Patent Protection of Plants in AATF Biotechnology Project Countries

Howard Okiror,, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Cameroon
Aprinah Magarinah Shikoli,, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Cameroon
Marcelin Tonye Mahop, IP Rights Consultant, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Cameroon
Alhaji Tejan-Cole, Legal Counsel, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Kenya

The basis of this article stems from the evolution of protection of plant biotechnology culminating in the extension of intellectual property rights to plant biotechnology. The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has particularly served to ensure protection of plant biotechnology as evidenced by Article 27 which provides for agricultural patents by stipulating that patent protection is available for all inventions in all fields.

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Kenya United Kingdom Intellectual Property Agriculture November 2020 Vol.13, No. 53, Autumn 2020

Howard Okiror


Howard Okiror is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, and holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, a Master’s Degree in Intellectual Property from the Africa University (WIPO/ARIPO Academy) Zimbabwe, several professional certificates on Intellectual Property issued by WIPO Academy and is currently finalising on his Master of Business Administration at CUEA. Prior to joining AATF, he worked at the Kenya Copyright Board, a state corporation under the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice (Kenya), as a Legal Counsel and Copyright Prosecutor where he was involved in advising government and training the public on issues surrounding copyright and related rights, and also conducted prosecution for copyright infringement cases. Prior to joining government, Howard worked as a commercial and litigation lawyer with the firms of Yunis Mohammed & Associates and Muriithi & Ndonye Advocates respectively. Howard is a citizen of Kenya.

Aprinah Magarinah Shikoli


Aprinah Magarinah Shikoli is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, She does consultancies in matters relating to intellectual property rights for various organizations including the AATF. Aprinah is currently working as a Senior State Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice in Kenya. She is a holder of a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA) (Class of 2008). She later attended the Kenya School of Law where she obtained her Higher Diploma in Law (Class of 2012). Before attaining her Master of Laws in Intellectual Property Rights majoring in Plant Variety Protection from the University of Nairobi, Aprinah had done short courses in IPRs including on Genetic Resources and Intellectual Property Rights at the University of Sweden (Uppsala). Aprinah is a citizen of Kenya.

Marcelin Tonye Mahop


Dr. Marcelin Tonye Mahop is an intellectual Property Rights consultant, with a PhD earned from the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI), Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London. He has more than 15 years’ experience of research and consultancy on IPRs, in particular in the area of IPR application to biotechnology innovations, specifically agricultural biotechnology and genetic resources utilization within the framework of the implementation of the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), its 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and the FAO Plant Treaty. Dr. Mahop has published broadly on IP with his 2010 book ‘Intellectual Property, Community Rights and Human Rights: The Biological and Genetic Resources of Developing Countries’ published by Taylor & Francis: London and New York and the co-edited 2012 book: ‘Extending the Protection of Geographical Indications: Case Studies of Agricultural Products in Africa’ published by Earthscan from Routledge: Oxford and New York. Dr. Mahop is currently a research fellow at the University of Leeds researching on the processes of formulation and implementation of climate smart agriculture policies, paying special attention to the extent to which these policies accommodate and promote the use of biotechnological innovations in the agriculture sector in the interest of food security, economic development and climate resilience in Africa. He is a citizen of Cameroon.

Alhaji Tejan-Cole


Alhaji Tejan-Cole holds a LL.M degree in Legislative Drafting from the University of the West Indies and a LL.M degree in Intellectual Property Law from the University of South Africa. He has served as Legislative Counsel in Sierra Leone and in the Caribbean nation of Belize where he helped draft the country’s World Trade Organization/Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (WTO/TRIPs) implementing legislation. In 2003, he was appointed as Deputy Registrar for Intellectual Property in Belize, a position which he held until his appointment with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation. Alhaji has authored several publications on intellectual property law, and has served as legislative drafting consultant for the World Intellectual Property Organization. He is a citizen of Sierra Leone.

African Agricultural Technology Foundation


The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is a foundation designed to facilitate and promote public-private partnerships aimed at removing any barriers that have prevented smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from gaining access to existing agricultural technologies that could improve food security and reduce poverty. AATF was incorporated in Kenya in April 2003 and operates projects in most of SSA.

Kenya United Kingdom Intellectual Property Agriculture November 2020 Vol.13, No. 53, Autumn 2020

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