The government, in conjunction with East African Community (EAC), has decided to come up with strategies that will enable the region’s governments to combat crimes with regard to intellectual property.
Speaking during a regional workshop in Nairobi, Director for Industrialisation, Erastus Kimuri mentioned that the new move would target music, films, books and even software among other imported products in the region. He said that the EAC is in the process of formalising an inter-agency approach aimed at tackling counterfeiters.
Kenya currently has 12 organisations tasked with fighting forgery and copyright infringement. Among these groups are the Anti Counterfeiting Agency and the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Kimuri said that counterfeiters were causing major losses in terms of intellectual property. The director stated that the value of originality lies in the innovation, the research, the design and the testing that goes into developing a new product. He said that forgeries were compromising the integrity of professionals, especially in the fields of medicine and technology.
The workshop ended yesterday and brought together more than 80 delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. The EAC used it as a platform to gain some insight from big players like the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Customs and Border Protection agency. The project will enable the East Africa’s governments to effective consistent and efficient in the protection of intellectual property.