John Alty, Chief Executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office, and Andrea Brewster, President of CIPA, with the IP Inclusive charter.
A group of six leading intellectual property organisations has launched an initiative committed to making the IP professions more inclusive.
IP Inclusive was launched at a special event in central London on 30 November with more than 12 firms and organisations initially signing up to its charter, a public commitment to the IP Inclusive principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. Firms who sign up to the charter have access to support materials and will be able to use the initiative’s logo.
The aims of IP Inclusive are to improve access to the intellectual property professions, regardless of disability, age, gender, sexual orientation or social, economic and cultural background, race, religion and belief, and pregnancy and maternity.
The taskforce leading the project will produce a range of educational materials and run events to train and support those within the IP professions to raise awareness of diversity. The group’s plans also include support networks, a mentoring scheme, and work to promote the profession to encourage recruits from a wider range of backgrounds.
The launch event was attended by representatives and members of the five founding organisations. The event also included a keynote address by Chief Executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office John Alty, a presentation on unconscious bias, and provided advice on how a more proactive approach to diversity and inclusion can be a boost to business.
At the event the group talked about ‘raising awareness of the importance of diversity to individuals and firms and encouraging firms to think more about diversity and inclusion’ being an important role of the IP Inclusive initiative.
The 40 strong task force leading IP Inclusive are from the following organisations:
- The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
- The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA)
- IP Federation
- The UK Association of the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI-UK)
- UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO)
- Managing Intellectual Property magazine
John Alty, Chief Executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office said: "I am pleased to demonstrate the IPO's commitment to diversity by signing the IP Inclusive Charter today. I believe that together we can make a career in IP one in which everyone can work to their full potential and to which everyone can aspire".
President of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, Chris McLeod said: “IP Inclusive is an important initiative for our profession and I’m delighted ITMA has collaborated with a number of other organisations to get it off the ground.
“There is value to firms and individuals within the profession, the IP system as a whole, and its users to ensuring IP professionals encourage, embrace and sustain a more diverse workforce.”
President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Andrea Brewster said: “IP Inclusive has brought people together from across the IP professions in the pursuit of a more diverse and inclusive working environment.
“Our launch reception celebrated the progress made over the last twelve months and brought others on board for the future.
“We were delighted that John Alty, Chief Executive of the UK Intellectual Property Office, spoke to demonstrate his organisation’s support.”