IPAN - realising the value of Intellectual Property


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

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 (IP) rights and their value to society.

IPAN's membership includes a broad range of professional and business organisations with a shared commitment to raising IP awareness

IPAN doesn't lobby for any particular sector or viewpoint

watch our latest video here

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 appointed to IPO Steering Board.....  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 

"IP critical to creating and realising value in the creative industries" - emphasised at launch of "Creative industries - routes to finance" - 18 Nov 15

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Creative Industries Federation  (CIF) launched their publication: "Creative industries – routes to finance" at the National Theatre in London on 18th November, along with the announcement of the £40m Edge Creative Enterprise Fund.  This new Fund is backed by the British Business Investment Bank with funding and management from the private sector.  During the panel session, the critical importance of IP in the creation and value realisation of the creative industries was recognised by all parties.

IPAN supports the work of the ICAEW in bringing a greater understanding of finance routes for the IP rich creative industries and welcomes the government backed initiative of the Edge Fund.  This will offer capital and mentoring to micro and SME businesses in the Creative sector with scaleable businesses with IP assets and which have the potential to benefit from the growing digital economy.

Read more about the "Creative Industries - routes to finance" project here:




3D-Printing - IP implications: discussed at IPAN meeting following AGM - 11 Nov 15

At the IPAN November meeting, Dr. Paul Gately of 3D Systems Corporation and Dr. Dinusha Mendis of Bournemouth University (co-author of the IPO commissioned reports on legal aspects of 3D-printing) addressed the expanding commercial applications of 3D-printing and some of their IP implications, particularly for copyright infringement.


Information about the underlying technologies involved in 3D-printing (also known as additive manufacturing) and its widening range of applications can be found here.

IPAN Director Mandy  Haberman joins IPO Steering Group - 6 Nov 15

Mandy Haberman - IPAN DirectorMandy Haberman, the successful inventor/entrepreneur and founder and creative director of Haberman Products, is one of two immediate appointments announced to the non-executive Steering Board of the UK Intellectual Property Office. 

Mandy is perhaps best known for her invention of the original, non-spill baby-feeder Anywayup® Cup. Built on IP, her career has spanned 30 years. Mandy was awarded Female Inventor of the Year 2000. Her most recent invention, the Haberman® Suckle Feeder, launched globally in 2015.

Mandy is a keen advocate of the importance of IP rights and is committed to raising awareness, educating and campaigning to help make IPR more accessible for SMEs and individuals.

Also appointed with Mandy is Dr Andrew Mackintosh, currently chairman of Sphere Fluidics Limited, a biotechnology tools company aiming to transform the search for new drugs and medicines.

The non-executive directors of the Steering Board provide a valuable external perspective to the IPO. They give influence and access to networks which the organisation would otherwise not have. Their experience helps shape the overall strategy of the IPO and ensures quality and governance are of the highest standards.

read press release from Dept. of Business, Information and Skills

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.

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