Public Complaints


(A) Introduction

The Kenya Industrial Property Institute (the Institute) was established in 2001 as a body corporate and mandated to administer and promote industrial property rights in Kenya.  The Institute implements two Acts of Parliament; The Industrial Property Act 2001 and the Trade Marks Act, Cap 506 of the laws of Kenya. The functions of the Institute are to grant patents; register trade and service marks, industrial designs, utility models and technovations; to promote innovative and inventive activities, to disseminate industrial property information to the public, to screen technology transfer agreements and licenses and to offer training in industrial property rights.

(B) Public Complaints Desk

The Institute has established a Public Complaints Desk (the Desk) that handles all public complaints with regard to the mandate of the Institute. The establishment of the Desk is also part of the Institute’s obligations under the Performance Contract with the Government of the Republic of Kenya. The Desk is located in a designated office which is equipped with a “level 9” telephone facility and an email address, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

(C) Complaint-Handling Procedure

At the Institute, a complaint is defined as:

“Any expression of dissatisfaction by a customer or potential customer about service delivery by the members of staff of the Institute or about any policy of the Institute.”

The Institute is committed to consistent, fair and confidential complaint handling and to resolving complaints as quickly as possible.  The Institute aims at making it easy for the members of public to make a complaint if they are dissatisfied and the Institute shall treat all customers making a complaint equally.

The following is the procedure for handling complaints at the Institute:

  1. A complaint may be received either by telephone, e-mail, a letter or in person.
  2. Once a complaint is received, it shall be recorded by the Desk and accorded a case reference number to facilitate follow-up. A record of a complaint shall include the name and contact details of the customer, full details of the complaint including the date, as well as details of all communication with the customer and any actions to resolve the complaint.
  3. The complaint shall then be directed to the appropriate Officer within the Institute depending on the subject matter of the complaint.
  4. The Institute shall resolve all complaints within fifteen (15) days of receiving a complaint and written complaints shall be acknowledged promptly.
  5. Where the complaint cannot be resolved immediately, customers shall be informed of the aforementioned timeframe at the time of making their complaint. Customers shall be informed of the progress of their complaint regularly, especially if there are any delays or changes to what has been agreed upon between the Desk and the customer.
  6. Where appropriate, customers who have had a complaint resolved shall be contacted at a later date to find out whether or not they are happy with how their complaint was handled.
  7. Where a complaint cannot be resolved by the foregoing complaint handling procedure, it shall be referred to the Managing Director and the customer shall be informed and given an amended timeframe for resolution.
  8. The Desk shall report to Management on the complaints filed and their status on a monthly basis.

(D) Handling Anonymous Complaints

The Institute will act on anonymous complaints as per Procedure (C) above after assessing the following:-

  1. The seriousness of the matter reported;
  2. The extent to which allegations are specific (e.g. it is clear what is being alleged, dates, times, locations, consequences of wrongdoing, names of witnesses);
  3. The extent to which allegations are based on reliable information, not simply on hearsay;
  4. Reasons to believe that there is justification for the matter being reported anonymously and not through channels that allow for easier scrutiny; and
  5. Whether the language used is abusive or otherwise suggests a poison-pen letter.

Where the Institute has no way of contacting the person making the anonymous complaint, all of the necessary information for a decision to take further must be clearly available.

Anyone making an anonymous complaint should be aware that the Institute:-

  1. May hand the complaint(s) over to the police or other authorities for their views or with a request to investigate the allegations further if deemed appropriate;
  2. Will provide the person(s) accused or implicated in the alleged wrongdoing with copies of the allegation(s);
  3. Will view VERY seriously any false, carelessly prepared or malicious allegations. Inaccurate, malicious or negligent accusations by an employee are considered a matter of gross misconduct;
  4. Is obliged to support employee(s) named in anonymous allegations until such a time as there may be sufficient evidence to justify any action against them; and
  5. Will dismiss as malicious any complaint that is found to have used a misleading sender name or address.





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