Management 202: Intellectual Property



Intellectual Properties refer to rights which may be claimed in respect of the production of human intellect. The law of intellect property is concerned with intangible properties which come into existence through the mental activity of a person.

Mental products that may be protected as intellectual property include books, paintings, drawings, inventions, copyrights, trademarks and so on.


  • To encourage people to continue to invest and risk their capital by putting their works before the public without fear of being exploited.
  • To ensure fair play by protecting the product of a person’s skill and labour
  • To avoid a situation where a person profits from the products of others
  • To act as a form of exclusive ownership and to keep away potential violators
  • To distinguish ones products from those of others and develop trust, confidence and loyalty to them.
  • To help in building strong brands and establish brand quality of the business
  • To enable business to diversify market strategy to meet the expectations of different target groups in society
  • To help consumers in decision making because choosing branded products is convenient as it provides short cuts to decision making.



This means a right to protect the work of an individual from being copied by another person for commercial or business purposes. It is the right given to the creator of original Literary, Artistic or musical works. These rights are granted to the creator automatically by law without the need to register them.

The following works are given copyright protection by law:

  • Literary works such as Novels, books, stories, poetic works, plays, stage directions, biographies, dictionaries and so on.
  • Broadcasts such as sounds, Images, signs or signals
  • Musical works such as works consisting of music, words or action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with Music
  • Artistic works such as paintings, drawings, works of sculpture, Architectural works and so on.


A trade mark means a word, symbol or design or combination of these used to distinguish the goods/services of one person from those of others. It is the word, Name or sign by which a manufacturer or business person identifies his goods to the purchasing public. It enables consumers to distinguish the goods or services of a particular manufacturer from those of others in a market place.

It is important to note that for a trade mark to be recognized as a right, it must be registered with the Kenya Industrial property office.


A patent means an exclusive right granted to the creator of an original object to make, use and sell his invention for a definite or limited period of time.

It is an exclusive right because during the prescribed period of years, No one else may take, sell or use the invention without the inventor’s authority.

A patent therefore is a legally binding monopoly awarded by the government to an inventor to exclude others from making or selling the invention without the inventor’s permission. However the monopoly can be sold/ licensed so that it is shared with other people.

For an invention to be registered as a patent right, it must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Novelty (Newness): This means that the object invented must be something which is new original. That is it must not have been known to any one before the inventor created it. It must be new and not previously known to a section of the society.
  • Invention steps: An invention must involve some inventive step. That is it should not be something which is obvious to a person skill in the work or just a logical progress of some known process.
  • Industrial application; the invention must be one which can be applied usefully in the industry for the benefit of a society at large. It is considered industrially applicable if it can be used in any kind of industry including Agriculture, medicine, fisheries and so on.
  • Patentable subject matter; to qualify for patent protection, an invention must be one which is not prohibited by law from being patentable. Some matters prohibited by law from being patented include discoveries or findings of products of nature, methods of surgery/therapy, scientific theories, seeds and plant varieties, mathematical methods and so on.



© 2016 Management Tutorials Africa

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