It’s not controversial to say that IP has
become a sexy topic. Recent disputes such as the
Apple v Samsung litigation helped to splash
intellectual property on the front page of mainstream
newspapers, and around the world, politicians, pundits and
journalists are more likely than ever to talk about the
IP-related aspects of topics from
healthcare costs to
international relations to
|Their hearts are
in the right place: Nearly 8 million YouTube clips carry
a 'no infringement intended' disclaimer
Despite this increased media attention and interest, actual
understanding of IP is less than ideal.
In OHIM’s report on European perceptions of IP
this week, only 13% of those surveyed demonstrated what
would qualify as a good understanding of intellectual property,
even though 73% describe their understanding as good.
This disconnect between actual and perceived understanding
of IP may help to explain the surprising hardiness of common
misconceptions about intellectual property, such as the belief
that adding a
"no copyright infringement intended" disclaimer to a
YouTube video immunises the uploader from liability or the
video from takedown.
Beyond YouTube video provisos, there are some very real
consequences for rights owners. For example, supporters of the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
say that the opposition had a poor understanding of the
treaty and its effect on intellectual property (although,
one may argue, they would say that, wouldn't they).
WIPO and the IP Office of Singapore (IPOS) believe that
journalists may be able to help. On Monday, the two
organisations are hosting a seminar in Singapore entitled
Intellectual Property is Big News: Regional Seminar for Senior
Editors", which aims to bring together journalists to
discuss how to cover IP-related news in a more interesting and
compelling way (disclaimer: I will be speaking at the event).
The two-day seminar will feature speakers from WIPO and
IPOS as well as practitioners and executives from private
industry speaking about the importance of IP. Confirmed
speakers include Denis Croze, director of WIPO’s
Singapore office, Ang Kwee Tiang of the International
Federation of the Phonographic Industry and Reuben Lee, CEO of
So, a question for MIP readers: as an IP professional, what
suggestions do you have for journalists who want to do a better
job at covering intellectual property news? What are some
common mistakes to avoid? Do let us know via Twitter
(@managingip) or in the comments section below.