IPAN - realising the value of Intellectual Property


 IPAN - the Intellectual Property Awareness Network


An independent non-profit organisation working to improve understanding of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and other intellectual property (IP) rights and their value to society

IPAN's activities are focused through its Education, Parliament and Economics & Finance work-groups but it doesn't lobby for any particular sector or viewpoint

note: information in our website is provided for guidance to get you started and is not a substitute for seeking advice from appropriate professional advisers 


Next IPAN event: Wed 15th March

IP, Brexit and beyond – opportunities and challenges

IPAN Panel and Workshop Discussions
CIPA Hall, Wed 15th March 2017 – 12.00 -17.00

Whole sections of industry and commerce may be left with inadequate or no IP protection unless the UK’s position post Brexit is carefully addressed.


As the Government prepares to trigger Article 50, IPAN is providing a timely platform to discuss the IP issues for different sectors of the UK economy – opportunities and challenges - at its Brexit IP Event:


12.00 – 17.00
Wed 15th March
CIPA Hall, 3rd Floor
95 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1DT


The event will start, after a buffet lunch at 12 noon, with a Panel Discussion and Q&A with speakers including Rosa Wilkinson (Dept. for International Trade), Allie Renison (Institute of Directors), Nigel Moore (European Seed Association) and Gill Smith (Dyson Group plc).


The afternoon Workshop will enable industry sector representatives to join others involved with IP to add their perspectives in formulating the actions needed by government, industry, commerce and the professions to manage the challenges and maximise the opportunities of this major change.

The output from the event will be written up in a Report: “IP, Brexit and beyond – a blue-print for action in IP” made available for government and industry to help negotiate a successful IP and trade pathway through the Brexit process.


This is a unique opportunity to provide YOUR views!


Early booking is essential as numbers will be limited.


Email completed Booking Form to ipan@cipa.org.uk now to reserve your place!


Enterprise Educators UK hear about Research on HEI IP Policies – 2 Feb 17

IPAN’s recent research with the National Union of Students on perception and practice of IP policies in HEIs was shared at an Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) event on 2nd Feb at Lancaster University.  The event: "Demystifying Intellectual Property (IP): embedding IP education in the student experience" was attended by 30 or so university enterprise educators.

Professor Ruth Soetendorp, IPAN Education Group Convenor, highlighted the more significant findings from the IPAN research conducted with National Union of Students.  There was enthusiasm for introducing some IP or confidentiality awareness into student degree shows, and getting IP policy included in university prospectuses and websites. 

Interestingly, although all the universities represented send students out on placement, only five offered some IP awareness session before placement and only one involves the employing company in an IP discussion with the university before the placement takes place.

view Ruth Soetendorp's presentation here


Plant Science IP reviewed - 11 Jan 17

The IPAN meeting on Wednesday 11th January, focused on progress in plant sciences and biotechnology, plant variety rights and plant patents.


An enthusiastic audience heard Joel Smith (Herbert Smith Freehills LLP) give an overview of the legal challenges ahead for protecting innovation in plant breeding.  Aylsa Williams (D Young & Co) provided the story of the patents involved with Plant Bioscience’s landmark Enlarged Board of Appeal cases G2/07 and G2/13 (patentability of essentially biological processes and the products thereof) and share the practical reality of dealing with patents on plants. 


►Read more in News


Aylsa and Joel are pictured (centre) with John Ogier (IPAN Chair - left), who chaired the meeting, and Penny Maplestone (IPAN director and Chief Executive of the British Society of Plant Breeders - right), who introduced the speakers.



IP challenges in global finance industry discussed at IPAN meeting 10 Nov 16

Calum Smyth (Barclays PLC) with IPAN chairman John Ogier


Calum Smyth, Global Head of Intellectual Property for Barclays PLC, gave a presentation providing an insight into the challenges facing the global finance industry, following the 5th IPAN Annual General Meeting, held in the offices of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys in London on Wednesday 10th November.  


Calum (pictured right with the new IPAN chairman, John Ogier) centred his talk on how his own large established bank is addressing the challenges which stimulated a range of questions from the audience of IPAN members and invited guests.





University students and IP - IPAN publishes new research survey of student and staff views in UK universities


 Students want better understanding about IP and how it impacts them, as evidenced in a new IPAN research report: University IP policy – perception and practice launched on 27th July 2016 in the CIPA Hall, Chancery Lane, London. 

