In May 2014 the Kenyan patent office (KIPI) ceased substantive examination of UMCs (the announcement is on page iv of the KIPI journal linked here). All UMCs granted after that date were subjected only to a formalities examination - exactly like the patent system in South Africa.
Between July 1993 and May 2014, KIPI examined 254 applications and, from those, granted 51 UMCs. This represents a 20% allowance rate.
In the year from May 2014 to May 2015, KIPI granted 40 UMCs, all of which are unexamined for substance. Assuming that the quality of such applications is roughly unchanged, this means that 80% (about 32) of those UMCs are likely to be invalid for one reason or another.
|Flood gates, opened!|
(Source: Getty Images)
This blogger is currently researching whether UMCs are effective means of protecting innovations. Surely, though, the above figures ought to raise a red flag to lawmakers, IP practitioners, and, ultimately, those in businesses who might be hauled into court for infringing a UMC that has an 80% chance of being invalid....