IPAN - realising the value of Intellectual Property

IPAN - the Intellectual Property Awareness Network - is a non-profit organisation working to improve understanding of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and other intellectual property rights and their value to society.


IPAN has a broad membership drawn from professional and business organisations committed to improving IP awareness but does not lobby for any particular sector or viewpoint - watch our latest video here

unsure about "intellectual property" and why it's important? 

IPAN can help you with:


basic facts about what is IP - intellectual property rights - patents, trademarks, designs, copyright and the like - to help you understand more about its importance in commerce and industry, especially in the UK


useful IP resources from other websites including practical IP guides for start-up businesses.


our Issue Briefs giving basic information about topical IP issues (revised: April 2015)


news from the IP scene such as:



IPAN Director awarded OBE in Queen's Birthday Honours.... European Inventor Awards 2015..... IPAN's 5th annual IP Event celebrating World IP Day 2015... CIPA IP Manifesto launched at IPAN World IP Day Event.....




information about enforcement of IP rights

note: the information is intended for guidance to get you started - it is not a substitute for involving appropriate professional advisers 

Artificial Intelligence: How Soon Might Humans Be Replaced At Work?  - the CIPA debate

2 November from 6.45-8.45pm at London's Science Museum

Join Tom Clarke, Science Editor of Channel4 News, who will chair a free public debate on the proposition that:

This House believes it is inevitable that, within 25 years, a patent will be filed and granted without human intervention.

For more information, please contact Katarina Hill, katarina@cipa.org.uk. or if you would like to attend the debate, please book using this eventbrite page.

IPAN Director and Parliamentary Convenor,  Deirdre (Dids) Macdonald, becomes an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the Design Industry - 13 June 15

Welcoming the award to Dids, Prof. Ruth Soetendorp, IPAN Chair said:

“The IPAN Board and membership are totally delighted to congratulate Dids on this well-earned and timely award. Her wit, warmth and wisdom have been key to the growth and development of IPAN over recent years.”

download IPAN press release here

Trade Secrets - IPAN seminar on impending European legislation -  Thursday 18th June 2015

John Hull, a Consultant in the IP and Commercial Team of Farrer & Co and an acknowledged expert in trade secrets and confidentiality law, led a discussion at a recent IPAN meeting about the main aspects of the proposed new European Trade Secrets Directive currently being considered by the European Commission and Parliament.


download John Hull's presentation


for information about joining IPAN please contact ipan@ipaware.net 

"IP : a 2020 Vision" - World IP Organisation Director General sets tone for IPAN's 5th London celebration of World IP Day - Thursday 23rd April, 2015

watch our video interview on 23rd April with Francis Gurry here

read IPAN press release here

see special IP Event page

In an introductory message to the 100 or so guests attending IPAN's annual, London celebration of World IP Day, held on Thursday 23rd April, Francis Gurry, Director General of the Geneva based, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), said:

Intellectual capital is the basis of wealth creation today. This has elevated the importance of intellectual property as intellectual property captures the competitive advantage conferred by innovation and investment in intangible capital.

Mr Gurry led a panel of distinguished speakers including Giorgio Sincovich (senior IP adviser at Europol) and Sebastian Conran (Sebastian Conran Associates) who gave an international perspective and details of work on IP enforcement in the creative industries context developing IPAN's 2015 theme: IP – a 2020 VISION”.This was followed by an energetic Q&A session chaired by Mike Weatherley (former MP and IP adviser to the Prime Minister). 


In his talk, Mr Gurry focused on the state of play of IP at an international level, ranging from the complexities and challenges of policy-making in the internet era to the continued growth in patent and related IP filings even in today’s difficult economic conditions. He said: 

We are living through a period in which innovation has become central to the economy and experiencing a profound revolution in the production, distribution and consumption of creative and cultural works. Intellectual property is key to responding to the magnitude of the challenges that are arising from the centrality of innovation and the digital revolution.

In her closing remarks, Professor Ruth Soetendorp, IPAN’s Chair, after summarising the work of the three IPAN sector groups focused on Education, Finance & Economics and Parliament, added:

Our vision for the future is to engage IP committed organisations and individuals in building on IPAN's 21 years of raising awareness of IP's value and importance within education, finance, business and parliamentary circles.

Guests were provided with printed copies of IPAN’s newly revised and updated 2015 Issue Briefs launched at the Event.  Copies of the new Manifesto for IP launched at the IPAN event by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) were also provided to guests.  IPAN's revised 2015 Issue Briefs are available for downloading here.


Because of the May General Election, this year IPAN's celebratory event for World IP Day was held at the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Conference Room in the Riverside Building of County Hall on Westminster Bridge Road. instead of at the Palace of Westminster.


Note: in fact World IP  Day is always April 26th, this date decided on by the WIPO member states in 2000 since it was the date when the original treaty establishing WIPO came into force.  In 2015, April 26th fell on a Sunday and so the IPAN celebratory event was held on Thurs 23rd April.  WIPO's theme for the 2015 World IP Day was Get Up, Stand Up. For Music.

IPANpress releases

IPAN news

Copyright policy and enforcement in UK - Ros Lynch updates IPAN meeting on 14th Jan 2015

Dr Ros Lynch Director of Copyright & Enforcement at the Intellectual Property Office gave an update about copyright policy and enforcement and the priorities of the Copyright Directorate to IPAN at its January meeting in the CIPA Hall in London.


Dr Lynch (pictured left with Prof. Ruth Soetendorp, the IPAN chair) gave a short slide presentation* summarising the work of the Directorate in 2014.  This included completion of the implementation of the Hargreaves recommendations on copyright exceptions, codes of practice for copyright collection societies, the Orphan Works licensing scheme, and Extended Collective Licensing.  


The Directorate was also actively involved in the June 2014 International IP Enforcement Summit organised jointly by the IPO, OHIM and the European Commission in London and attended by over 300 experts representing 30 countries. (The report of the Enforcement Summit is available on the OHIM site here ). Achieving international cooperation on copyright enforcement is critically important and Directorate staff are frequently in discussions with foreign copyright authorities. 


In the UK the Directorate works closely with the Police IP Crime Unit and is actively supporting the Creative Content UK initiative to roll out in the Spring 2015 a major multi-media education awareness campaign put together by content creators showing the value of copyright and licensed entertainment and how creative content can be legally obtained.  In Europe, the Commission's 2013 consultation on copyright reform drew 9500 responses for and against change to the copyright regime. The new Commission President is committed to progress a Digital Single Market package and a White Paper or proposals for Directives/Regulations is expected in May 2015.


Dr Lynch also spoke about continuing developments within the Copyright Hub (of which she had been CEO before she joined the IPO - the present CEO is Dominic Young).  The Hub is now led and financed by the creative industries rather than by UK Government. The aim is to make copyright work the way the internet works and, in partnership with Digital Catapult, the Hub is building open source technology to facilitate this.  The technology involves attaching identifiers to any content which can then be used to automatically find the rights owner thus allowing copyright licensing to become a simple machine to machine process, focused on high-volume, low-value “long tail” transactions. A first test live service for photos is tentatively planned for early in 2015.  More information can be obtained from the Copyright Hub website .


*Dr Lynch's presentation is available to IPAN members on request to ipan@cipa.org.uk

WIPO Magazine Article: IPAN and its work in the UK to improve understanding and importance of IP

In the December issue (p.26) of the WIPO Magazine, IPAN's Chair, Professor Ruth Soetendorp, describes how IPAN was set up and how it operates to help improve awareness and understanding of the importance of intellectual property and its protection.

read the full issue of the WIPO Magazine here

Leveraging IP protection to support exports in fast-growing markets

IPAN meeting with the UK IP Attachés - London, Wed 29th October 2014: 


At this IPAN meeting, the IP Attaché team from the International Policy Group of the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) described their work helping UK exporters with IP protection and enforcement in the rapidly developing markets of Brazil, China, India and South East Asia and with Geneva based inter-governmental organisations such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).



  Speaking at the meeting were:
     Adam Williams, Deputy Director
     Sheila Alves, IP Attaché for Brazil
     Grega Kumer, Senior IP Adviser, UK Mission in Geneva
     Christabel Koh, IP Attaché for South East Asia
     Tom Duke, IP Attaché for China



The meeting was one of a quarterly series of IPAN meetings held with the support of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) at its London offices where IPAN is based. The audience of about 40 IPAN members and their guests reflected a cross-section of IP users, IP lawyers and business people with an interest in the markets served by the attachés.


This was the attachés’ second meeting with IPAN and they gave updates on the developments and challenges in IP protection and enforcement since their first meeting in November 2013. They explained how they help businesses navigate the complex IP landscape in their markets, build knowledge in the IP community, support UK Trade & Investment in their business advice, and where possible help support individual business cases.

  •  membership of IPAN:
    • Membership is open to organisations interested in improving knowledge and understanding of IP and of its value to society.
    • for more information, see about IPAN or please contact us by email

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