Ruto's 'bottom-up' slogan runs into legal headwinds

Deputy President William Ruto

President-elect William Ruto. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Deputy President William Ruto’s political slogan of “bottom-up economics” has run into legal challenges following a case a Nairobi businessman has filed complaining about infringement on intellectual property rights.

Jacob Muting’a Kioko, a professional marketer, says the bottom-up economic model is his innovation and intellectual property, having registered it as a patent in March 2010 and issued with a certificate three years later.

In the case filed yesterday at the High Court in Milimani, Mr Kioko says the government failed to support, promote or protect his idea despite asking the Ministry of Trade, Parliament and the Attorney-General to do so.

His efforts to get audience with the Office of the President and Deputy President in 2014, over the proposed economic model that is now being championed by Dr Ruto, were unsuccessful.

“For the last seven years I have been trying to get political goodwill, without which I cannot execute either a national or a global rollout of the innovation. This is so because the magnitude of impact of the innovation on both society and the national economy is such that political support is absolutely essential,” says Mr Kioko.

He wants court to issue an order stopping the use of the term ‘bottom-up economy’ as a political gimmick, slogan or for any other purpose by any party besides his intended purpose of promoting the goals of his innovation.

Mr Kioko argues that his marketing innovation dubbed Dichotomous Universal Growth Web Innovation was aimed to spur development and business growth.

He is also seeking to be compensated for the use of his intellectual property by other parties without his consent.

“My intellectual property rights have been infringed on by politicians and their followers through the causal use of the bottom-up economic theory, which was developed exclusively by the DUGWI innovation and is an integral part of the innovation. The causal use amounts to national economic sabotage,” he states.

While advocating the economic model, Dr Ruto has been saying he will use it to move the country forward if elected President in next year's elections.

The Deputy President has also been saying this model will benefit millions of Kenyans who are unemployed as well as the small and medium enterprises.

"Bottom-up is anchored on deliberately promoting investment and financial instruments targeting the millions who are unemployed, hustler enterprises, and the farmer groups," Dr Ruto stated earlier after criticism by his opponents.