Category Archives: general IP

When might Chief IP Officer (CIPO) job be more commonplace?

A post on the Intellectual Asset Management blog talked about some predictions made by a group of professionals (including CIPOs and service providers) about the role of Chief IP Officer in the future.  See “Chief IP officers reveal their worst nightmares”

“…we asked both the CIPOs and the service providers to answer this question: “On what date will 70% of in-house heads of IP be CIPOs?” … it is pretty clear that few expect it to happen any time soon. The average answer was October 2030; the median November 2021. Eight respondents told us that it would never happen!

…we are still a long way from the day when the CIPO is as commonplace as the CTO, the CFO and the CEO…”

A possible remedy?  “..Education and a series of success stories are the key..” So, more awareness building which was highlighted time again at our NPI meetings as vital to the overall success of IP management.

N.B.  If you want to read past copies of IAM magazine you can sign up for a free trial on their website

IPRs in public research; strategies to address protection of the public good

Since 2007 as part of the DGIS funded National Partners Initiative, CAS-IP commissioned various case studies – results of which can be downloaded here. Currently in the pipeline to be finalised are another seven case studies from Thailand, Philippines, China, Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia and Syria.

Recently our colleague in Nigeria, Ms C. H. Abo from the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI) sent me some information about how she used her draft case study as a starting point for holding a national workshop on the subject of IP, which took place at the end of last year. Congratulations to Ms. Catherine Abo for this initiative and for the interest she leveraged!


The following was taken from the welcome address by the Executive Director of NCRI, Dr. A.A. Ochigbo.  He said (emphasis my own):

“Although, the extension of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to public research may seem to be in conflict with the traditional role of public good which the public research institutes traditionally stand for, it is increasingly perceived as a strategy to address the perceived needs of public research and the protection of the public good

Some photos from the conference:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Learning from Existing Evaluation Practices on the Impacts and Effects of Intellectual Property on Development

An e-newsletter yesterday first brought this call for papers to my attention (thanks PIIPA who sent it out). 

WIPO are organising a seminar in October at their HQ in Switzerland entitled: “Learning from Evaluations of the Impacts and Effects of Intellectual Property (IP) on Development

Deadline for submission is 24th June, 2011.

The WIPO communication states:

“The main focus of the 2011 Evaluation Seminar is sharing good practices in Evaluation of Intellectual Property.”

and they go on to list a number of possible topics:

  • Evaluation of the effects of intellectual property aimed to promote innovation and technology
  • Evaluation of the effects of intellectual property on traditional knowledge
  • Evaluation of the impact of intellectual property capacity building
  • Evaluation of the effects of safeguarding creative heritage
  • Evaluation of the effects of global IP protection systems
  • Evaluation of the impact of programs aimed to modernized and improve infrastructure of IP offices
  • Evaluation of the effects of the implementation of IP international treaties
  • Evaluation of the impact of IP awareness raising programs
  • Evaluation of the effects of IP technical assistance including to SMEs
  • Evaluation of the effects of public and private partnerships to promote the use of the IP system
  • Evaluation of the results of existing cooperation among UN, bilateral and multilateral bodies in the area of intellectual property
  • Evaluation of the impact of the assistance provided by UN, bilateral and multilateral organizations to enable local innovators and research institutions to use IP as a means of owning, protecting and exploiting their research results.
  • Evaluation of the impact of intellectual property -related policies and initiatives aimed to promote the transfer and dissemination of technology
  • Evaluation of the impact of intellectual property -related policies and initiatives aimed to support entrepreneurs and in particular start up businesses in the information technology and web based areas
  • Evaluation of the impact of intellectual property -related policies and measures aimed to promote transfer and dissemination of technology to developing countries
  • Evaluation of the impact of intellectual property rights aimed at the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology
  • Evaluation of the impact of intellectual property activities on gender or human rights

The deadline for evaluation abstract submissions is June 24th, 2011. Visit the WIPO site for more details for application.  An honorarium and basic travel costs will be covered by the organisers.

