Intellectual property rights as a strategic tool for achieving competitive advantage by safaricom Kenya limited
The research to date indicates that management attention across the life cycle of a product must focus on exploiting IP as a strategic tool for creating competitive advantage through resource management and intellectual property right strategy. Safaricom Kenya limited has been able to keep pace with the global mobile telecommunications market by having strategic business associations, developing unique financial transfer product such as MPESA. The advent of technological advancement has seen an increase in innovation creations notably among the telecommunication companies in Kenya. Comprehensive and aggressive IP right strategies are adopted by telecommunication companies to manage strategic joint development alliances and return on technology with the aim of transferring specifications and information from inventors to partners through patent and other IP licensing. The objective of the study was to determine how Safaricom has used Intellectual Property Rights as a tool for achieving competitive advantage in Safaricom Kenya Limited. The study used case study as it involved a careful and complete observation of social units. Primary data was collected using interview guides. The data which was qualitative in nature was analyzed using conceptual content analysis which is best suited method of analysis. The study revealed that Safaricom Kenya Limited used intellectual property rights. The study concluded that intellectual property rights had influenced Safaricom Kenya Limited in achieving market leadership in the market as the company patented innovative products. The study concluded that Intellectual property right adopted by Safaricom achieved higher profitability level, as the company was able to provide unique communication products and services attracting high customers and that increasing number of Safaricom subscribers had a positive influence on the company‟s profitability as the company‟s turnover rose. The study recommend that company should invest in intellectual property rights as this would influence achieving market leadership in the market as the company patented innovative products such which would make the company to increase market share , attract and retain large number of customers, continue offering quality innovative software systems for its customers increasing customer satisfaction hence maintaining high number of customers earning high proportion of profits than its rivals in the market. The study also recommended that Intellectual property right adopted firms would influence achievement of higher profitability level, as the company was able to provide unique products and services attracting high customers and revenue growth was driven by intellectual property rights which had led to company customer acquisition, improve cost savings and increased in customer spending achieving competitive advantage.