A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. The invention can be a product or a process . the product or the process provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
Inorder to be patentable the invention must fulfill the following conditions It must show an element of novelty ie some new characteristic which is not
known in the body of existing knowledge. This body of art is known as prior art the invention must show an inventive step which could not be deduced a person with average knowledge of the technical field.
It must be of practical use
It must be patentable‘ under the law.
Under the Kenyan Law the following are not patentable
- Discoveries of natural substances
- Scientific theories and mathematical models
- computer programs
- Rules of playing games
- Methods of medical treatment (as opposed to medical products)
- Mere presentation of informantion
- Inventions contrary to the public order,morality,public health and safety,principles of humanity and environment conservation.
A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent. The protection is granted for a limited period which is 20 yrs under the Kenyan law Patents are not renewable and after expiry it enters the public domain to enable other people exploit it commercially while at the same time work on the patent thereimproving.
A patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made used distributed or sold without the patents owners consent.