Free Advanced International Certificate Course on IPRs & Business; last chance to register.

You may have seen information about this course via WIPO newsletters recently.  It’s a free online course run jointly by WIPO, the Korean IP Office (KIPO) and other Korean institutions (KAIST and KIPA).  Subsequent course offerings also include an offline course, and developing country participants can apply for a scholarship to cover travel expenses.

The 2nd Annual WIPO-KIPO-KAIST-KIPA Advanced International Certificate Course. Click on the link in the box on the right hand side for more info on the course itself.

Topics covered are outlined on the website as:

 Module 1 : Importance of IP for SMEs

 Module 2 : Trademarks and Industrial Designs

 Module 3 : Inventions and Patents

 Module 4 : Trade Secrets

 Module 5 : Copyright and Related Rights

 Module 6 : Patent Information

 Module 7 : Technology Licensing and Strategic Partnership

 Module 8 : IP in the Digital Economy

 Module 9 : IP and International Trade

 Module 10 : IP Audit

 Module 11 : IP Valuation

 Module 12 : Trademark Licensing

 Applications open 22nd June for the final session for 2011.

IPR systems around the world; report from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

I first saw this item via the AgIP news agency.  It’s aggregated from the Office of the United States Trade Representative: “USTR Releases Annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights

The annual report looks into how well trading partners protect IPRs.  To compile the report the US Trade Representative office reviewed 77 trading partners.  Of particular interest view the following section online:


It includes details of action plans and initiatives that the US govt is undertaking in order to strengthen IPR regimes in countries they trade with, including capacity building efforts.

When can being sued for patent infringements be considered a “badge of honour”?

In the world of smartphones and tablet computers apparently.

This was a comment included in a BBC write-up of the current spat between Apple and Samsung over alleged copying of design.  See the item entitled “Apple sues Samsung for ‘copying’ iPhones and iPad” 

In the article the Business Editor, Tim Weber, says:

“In the world of smartphones and tablet computers, being sued for alleged patent infringements could be considered a badge of honour, a sign your products are cutting edge, a threat to rivals…

..these legal machinations are not that much about who wins them. Mobile innovation is accelerating and the window to exploit each new technology is getting smaller. Lawsuits are a chance to sow doubt, distract, slow down the competition.”

Innovative uses for IPRs and their legal processes will never cease to amaze me!

How to cite e-books

I spotted an item today in which a blogger was pondering how one should cite an e-book, in particular the kind you download to read from a device such as the Kindle (note to fellow book lovers: don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, I was actually pleasantly surprised!)  The post was called “The Future of Footnotes” and it talked about the difficulties of using these non-traditional sources when one needs to cite for academic purposes.

He (Jonathan Rees) said:

“…I think I expected e-books to look something like the screen on Google Books: All the pages are intact, but they’re electronic [however] … at least when using the Kindle for iPad app, there are no page numbers at all. There are these long 4+ digit location numbers, but they don’t precisely match the words on the page and I don’t see any way to use them to locate particular snippets of text. I suspect this is because page numbers would differ depending upon what device you read the e-book on or even at what magnification you set your own device. While this is perfectly fine for reading a novel that you’ll never open again, for historians this ought to pose a problem. How can we tell people where we found what we found?”

There is some help online, and not surprisingly Mr Rees wasn’t alone in his frustration.  The question of page numbers was dealt with on “How do you cite an e-book’s ‘page number’?

From the article :

 “In the follow-up discussion of the article, some readers point out that the Chicago Manual of Style offers a guide to citing e-books:

“If a book is available in more than one format, cite the version you consulted. For books consulted online, list a URL; include an access date only if one is required by your publisher or discipline. If no fixed page numbers are available, you can include a section title or a chapter or other number.”

And it includes an example of a “Kindle edition”. A “location” number would seem to be a perfect example of an “other” number. In fact, it might even be more useful than a page number, because the “location” would be about the same no matter which device you read a Kindle e-book on, whereas a page number only applies to one specific version of the printed book.”

