The Interface Between Competition Law And Intellectual Property Law In Kenya
Jerobon, Rotich Caroline
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The interaction between competition law and intellectual property law has often attracted divergent views from scholars and practitioners of each respective sphere of law. Whereas some argue that the two are in conflict with each other and cannot be reconciled. The aforementioned tension between competition law and intellectual property law has been traced to the objectives of each. On the one hand, intellectual property rights confer upon their owners an exclusive right to behave in a particular way while on the other hand competition law strives to keep markets open. Other scholars have argued that, in real sense and practice, the two are actually not in conflict but rather that they complement each other. The question then becomes, is there really an irreconcilable difference between the two areas of law? This paper seeks to establish how the two aspects of law interact and seeks to propose that there be created a balance to alleviate the perceived conflict between the two. This paper will identify the areas in which the balance can be struck. It will also seek to establish how the Kenyan legislative framework as well as the courts has dealt with the conflict. It will proceed from understanding the goals and objective of both intellectual property law and competition law. This will provide the backdrop against which the alleged conflict originates from. A comparative study with other developed jurisdictions will be undertaken so as to advise on the route that should be taken by Kenya on the interface and a conclusion drawn on how the two areas relate and recommendations drawn from the issues identified in the study made.
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