The Top 50 for 2013 includes academics, judges, policy makers, trade negotiators, in-house counsel, bloggers and a movie star. There's Dan Ravicher, who heads the Public Patent Foundation that brought the case against Myriad; Jamie Love, whose campaigns to keep the rights of IP in check have been many and varied; and Guy Fawkes, our byword for IP campaigners around the world.
This year, however, we struggled more than usual to justify including those who want to curtail IP rights. That isn't because there aren't IP activists around, or that their arguments are easily dismissed by policy makers. In fact it's quite the opposite. In recent years campaigners have managed to bring down the ill-fated anti-counterfeiting agreement ACTA and, along with a select group of companies (mainly based in Silicon Valley) helped throw out the anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA.
As a result, we think that IP owners may be toning down their IP demands and that politicians are becoming more cautious about offending consumer groups on IP issues. Although some copyright owners' groups lobbied hard against the recently concluded WIPO treaty on the blind, the governments negotiating the deal ultimately bridged their differences and IP owners were quick to accept the agreement, and to be seen to do so with good grace. After Novartis was dealt a blow by the Indian courts in its battle to secure patent protection for Glivec, pharmaceutical companies may be less willing to challenge laws quite so publicly given the public relations backlash they face. That's a lesson the music and film industry learnt some time ago.
Such self-restraint may be a good thing in the long run for IP owners. When IP owners spend more time explaining how IP rights benefit the economy as a whole (and produce the evidence to support their claims) rather than fighting for greater protection, anti-IP activists will have less to protest about. That could dramatically reshape our lists of influential people in years to come.
In the pages linked to below we profile each of the 50 people in this year's list, explain how they have influenced the way that IP is treated by the law and regarded by the public.
Readers might think of other worthy people who have been left out and some might object to those who have been included. Do let us know what you think in the comment fields on every article, or on Twitter @MIP50.
Jurgen Dressel, Novartis
Colleen Chien, Santa Clara University
Jamie Love, KEI
Liu Chuntian, People's University Law School
Denis Croze, WIPO
The rest of the Top 50
J Scott Evans
Judge James Robart
Etienne Sanz de Acedo
Teresa Stanek Rea
Teo Ming Kian
Toe Su Aung
Fernando Dos Santos
The Top 50 around the world
Not everyone in the Top 50 is based in Brussels, Beijing or Washington DC. Below are some of the more interesting locations of the most influential people in IP.