December 1, 2014

Thomson Reuters & Microsoft Lead Intellectual Property Protection Discussions to Promote Innovation in East Africa

Nairobi, Kenya - Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, & Microsoft are organizing today an Intellectual Property (IP) Protection event to promote innovation across East African markets.

The event, which takes place today in Nairobi, is attended by government officials, representatives from the academic sector, and young entrepreneurs from the SME industry across the country. Thomson Reuters and Microsoft will enable discussions around IP assets and other critical IP issues in an effort to create a culture of IP protection in Africa. The event will showcase how building, protecting, and driving the value of your IP assets is the first step to maximizing the potential of your innovations.

Earlier this year, Microsoft, launched the Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub in Kenya. The IP Hub enables local developers and independent software vendors to access the necessary tools for developing, protecting and monetising their innovations.

Louis Otieno, Director Legal & Corporate Affairs, Africa Initiatives at Microsoft, commented:

“Between 2009 and 2012, the World Intellectual Property Organization found that only 383 resident patent applications were filed in Kenya. Most small businesses in Africa are relying on secrecy instead of using established copyright, trademark, trade name and patent programs to protect their valuable IP. We hope to change this perception through programs such as the IP Hub and Innovation Event”.

“We want to demonstrate how protecting intellectual property maximises not only the potential of your innovations, but also drives wealth creation and economic growth, encouraging the development of knowledge-based industries,” adds Otieno.

Keith Nichols, Managing Director, Africa, Thomson Reuters, commented:

“Thomson Reuters is committed to empowering economies in Sub Saharan Africa. We are pleased to partner with Microsoft to support innovators in East Africa. As part of the partnership, we will provide innovators with critical insights and crucial information that gives them an advantage in the marketplace.”

He concluded: “This event will help innovators successfully navigate the global IP&Science landscape with the right knowledge, expertise and insight.”

About Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges (symbol: TRI). For more information, go to

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.