Flexible Intellectual Property for Agricultural Innovation in Kenya

Limitations and Exceptions in IPRs: A Comparative Case Study on Fair Use and Farmers’ Privilege in Kenya

The Researchers

Peter Munyi

About this Study

For a long time, most African countries have not had functional systems to protect plant breeders’ rights (PBRs). This landscape, however, has changed rapidly over the last ten years, with the development and adoption of regional registration systems. However, these national and regional PBRs systems have been criticized for mirroring the PBRs standards that were developed to fit the needs of developed countries. The emerging PBRs systems appear not take into account the needs of smallholder farming, which is an important component of African economies.

Limitations and exceptions in intellectual property rights are increasingly important tools that enable the sharing of technology, information and knowledge. This comparative case study will draw on cases in Kenya where farmers engage in practices that closely relate to the farmers’ privilege. It will compare fair use and farmers’ privilege, which are limitations and exceptions in copyright and PBRs respectively. While significant academic literature exists on the study of each of these doctrines separately, no known study has attempted to examine the similarities between the conditions that each of these two doctrines fulfill.

The Open African Innovation Research Partnership