IPAN World IP Day Celebration

Each April, the IPAN Parliamentary Group organises a Westminster based invitation event for parliamentarians and IP opinion leaders celebrating World IP Day in the UK.   This annual event helps to promote the importance of IP to the future economy in the UK.

Details of the 2018 event with the theme “Global Britain: great for IP, great for business” can be found here.

Speakers in earlier years have included Baroness Neville-Rolfe (IP Minister), Francis Gurry (WIPO), Giorgio Sincovich (Europol), Sebastian Conran, Lee Broom, Ian Callum (Jaguar), Luke Johnson (FT), Viscount Younger, Mike Weatherley MP and Pete Wishart MP (APPG for IP).

The 2016 theme was “IP in the fast lane” and illustrated how IP is contributing to business sectors and economic growth.  The key-note speaker was Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property.

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.

Welcoming guests  to IPAN’s 2016 annual World Intellectual Property Day celebration, Professor Ruth Soetendorp, then Chair of IPAN said:
“Over the past six years the IPAN event has helped spread the significance of intellectual property to UK plc through what is probably the largest and most significant World IP Day occasion in the UK.”

IPAN’s sixth celebration of World IP Day was again held in the Terrace Pavilion of the House of Commons on 26 April 2016 at the invitation of Pete Wishart MP, Chair of the All Party Group on Intellectual Property. It was attended by 120 guests including members of both Houses of Parliament, senior IP professionals and policy makers and major users of the IP system.

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

The Speakers:

Professor Ruth Soetendorp, Chair, Intellectual Property Awareness Network and Associate Director, Centre for IP Policy & Management, Bournemouth University and IPAN Chair, who welcomed guests and introduced the panel of invited speakers.

Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills and Minister for Intellectual Property

Dr Paolo Aversa, Lecturer in Strategy at Cass Business School; Fellow of the Center for Automotive and Mobility Innovation, University Ca’Foscari, Venice

Dr Anthony Tridico, Managing Partner, Finnegan Europe LLP

John P Ogier, then IPAN Vice-Chair and Convenor of its Finance, Business & Economics Group; Intellectual Property Awareness Network; Intellectual Property Economist

In a high speed history of Formula 1, Dr Aversa, a leading expert in the intersection of innovation, business models and competitive strategy, reminded us that the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994 stimulated serious development to improve safety, resulting in a 20 year period without fatalities. At the same time, significant knowledge transfer from the racetrack to the outside world has occurred – the London Burns Unit uses technology developed by Williams, while sick children are monitored using diagnostic aids developed by McLaren.

Big data analysis has been much improved from experience derived from F1, and on the product side there were serious contributions to the equipment used by competitors in the London Olympics.  Although the Formula 1 business faces continuing challenges, particularly in governance, Dr Aversa is confident that it will continue to develop, make inventions, transfer technology and, of course, entertain.

Dr Tridico spoke from his substantial US and European experience of advising on IP matters connected with rapidly developing technologies.

Intellectual capital is recognized as the most important asset of many of the world’s largest and most powerful companies as well as the life blood of start-ups and SMEs.  The importance of IP to the economy of the UK, Europe and the world is difficult to overstate.   Those sectors that rely on IP rights demonstrate disproportionate amounts of growth compared to other industries, particularly industries working with “fast moving” technologies such as those in Formula 1, biotechnology and the like.  The increasing challenge is for IP law to keep pace with the changes required to adequately protect these technologies that have become so vital to our economic growth.

As IP rights have become more important to the everyday economy so they have become part of general public discourse.  From the mobile phone wars to the availability of low cost pharmaceuticals, IP rights have suffered in the public’s perception and are rarely identified positively in spite of their importance as a driver for jobs and economic growth.  He ended by saying:

Our obligation as users of IP rights and practitioners of the IP system is to make our voices heard in the public discourse about the underlying economic importance of IP and to lend our expertise and experience to those effecting the law and policy.

In his presentation John Ogier pointed to the continuing failure to accord proper value to IP assets and advocated the need for concerted action:

Only by developing, adapting and applying new market mechanisms for IP assets  will it be possible to offer IP-rich companies the financial support they need to expand their businesses and thereby improve economic growth.

To meet the challenge and realise the opportunity of the 21st century economy we have got to change the engine of the economic machine itself.  All the key players from industry, financial services, professional bodies, educational establishments, government and international organizations will have to pull together and apply their respective skills and resources to realize this potential for economic growth, public good and competitive advantage.

After the short presentations and Q&A (including the inevitable question about the impact of Brexit on IP in the UK), the 120 or so participants continued discussions informally over canapés and drinks.

During the Event:

Photographs courtesy of Fiona Hanson

Sponsors of World IP Day 2016

IPAN is very grateful to all its sponsors shown below, without whose help this annual IP Event would not be possible.  Similarly, IPAN is grateful to CIPA for its continuing support during the year and to the Intellectual Property Office for kindly again publishing printed copies of the IPAN Issue Briefs.

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

ContraVision and CIPA staff
IPAN Issue Briefs 2016 - cover image

You can download a copy of the World IP Day 2016 programme here giving details of the speakers and the event sponsors.

World IP Day 2016 was organised for the IPAN board by Roland Hill, convenor of the IPAN Parliamentary Group, assisted by ContraVision and CIPA staff.


Those attending the parliamentary event received printed copies of IPAN’s set of Issue Briefs which have been newly revised and updated for 2016. The Issue Briefs are written by experts from the IPAN community and cover a broad range of IP topics. The briefs are intended as an authorative and impartial starting resource about important IP related issues with external references for further research.

Printed copies of the briefs are available on request to IPAN