What patents, copyrights and trademarks – IP rights – achieve and for whom, is not always clear. The Center for Intellectual Understanding (CIPU) is an independent, non-profit organization devoted to increasing awareness of IP rights and their impact on peoples’ lives.
IP awareness is everyone’s business
CIPU addresses the needs of diverse audiences: consumers, lawmakers, educators, parents, business owners and IP holders. It believes that everyone benefits from a clearer understanding of the strengths and weakness of the IP system, and how patents and other IP rights impact peoples’ lives.
IP awareness fosters understanding and respect for new ideas and creative expression, and facilitates jobs. The reliability and appropriate use of IP rights is everyone’s business.
- The Center for Intellectual Property Understanding is an independent information and education organization that conducts research, provides education and disseminates information about the benefits of IP rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.
- It helps audiences to understand how invention rights serve to facilitate innovation, support commerce and build a more just society. CIPU monitors IP awareness and attitudes, and replaces patent mis-perceptions with facts. It seeks to improve reputation and deter infringement.
Confusion is costly
Ideas are the primary value-driver for business today. Yet the rights that protect inventions, recorded music, books, branded goods and other creative works are regarded by many as obstacles.
We live in a ‘free-information’ society, where online content and inventions are as highly accessible, and people who would never dream of shoplifting believe it is perfectly appropriate to infringe the rights of others’.
With access little more than a tap away, products like music, books, novel designs, counterfeit goods, and inventions, appear to be there for the taking – or feel as if they should be. At the heart of the matter is mass confusion about what IP rights cover, their value and appropriate use.
“Free riders” – unauthorized users of IP-protected products – come in many shapes and sizes. They can be individuals or businesses. The result is annual losses in revenue, jobs and taxes that are estimated to exceed a trillion dollars.
Audiences need guidance to determine which IP behaviors are gray area, which are acceptable and which are not. They can be readily learned and reinforced by parents, educators and community leaders. The Center for Intellectual Property Understanding can help.
Leadership: CIPU organizing committee
- *Marshall Phelps – Ex-VP of IP Strategy & Business, IBM and Microsoft; IP Hall of Fame member; visiting professor Cornell and Duke.
- *Brian Hinman – Ex-Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Philips; Vice President IP, Verizon; Vice President IP and Licensing, IBM
- *Harry Gwinnell – Ex-Chief IP Counsel Cargill, Eastman Chemical, United Technologies; President, IPO Education Foundation; USPTO examiner
- *Keith Bergelt – CEO, Open Invention Network, former IP executive with Motorola and SRI International and Managing Partner of Paradox Capital
- *Manny Schecter – Chief Patent Counsel, IBM; Director, IPO Association
- *Bruce Berman – Author and editor responsible for five IP books; IP communications specialist; CEO Brody Berman Associates (27 years)
- Irv Rappaport – Ex-Chief IP Counsel Apple, Medtronic, National Semiconductor; successful inventor with 20+ patents; USTPO examiner; US Army officer
- Jonathan Taplin – Film producer (“Mean Streets,” “The Last Waltz”) and Director Emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
- James Pooley – Trade secrets trial lawyer, scholar and diplomat; ex-Deputy General Director WIPO (ret)
- Paul R. Michel (ret.) – Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (22 years)
* Board of Directors
Sources of assistance or cooperation for CIPU include: