“Intellectual property is not only important now but especially for our future as the UK leaves the European Union,” said John Ogier, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN) at IPAN’s recent celebration of World IP Day held in the House of Commons.
The IPAN event was attended by guests from parliament, business and industry, the legal professions and academia, all involved in some way with IP and its economic importance. In developing the event theme, Government and private sector panellists and participants emphasised the key role that IP plays in Britain’s innovation and global trade:
“We are a nation which backs ambition and embraces innovation, so we have every reason to back IP,” said Sam Gyimah MP, the UK Minister for University, Science, Research & Innovation. “I’m excited to see the role that British IP can play in shaping the world.” Gyimah also announced that the UK had just joined the new EU Unified Patent Court.
“We are growing our economy on the backs of the imagination of our people,” said Pete Wishart MP, the event host and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for IP. “It’s a fantastic way to look at what we are achieving and doing in intellectual property.”
“The UK has a lot going for it as place to innovate, to register, to fund, to grow a business. IP in the broadest sense is important in the mix of that for raising finance for those innovative businesses,” said Chris Warkup, CEO, Knowledge Transfer Network, Innovate UK.
“IP in our industry is a collection of creative disciplines which come together to form a product which surprises and delights players,” said Debbie Bestwick, CEO of computer games company Team 17. “This means thinking creatively about all the opportunities that exist for your IP and also looking at your capabilities – it’s a good balance.”
“For creativity to flourish, intellectual property must be safeguarded,” said Holly Hughes, Founder and Designer, Citradi, and ACID Female Design Champion 2018.
Much of the discussion at the event centred around the government’s and industry’s objectives and concerns as the UK discusses and implements ‘Brexit’ with the European Union.
“Brexit is the topic on everyone’s mind at the moment,” said Tim Moss CBE, Chief Executive and Comptroller General of the UK IP Office. “The important thing from our perspective is to remember that the UK has a great IP system, and post-Brexit the UK will still have a great IP system. The priority for us at the UK IPO and for the government is to manage as smooth as possible transition between the two states. There will be change, and that creates uncertainty for business. Certainly the principle we’re applying is how can we deliver maximum certainty for business with minimum disruption.”
Allie Renison, Head of European and Trade Policy for the Institute of Directors noted that IP would be focussed on through a plethora of channels during the Brexit discussions. Participant Dids Macdonald OBE mentioned IP enforcement in export markets as one of the paramount issues to be dealt with, particularly for the UK’s small and micro businesses.
This was IPAN’s sixth annual celebration of World IP Day and coincided with IPAN’s 25-year anniversary as a cross-sectoral initiative promoting improved IP awareness and understanding in the UK. You can see the full feature video of the IPAN event here and more information about IPAN at its website www.ipaware.org, and Twitter feed @IPaware.