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CSTI Policy on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): 

Scientific research has a long history of collaboration.  Internet and social media connections have vastly augmented the ease of collaboration across national boundaries.  

Our engagement with university research communities and with the community at large (including schools) often leads in wonderfully unexpected directions.  The tree of knowledge bears many fruits and has many branches.  

As a Kenyan Trust our job is to facilitate the open exchange of science and technology knowledge.  We particularly welcome voluntary contributions and collaborations that lead to development of projects with positive social and environmental impact.  

We also understand that social impact, social enterprise and privately contracted research often involve proprietary knowledge, even when performed using open source principles.  As a result, we have developed an IP policy that promotes Open Source collaboration while still honoring proprietary knowledge when needed.

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CSTI follows the IPR legal statute based on the laws of Kenya.  As a scientific trust, our primary goal is the dissemination of innovation and technology that benefit the social order, the environment, as well as indigenous and marginalized peoples.


All innovation performed under the auspices of CSTI will be treated as CSTI intellectual property (IP) with joint assignment for collaborators and partners contributing to the patent.  Our generalized philosophy is one of Open Innovation.  Our primary research goal is to make work publicly available and to facilitate the re-use of innovation in new applications.  Researchers who work for or with CSTI can re-use their percent contribution to a patent or innovation on other work as long as the re-use does not violate or infringe upon CSTI’s IP.


  • Work that is public domain/common knowledge and cannot be patented will be managed through Creative Commons copyright licensing. 

  • Biotechnology open source collaboration will be managed through BioBricks open IP protocols.

  • Trade secrets are honored and will be treated as exclusive IP even if they are not patentable.

  • Patents required for investment purposes or to recoup R&D costs will be held by CSTI with joint remuneration based on percent contribution to the patent.

  • Sponsored research and/or funded research must include IP rights for CSTI and CSTI researchers.

Following are restrictions on the types of research and patents CSTI will undertake:


1. No patents on harmful products or services

2. No patents that violate indigenous rights

3. No patents that exploit the poor "as a resource"


Additional questions regarding the CSTI IPR policy can be directed to:

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