Along with the guide in the quote above there are many  other sites to help with citation such as “How to Cite E-Books” from  And as the Teleread article concluded:

“the academic world does need to come to terms with how to do citation of e-books without page numbering, because e-books are only going to get more popular from here”

Branding stories; WIPO new online brand-search tool and Coca Cola

WIPO have launched another new tool this month.  See “WIPO Launches New On-Line Tool to Facilitate Brand Searches“. From their press release:

“A new on-line tool launched by WIPO … will make it easier to search over 640,000 records relating to internationally protected trademarks, appellations of origin and armorial bearings, flags and other state emblems as well as the names, abbreviations and emblems of intergovernmental organizations. The Global Brand Database allows free of charge, simultaneous brand-related searches across multiple collections.”

Thanks to WIPO for another free resource.  It is part of WIPO Gold, a “free public resource which provides a one-stop gateway to WIPO’s global collections of searchable IP data”

And the Coca Cola reference?  Well, whilst on the subject of brands, I was reading the Intellectual Asset Management blog.  They posted an item: “The Coca-Cola brand suffers a sharp fall in value as Google hits number one

Love it or loathe it, no matter where in the world you are, the chances of finding Coca Cola are pretty high.  It was interesting to read therefore that

“for the first time [Coca Cola] finds itself outside the list of the world’s top 10 most valuable brands, according to the annual Brand Finance 500 study”

The article concludes:

“…although there is a lot more to brands than trademarks, it does means that if you are working in-house as a trademark operator, the job that you are doing is absolutely vital to the maintenance (as well as the creation, of course) of profoundly important assets. I am sure that this is not huge news to the trademark practitioners reading this blog, but I wonder how many other people appreciate it. My suspicion is that it is not as many as should be the case.”

US patents can’t be enforced on Indian Reservations located within the US!

A very short posting from me today from an item entitled “History Lesson” which appeared on the General Patent Corporation site last week.

They document the case of:

“…a U.S. patent which is not being enforced in an Indian reservation, in Oklahoma, because the reservation is a separate nation and, in that respect, not part of the United States. (Specialty House Of Creation, Incorporated v. Quapaw Tribe Of Oklahoma, a federally recognized Indian nation)”

Interesting huh? For those who would like to read more of the legal nitty gritty visit these pages on

Thanks to Victoria Henson-Apollonio for sending me the link.

New global Eco Brand launched at World Economic Forum

Most US consumers recognize the Energy Star name and logo – it’s a seal of approval issued by the US government that is used to identify electrical efficiency in appliances ranging from computers and TVs to refrigerators and stoves.

NPR said:

The new WindMade eco-label, unveiled by business leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum, introduces a new standard for renewable products.  Manufacturers can label their products with information on the percentage of energy used to create the product that is derived from wind power.  This will enable energy conscious consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.

Read (or listen to) NPR’s coverage at:

And you can visit the WindMade web site at: which informs us that:

The WindMade™ label will provide qualifying companies the ability to effectively communicate to consumers a commitment to wind energy that differentiates their brand, and signals a strong commitment to renewable energy.

Good idea?  Yes.  But are we going to see a spate of brands indicating “commitment to”  other renewable energy sources (e.g., SolarMade, WaveMade)?  Needless to say, the list of “partners” launching the WindMade brand includes several wind turbine manufacturers such as Vestas Wind Systems.  Lining up 1,000 manufacturers to buy into a new brand is no small task, but from the point of view of the consumer it would make far more sense to launch a generic brand to identify commitment to any renewable energy source.  Products qualifying to use this brand would indicate that a certain percentage of energy used to manufacture the product was derived from wind, solar, wave, geothermal, etc., or even some combination of these.

The WindMade PR is confusing:  note how “renewable” is interchangeable with “wind power”.  I suspect that we will witness changes in this strategy over time; perhaps WindMade will be integrated into an über-brand that will meet consumer need to support companies that are committed to using any source of green energy.  In the meantime, Vestas should be lauded for its marketing savvy.

Post written by Peter Bloch