Microsoft today launched a new online intellectual property (IP) portal called the Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub. Microsoft has developed this portal to create an IP protection culture in Africa. The sad thing is, most African innovators function on the premise that the idea is theirs until someone else takes it to market, or duplicates it. Innovators must have proof of ownership to be able to market or sell their innovation. Many do not know this, and for those that do, the process of filing IP protection can be long, manual and intimidating
The IP Hub will offer developers and independent software vendors the skills and tools necessary to develop, protect and monetize their innovations. The portal will pilot in Kenya for two years, after which it will be handed over to the local government with similar pilots being rolled out to other African countries.
“The Microsoft 4Afrika innovation goal is to bring to market and help African startups monetize their innovations and ideas, and allow them to make the right connection with investors,” Otieno said. “Protecting intellectual property ultimately leads to wealth creation and economic growth, and encourages development of knowledge-based industries. We designed the IP Hub to play a critical role in empowering African innovators and spurring this growth.”
Read the full press release here.