements and legal disputes. In this article, we explore the significance of understanding and securing your intellectual property in Kenya before or shortly after launching your business.

Know Your Intellectual Property Rights

As a business owner, knowing your intellectual property rights is fundamental. In Kenya, IP rights are protected under various laws, including trademark, copyright, and patent laws. Trademarks safeguard your business name, logos, and slogans; copyrights protect creative works like written content and artwork; and patents secure inventions and innovative processes.

By understanding the different forms of IP protection available to you, you can determine which assets require safeguarding and which legal avenues are most appropriate for your business.

Trademark Your Business Name and Logo

Among the first steps to protect your business is trademarking your business name and logo. Trademarks grant exclusive rights and prevent others from using or imitating your brand without permission. Conduct a thorough search to ensure that your desired business name or logo is not already registered by someone else. If it is available, proceed with the trademark application.

Filing a trademark application with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) provides you with legal protection and peace of mind. Consulting with an intellectual property lawyer during this process can be beneficial to navigate any complexities and ensure a successful application.

Copyright Your Creative Works

If your business involves creating original content, artwork, or code for your website or marketing materials, copyright protection is essential. Copyright grants exclusive rights to

reproduce, distribute, and display your creative works, preventing others from using them without your permission.

Registering your copyright with the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) strengthens your legal position and makes enforcement easier in case of infringement.

Safeguard Trade Secrets

While trademarks and copyrights protect your creative expressions, trade secrets encompass confidential business information, processes, or strategies that give your business a competitive edge. It is crucial to maintain the confidentiality of trade secrets by implementing strict measures, such as non-disclosure agreements with employees and contractors.

Stay Compliant with  the National Intellectual Property Laws

As a business owner in Kenya, it is vital to stay compliant with the country’s intellectual property laws that continue to evolve in the wake of developments in the digital space. Understanding the intricacies of these laws and adhering to the requirements will protect your business from potential legal issues and ensure you are adequately protected.

Seek Professional Guidance

Navigating the complexities of intellectual property law can be challenging for many business owners. Seeking guidance from a qualified intellectual property lawyer can be immensely beneficial. An experienced attorney can assist you in determining the best IP protection strategies for your business and help you through the registration process, ensuring that your IP is adequately safeguarded.

In conclusion, before launching your business in Kenya, it is important to note that prioritizing intellectual property protection is paramount. Understanding the various forms of IP protections available, including trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, allows you to jealously guard your creative expressions and maintain a competitive edge in the market. By trademarking your business name and logo, copyrighting your creative works, safeguarding trade secrets, and seeking professional guidance, you set a strong foundation for your business’s success and ensure it remains protected from potential infringements and legal challenges.

A point to note is that embracing the importance of intellectual property from the outset enables your business to thrive in a competitive market, fostering growth and innovation while ensuring your creative ideas and brand identity remain secure for years to come. Remember, getting your intellectual property in order before launch is not just a prudent business move; it is a strategic investment in your business’s future success. That said, as tends to happen in business, it is never too late to ensure these protections are in place however many years your business has been in operations. Reach out to us to ensure the necessary protections:

Article by Elizabeth Museo, Admin & Communication at AMMLAW

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