Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions for Kenya's 4AfrikaIPHub

A funky funky new site and service - 4AfrikaIPHub - a portal designed to assist African innovators protect and monetize their software applications has been launched in Kenya. The press release says that:

"The IP Hub will offer developers and independent software vendors the skills and tools necessary to develop, protect and monetize their innovations. The portal will pilot in Kenya for two years, after which it will be handed over to the local government with similar pilots being rolled out to other African countries."

Afro Leo has several questions he would like to explore with 4AfrikaIPhub and as a result of great difficulty getting in touch with them, has decided to write this post in an attempt to get more information:
  • if software is protected by copyright and the protection evolves automatically (generally) then is this analysis part of their service? 
  • the Kenya Copyright Board requires registration of copyright to protect certain works and how does the 4AfrikaIPhub facilitate this and what additional benefit does it bring? 
  • does the hub offer software escrow services? 
  • if software is patentable, then how is 4AfrikaIPHub ensuring that disclosure to it does not destroy novelty required for such protection?
  • how is the hub ensuring that potentially valuable knowhow associated with the software remains confidential?
  • what "development tools" are being made available to developers?
  • how can the hub assist in funding and in some cases obtaining exchange control approval to commercialize the software? and
  • what is the hub's view on open source innovation and what solutions does it have for developers who wish to pursue open source? 
  • The website explains: In Kenya, knowledge of intellectual property laws and the protection available under them is limited to less than 20 specialist intellectual property practitioners, with the result being that most Developers are generally completely unaware because they lack the funds to obtain such specialist advice. How can Afro-IP help?

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