Intellectual Property In Technological Innovations : Perceptions From Tech Startups In Kenyan ICT Hubs


Hilda Moraa, (

Kelvin Murage, iHub Research (

Rhoda Omenya, iHub Research (


act as a meeting place for technology entrepreneurs where new ideas are discussed and inventions built. In such dynamic spaces, Intellectual Property () could either protect young, nascent ideas or stifle innovation and collaboration. In order to better understand how working out of view IP in their ; iHub Research conducted an exploratory research with 15 tech startups.

Over half of those interviewed have registered their companies, with most having secured various domain names for their innovations. A number of respondents did not know where to go for IP services. None of those interviewed have filed for a patent and the majority have not copyrighted their technological innovations as they find the process costly and cumbersome. Research on competitors’ IP as a protection tool did not seem of importance to a majority of them. The results suggest that at this stage, most start-ups are still validating their ideas and the IP process is confusing, takes too much time, and expensive for these start-ups. Most of the interviewed tech startups felt there should be more awareness raised about IP rights in Information Technology. Greater knowledge about IP will assist developers and tech startups to determine if IP suits them and if so, which aspects will be most relevant for them.

Keywords: Technological Innovations, Intellectual Property, Startups, ICT Hubs, Kenya

Download the full report from here: IP report


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