The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) is calling on all musicians, innovators, developers, artists and creators of intellectual property (IP) to  try out the automated online registration system and provide. The online registration system, developed in collaboration with Microsoft 4Afrika, is available at https://register.copyright.go.ke/  for user testing and review.

“We have been working closely with the Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub to develop an online system that makes registering IP faster and more accessible,” says Dr. Marisella Ouma, Executive Director at KECOBO. “In our efforts to invest in and scale up the system, we are encouraging innovators of all works to test the new online system and provide email feedback on their user experience through registrations@copyright.go.ke .”

The new automated system is looking to replace the current manual process of registering IP in Kenya, which involves downloading registration forms, paying via M-Pesa and submitting the forms at the KECOBO offices.

“With the new system, users will no longer have to come to the KECOBO office in-person to submit their applications,” adds Dr. Ouma. “By simplifying the process and getting users to complete the entire process online, we hope to promote a stronger culture of IP protection across the country.”

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), between 2009 and 2012 only 123 patents were filed in Kenya, compared to 268,000 in the United States.

In an effort to promote more IP protection, Microsoft 4Afrika launched an online IP Hub in June 2014. The Hub seeks to educate innovators about all aspects of IP, and it is currently looking at developing 6 new learning modules around IP.

“The goal with the IP Hub is to provide a learning resource for innovators, where they can learn all the ins and outs of copyright, trademarks, patents and general IP protection,” says Louis Otieno, Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft 4Afrika. “Together with KECOBO, we’re now moving to the next step to create a system where users, after learning about how to protect their IP, can easily go online, register their work and receive the necessary legal documents.”

Following the review and feedback phase, the system will be finalised and made available to all Kenyans, through the country wide Huduma Centres – an initiative by the Government of Kenya that aims to transform Public Service Delivery by providing citizens access to various public services and information from One Stop Shop citizen service centres and through integrated technology platforms. The registration process will require a fee of around Ksh1, 000.

“KECOBO seeks, among other things, to protect and promote creativity in Kenya. We want to ensure all creators of IP have exclusive rights to their works and the correct compensations, so that they will continue to be inspired to invent, develop and create.” adds Dr. Ouma.

To access the system, log on to https://register.copyright.go.ke/