Are you an innovator? Here is how to file for a utility model in Kenya

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We have been sharing articles on different ways of protecting your business. One way of doing that is by getting a utility model in Kenya, for your products.

What is a Utility Model?

We say nothing is new under the sun, right? Well, to some extent. We have innovators that have building totally new products from scratch. However, when another innovators comes around and improves it for the better or makes it have a different functioning, she/he can be issued with a utility model certificate for the improvement.

Scientific explanation:

Utility model means any form, configuration or disposition of element of some appliance, utensil, tool, electrical and electronic circuitry, instrument, handicraft mechanism or other object or any part of the same allowing a better or different functioning, use, or manufacture of the subject matter or that gives some utility,
advantage, environmental benefit, saving or technical effect not available in Kenya before and includes micro-organisms or other self-replicable material, products of genetic resources, herbal as well as nutritional formulations which give new effects.

Special provisions relating to utility model certificates

An invention qualifies for a utility model certificate if it is new and industrially applicable.

How long can you have the certificate?

A utility model certificate expires at the end of the tenth year after the date of the grant of the utility model, and is not renewable.

Cost of a utility model in Kenya

From the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), a certificate can cost as low as Ksh 7,000 going upwards. However, you will need a lawyer to help you fill the forms, so as to cover all aspects of your innovation.

The lawyer’s fees range from Ksh 25,000 to Ksh 200,000 depending on your innovation.

Conversion of patent applications to applications for utility model certificates, and vice versa

At any time, before the grant or refusal of a patent, an applicant for a patent may convert his application into an application for a utility model certificate. This is upon payment of the prescribed fees. The utility model certificate shall be accorded the filing date of the initial application.

An application may not be converted more than once in either case.

The only downside is that it can take up to 18 months before you are granted a certificate of a utility model in Kenya.

ALSO READ: TYPES OF TRADEMARKS WE HAVE IN KENYA

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I am an entrepreneur learning to write about my journey. I enjoy golf, watching F1, cooking and neo soul music. Let's make entrepreneurship a fun topic to talk about.

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