Investigating if patents are really useful: a brief study
The objectives of this research project are to highlight the key objectives of patent protection, to investigate if attempts at patent use have been beneficial and review the reasons behind its underutilisation, and to research on possible remedies to increase patent use.The research was hinged more towards qualitative study, with very little or no aspects of quantitative character. On the task of identifying the objectives of IP rights, the study involved reviewing early scholarly literature on IP theory, development and jurisprudence. Studying the extent of patent use in Kenya involved accessing relevant databases and undertaking patents searches in the sector of technology. The research also consisted of carrying out interviews with a number of enterprises whose core product is a technological innovation. These interviews' intention was to probe as to whether or not these enterprises have utilised patent protection for their product, the reasons attributed to this, and the impact patents have had to their business. In-depth research was also be conducted to analyse the effects patent-related monopolies have had, and their impact on patent protection.The paper found that patents are severely underutilised in Kenya, largely due to a lack of awareness . It further found that the market monopoly of 20 years that patents secure often leads to negative effects with grave consequences. These challenges may be ameliorated by increasing public .awareness and advocating for policy reform.