The research, commissioned by IPAN and carried out by the National Union of Students Insight research group, surveyed the views about IP, its teaching and policy impact, of 2800 students and 250 teaching staff across 150 UK Universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). 
The report was prepared by Prof. Ruth Soetendorp, Mandy Haberman and Steve Smith of the IPAN Education Group, based on the analysis and other survey findings generated by the NUS Insight.


Introducing the report to an audience including invited guests from the world of IP higher education, the well known entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sir Rod Aldridge (pictured centre right with members of the IPAN Education Group), emphasised his support for the report's recommendations and his enthusiasm that all future entrepreneurs learn about IP.



Welcoming the report, the National Union of Students has stated:

NUS is pleased with the research that IPAN has produced, which provides crucial insight into the levels of student understanding in intellectual property rights. It is clear that a knowledge of intellectual property rights is becoming increasingly important for students to protect themselves and support their future careers. Yet, the research shows that a worrying number of both students and staff are either confused by IP or have little to no knowledge of their rights.

NUS is currently looking at ways of working with IPAN, the IPO and its member unions to help improve student access to the information they need on intellectual property. With more than one in ten students looking to their students’ union for advice on this topic, it is clear that unions and their advice centres have a role to play.


 The research was the second IP study commissioned by IPAN from the National Union of Students (NUS) Insight research group.  Students and teachers/tutors from UK universities and other HEIs were surveyed by online questionnaires in the summer of 2015 about IP, its teaching and policy impact, within their own institution.


Understanding and operation of IP policy is inconsistent across institutions.


Staff assume they understand what IP is, and how IP policies operate for their students, but the extent of understanding is uncertain. 


76% of staff are in favour of teaching IP but 32% apparently don’t know whether it’s taught or not iin their own institution.


Students want to understand more about IP and its implications for them and their future careers; they expect university teaching staff to be able to advise them about IP but staff are reluctant and feel ill-prepared to do so.


Students expect more to be done by their university to protect their interests in work that goes on public display at end of year degree shows. 


International students entering a UK HEI are more likely to have heard about IP than UK educated colleagues.


The report concludes with recommendations to higher education policy makers and those concerned with future enterprise capacity of UK plc.


University IP policy - perception and practice:

research report (less appendices)

report appendices

IPAN press release (1 Aug 16)

A limited number of printed copies of the report is available.  If you were unable to attend the meeting and would like a copy, please contact IPAN at <ipan@ipaware.net> or phone 0207 4409360.


IPAN World IP Day Celebration - 26th April 2016 - House of Commons: "IP in the Fast Lane"

 Baroness Neville-Rolfe addressing IPAN's sixth World IP Day event attended by Parliamentarians, senior opinion leaders, policy-makers, educationalists and users of the IP system

Speaking to a packed audience of intellectual property opinion leaders and parliamentarians, in the Terrace Pavilion of the House of Commons, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, UK IP Minister, said:

The process of digitisation has transformed the world around us at a furious pace. It has revolutionised the way we work; the way we interact; and the way we shop.


In the emergent digital economy, our collaborative effort is key to maintaining a strong and responsive IP system that serves us all.

Reflecting the theme - IP In The Fast Lane - Dr Paolo Aversa, a Fellow of the Centre for Automotive and Mobility Innovation at University Ca’ Foscari, Venice, explained how technical advances in Formula 1 had shaped technological advances on our roads and the important role for IP.

Other speakers reflecting on the theme were: Dr Anthony Tridico, of Finnegan, an expert in post-grant proceedings for US and European Patent Law, and John Ogier, an IP economist and Vice-Chair of IPAN.


Pete Wishart MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on IP, kindly hosted the event which was chaired by Professor Ruth Soetendorp, Chair of IPAN.


►More about IPAN's special World IP Day 2016 event


►Event video produced in association with Ideas Matter


The IPAN Issue Briefs, newly updated for 2016, were published at the World IP Day event and printed copies given to all attendees.



IPAN activities and events

membership of IPAN:

Our members include a broad range of professional and business organisations with a shared commitment to raising awareness and understanding of IP and its value to society.

For more information about IPAN or joining as a member please contact us by email

twitterfollow us on twitter  



our website will be changing - give us your views


we welcome your feedback and suggestions to improve the usefulness of our site - please contact the webmaster 


Home       Back To Top