This question will be addressed by a panel of communications specialists from the world’s biggest IP offices at next week’s Managing IP International Patent Forum in London.
On the panel will be Oswald Schroeder, principal director of communications, EPO; John Tarpey, director of communications, WIPO; Peter Pappas, chief of staff, USPTO; and Hiroshi Kawamata, senior director for intellectual property, JETRO Düsseldorf Centre/JPO.
They will discuss how supporters of IP rights can respond to and meet the challenges of anti-IP campaigners.
Already this year, we have seen the blackout of websites including Wikipedia that led to the shelving of the SOPA and PIPA legislation in the United States, and an organised attack on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in Europe, which has led to a delay in ratification and its possible abandonment.
In India, organisations like UNITAID have protested efforts to strengthen patent protection through free trade agreements, arguing they threaten affordable access to medicines in developing nations.
The panellists will discuss why IP owners, governments and others involved in the IP system need to address the more active and organised voices in civil society with communication, case studies and events. They will also address the findings of a report released today by the White House, titled Intellectual Property and the US Economy: Industries in Focus.
The role of social media in promoting IP will be a key topic. For example, both USPTO Director David Kappos and EPO President Benoit Battistelli regularly write blogs about their respective offices.
The offices represented on the panel also use Twitter and Facebook as well as conventional media such as TV to communicate with users and society generally.
During the 45-minutes session next Wednesday, the panellists will speak briefly about their own experiences before discussing trends with each other and the audience.
The International Patent Forum takes place at the Chancery Court Hotel in London on April 18 and 19. Among the other speakers are Battistelli and Kappos, and Jim Pooley of WIPO, as well as many in-house IP counsel and lawyers in private practice.
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