Kenya joined the world in marking the World Intellectual Property Day, an annual event founded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to raise awareness on the role of intellectual property rights in creativity and innovation.
The event that was organized under the auspices of the Kenya Copyright Board aimed at celebrating women innovators and change makers under the theme of Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity.
Speaking during a panel discussion, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension Prof. Mary Abukutsa said innovation was key to industrialization and that JKUAT had institutionalized a number of measures to encourage creativity among staff and students.
Prof. Abukutsa said the University also runs an intellectual property office and incubation centre to ensure novelties coming out of research and innovation activities are protected and commercialized.
Encouraging women to infuse creativity in their respective work, the DVC clarified that innovation is any new process or product that provides solution to existing challenges and was therefore not tied to age or gender.
Celebrated music artiste Wahu Kagwi urged other creatives to move beyond protecting their own rights but also refrain from acts that may infringe on intellectual property of colleagues.
JKUAT holds four patents, eight utility models, 11 trademarks, three copyrights and an industrial design. The university has filled additional 20 patents, and 11 utility models.
Others who featured in the panel include film scholar, Dr. Zipporah Okoth; Kiswahili author, Pauline Kea and photographer, Sylvia Gichia.
According to WIPO, intellectual property Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
According to Global Innovation Index run by WIPO, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands US and UK was ranked the most innovative countries in the world respectively in 2017.
In the report, Kenya was ranked as the second best innovation achiever after Viet Nam. Globally, Kenya was ranked number 80, while Africa’s best performer, South Africa was placed 57.