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What were the key themes of the Intellectual Property Awareness Summit?


The summit’s overall theme was enhancing intellectual property value through better understanding. We looked at how different audiences view IP rights and why, as well as some of the ways non-professionals can be brought up to speed about what IP provides and to whom.


IPAS 2017 brought together, for the first time, IP holders, organisations, scholars, inventors, writers and investors concerned about how IP rights are seen and used. The panel sessions addressed the impediments to IP understanding, including the depiction of IP licensing in the media. IP is everyone’s business.


The summit’s goal was to help participants better understand the source of IP confusion and frustration, and to identify ways to mitigate it.


Why is IP awareness so important? How important is it for US innovation?


IP rights have fared poorly in public opinion. Many people believe that IP rights—covering content, inventions and brands—are free to use because they are so highly accessible. This presents a dangerous scenario, and is a threat to innovation, authorship, and, ultimately, to jobs. Frustration with IP rights continues to grow and affects all forms of IP.


Rightsholders and users are angry about the uncertainty associated with rights and the inconsistency of how enforcement is applied.


It is becoming increasingly difficult for many audiences to know which rights to respect and when. The internet has not made recognition any easier.


Business and individuals share a common affliction when it comes to IP: they both generally refuse to pay for using rights unless they have to. IPAS 2017 keynote speaker David Teece, director of the Tusher Center for Intellectual Capital Management at UC Berkeley-Haas, says that if we continue to protect and reward just the production of tangible goods, while shortchanging intangibles, we will be out of step with technological progress.


Economies will eventually falter if the creation of intangibles is compromised through poorly designed and weakly enforced intellectual property rules. The US is the world’s most ideas-driven and innovation-based economy, and until recently, the US had the best IP regime. Without a reliable and consistent system of rewards, the future will not resemble the past.


What is in the works for CIPU next year? How will you expand your advocacy efforts?


The Center for IP Understanding (CIPU) will continue to illustrate the positive impact of IP rights on innovation, businesses and jobs, as well as document the growing threat from IP rights erosion.


Among the projects we are considering is a plan to identify, annotate and publicise currently available IP education activities and content. It will not only be helpful to a variety of audiences, but also help to determine what is missing.


We are also looking at creating an interdisciplinary committee to establish suggested minimum IP awareness standards for various audiences, including teachers and teenagers.


CIPU board members and others will continue to write and speak publicly about IP understanding and the importance of education for all.


We will be working with educators and researchers to understand better how people learn about IP rights and form impressions. We also are working with Ideas Matter to produce a video about IPAS 2017 and CIPU, and the need for diverse audiences to be mindful of what IP achieves.


CIPU will be working more closely with our partners, the Tusher Center for Intellectual Capital Management, the Michelson 20MM Foundation and Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.


Finally, we will continue to publicise the activities of IP organisations like the Global IP Centre (the Chamber of Commerce), the IPO Education Foundation, IPOS (Singapore), EUIPO, WIPO and universities.


How can interested parties work with CIPU and continue the dialogue on IP awareness?


We recently started a LinkedIn group, ‘IPAS 2017’. People who have something to say or report about IP understanding or education, are welcome to join and encouraged to post. We hope that sharing with the group will grow.


If there are IP education activities, data or research you are aware of, please let us know.


People can also join our mailing list by going to contact. On Twitter, you can find CIPU under @centerforip.


CIPU would like to help make IP misinformation and routine abuse unacceptable. We welcome hearing about positive learning experiences with creators, students and others.


Serial IP infringers, whether they be individuals or companies are not only breaking the law, they are making it harder for individuals and businesses to compete.


Read the full November issue here.



p. 9

Living on Awareness

As the first of its kind, the Intellectual Property Awareness Summit aimed to

enhance IP understanding and address confusion. Bruce Berman explains

p. 9

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