The contemporary setting of the BPI offices in Old County Hall was the venue for industry experts to come together to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on 23 April 2015, which allowed representatives from the IP industry to discuss the future of IP in the UK and around the world.
‘IP – a 2020 Vision’ speakers included Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Giorgio Sincovich, a serious IP crime expert from Europol, Sebastian Conran representing the creative industries and former MP and IP adviser to the prime minister, Mike Weatherley, who chaired the question and answer session.
Much of the focus was placed on the fast evolving IP landscape and how to address this. Gurry noted that in recent years IP has rapidly made its way from the ‘periphery’ to the ‘centre’ of the economic system, adding that in today’s world there remain very few sectors of society that don’t come across IP rights in some form or other in their work. Despite this importance he warned of an ‘extremely complex policy environment’ for IP and, looking to the future, called for multi-stakeholder engagement on the issue to ensure progress moving forward.
Sincovich raised another important issue and commented on the challenges of addressing large scale economic crime, including IP crime, currently sweeping Europe. Illustrating rapid growth within the sector of IP crime he emphasised how criminal gangs had moved IP crime away from the more traditional luxury goods market and have begun developing counterfeits in all sectors.
Finally, commenting on progress here in the UK, Mike Weatherley pointed to progress made within UK government on the understanding of IP. He also added his support for trading standards commenting that local services do a ‘fantastic job in dealing with counterfeiting around the country’.
Looking to the future, CTSI want to raise the profile level of IP as priority for local trading standards services. Links between IP and organised crime are widely recognised, but CTSI also wants to promote the links between protecting IP and promoting economic growth both on a local and national scale.