favicon

Kenya Patents

Patent & Design Protection

Kenya patents have a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Kenya is a member of PCT and the Paris Convention.  Kenya Patents may be filed through the ARIPO union where the applicant may file a single application designating the specific contracting states either directly at ARIPO or through a contracting state. The relevant protocol on Patents for ARIPO is the Harare Protocol, which authorises ARIPO to register Patents on behalf of Harare Protocol Contracting States. 

Types of Patents:

  • Patents of Invention
  • National Phase PCT Application
  • ARIPO application or ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application

Filing Requirements:

Non-PCT applications:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English translation (required upon filing)
  • International patent classification (can be late filed)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)
  • Certified copy of the priority document (if applicable) with verified English translation (can be late filed)

PCT applications:

  • Simply signed Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Specification, claims, drawings and abstract with English translation (required upon filing)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed)
  • Relevant class of the International patent classification (can be late filed)
  • Published International application (required upon filing)
  • International Search Report and International Preliminary Report on Patentability (can be late filed)

ARIPO application where Kenya is designated or ARIPO Regional Phase PCT application.

Novelty:

Absolute novelty required. 

Patentability:  

Methods of medical diagnosis, treatment or surgery are not patentable.

Examination:

Substantive examination.

Duration/Renewals:

The patent has a duration of 20 years from date of filing. Annual renewal fees are payable every year from the first anniversary of the filing date (in advance)

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
  • PCT
  • ARIPO

Designs in Kenya

Types of Designs:

  • Industrial Designs

Filing Requirements:

  • Power of Attorney (can be late filed)
  • Drawings, photographs or other graphic representation of the design (required upon filing)
  • A statement indicating the kind of products for which the design is to be used (required upon filing)
  • Certified copy of priority document (if applicable) with verified English translation (must be filed within 3 months of the filing date)
  • Deed of assignment (can be late filed).

ARIPO design designating Kenya.

Duration/Renewals:

The design has an initial term of 5 years from date of filing, with possible extensions of 2 further terms of 5 years each.

International and Regional Systems:

  • Paris Convention
  • ARIPO

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

PCT National Phase entries provide a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect intellectual property in each of its contracting states. A patent application filed under the PCT is called an international application, or PCT application. A single filing of an international application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. It then results in a search performed by an International Searching Authority (ISA), accompanied by a written opinion regarding the patentability of the invention, which is the subject of the application. The PCT National Phase entry essentially leads to a standard national or regional patent application, which may be granted or rejected according to applicable law, in each jurisdiction in which a patent is desired. 

Paris Convention

Kenya is a member of the Paris Convention where each contracting state must grant the same IP protection to nationals of other contracting states, and provides for the right of priority in the case of patents, trade marks and designs. The Paris Convention is an international agreement which helps creators ensure that their intellectual property is protected in other countries. It applies to IP in the widest sense as it covers patents, trade marks and industrial designs to name a few.

Harare Protocol

ARIPO

ARIPO is mandated to grant patents on behalf of the Harare Protocol Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of the Harare Protocol on Patents, Designs and Utility Models. The Harare Protocol was adopted on December 10, 1982 at Harare, Zimbabwe. The protocol entered into force in 1984.

ARIPO Members – Patents
Botswana, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania (mainland), Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Africa | Intellectual Property

African Territories

Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of IP legal services in all African countries where Intellectual Property protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ IP needs in Africa.