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How to Protect Intellectual Property in Kenya by Registering for Copyright

As a creative individual, you may have a solely authored book, an application invention, a farming crop discovery, or the production of a unique recipe. Without the proper measures, one can easily steal your ideas and present them as their own. They might even end up benefitting from them financially. To avoid such ill fate, you must protect your intellectual property, just as you would your physical and tangible ones. Kenya, like most countries, has an Intellectual Property Law, which assists in converting ideas into protected assets. To protect your ideas, you should secure one, or more of the four types of Intellectual Property. Here is a brief guide on how to register for copyright rights.

Types of Intellectual Property Rights

The four types of IP rights include:

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  • Copyrights
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Industrial designs


Understanding Copyright

The copyright law grants the creator of an idea or concept exclusive rights to the use and distribution of their work for a limited time during which the creator should receive monetary compensation. The creation may be an original book, a song, a movie, a painting, a script, etc. The Copyright Act No. 12 of 2001 governs the copyright law, while the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) does all the copyright registration.

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Please note that you cannot claim copyright to any literal, song, or other artistic works, unless you have them in material and/or tangible form. You also have to prove beyond all doubt that your work is original and not copied from any other existing works.

How to Register for Copyright

  1. Go to the Kenya Copyright Board website and download the copyright registration forms. You can also get them directly from the board’s offices.
  2. Fill in the required details carefully and correctly.
  3. Take the forms to a commissioner of oaths and have them commissioned.
  4. Attach two tangible copies of the original work to the filled forms.
  5. Deposit the required fees to the KECOBO account, or pay via Mpesa

For Bank:

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Kenya Commercial Bank

Account Name: Kenya Copyright Board

Account Number: 1104002450


  1. Go to MPESA menu and select ‘Lipa na Mpesa’.
  2. Select ‘Pay bill.’
  3. Enter 522052 as the business number.
  4. Enter the account number as ‘TYPE R/TITLE OF COPYRIGHT WORK’.
  5. Enter the correct amount followed by your Mpesa pin.
  6. Confirm the details and submit the payment.

After successful payment, you must present the physical bank slip or MPESA message receipt to the KECOBO reception desk. The institution will in turn give you a registration receipt.

You may have to wait between 5 and 7 days to get the Certificate of Registration. KECOBO uses this time to do thorough investigations and prove claimed originality.

Why you should get Copyright Rights

With the copyright rights, you stand the exclusive rights to control the following:

  1. Reproduction, translation, and adoptions of any kind of your original work.
  2. Distribution of the works to the public in any way including sale, loaning, leasing, etc.
  3. Broadcasting or otherwise communicating the work to the public.

You also get full rights to:

  • Claim full authorship
  • Refuse the distribution, modification, mutilation, or any other negative actions towards the original work.

Bonus Information

Copyright rights last the duration of your lifetime + 50 years after death.

In case of copyright infringement, follow the correct legal procedures and defer from using social media or other channels unrelated to the law.

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