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Protecting Intellectual Property by Increasing Awareness

The 26th of April is World Intellectual Property Day, an opportunity to bring about increased awareness and understanding of intellectual property issues.

From copyrights to patents, intellectual property is all around us. Each day, intellectual property affects businesses operations and the work of employees. Knowing how to create and use intellectual property is an essential skillset, especially in sectors and businesses where innovation is a key determinate of growth and success. Promoting awareness about copyright, patents, trademarks, designs and other intellectual property issues protects your own business as well as the innovation of others. It may also be advisable to get professional advice from a solicitor who specialises in intellectual property and copyright law.

There are a range of activities that help promote intellectual property issues, not only during World Intellectual Property Day. Outreach can be as simple as sharing information with staff, including booklets and guides produced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The WIPO also produces posters, postcards, bookmarks and other promotional material that can be downloaded and printed. The Intellectual Property Office is another source of information about intellectual property issues in the UK.

From learning about how businesses and their employees can navigate through patenting issues to anti-piracy best practices that protects artistic creations, sharing information is an easy and cost-effective way of promoting the value of protecting intellectual property in everyday business and practices.

Designing an Effective Outreach Campaign

There are a number of more proactive events and activities businesses can pursue to promote intellectual property in the workplace and in company practices. Award schemes that promote excellence are one way to reward innovation, whether you recognise achievements within the company or by other parties. Another option is to develop an awareness campaign that focuses on a public audience. This approach could include television adverts and social media outreach that enhance awareness about how piracy has negative effects on your sector. Fake brands and pirated intellectual property such as music costs businesses and innovators, and can also put consumers at risk when they purchase counterfeit products.

The WIPO has a variety of tools to help businesses design and deliver intellectual property outreach. Supports include the Outreach in Practice database, which features information and links on outreach initiatives from around the world. In addition to increasing awareness, these initiatives also help promote the creation, use and respect of intellectual property. The WIPO also operates an Outreach Research database with summaries of studies on intellectual property issues. This database includes information on studies that look at the attitudes and behaviours related to the creation, use and respect of intellectual property.

Whenever creating any sort of outreach activity, businesses should plan early to ensure a successful campaign. Careful planning helps ensure that any outreach campaign will be successful. Businesses should identify how to get the right message across to the right audience. To do so, it is important to identify objectives and the target audience. Businesses should research how to develop an effective message, including using market research and lessons learned from similar campaigns. Developing a communications program and identifying appropriate communication tools will also improve the chance of getting the message to the right audience. The WIPO’s IP Outreach Guide offers details on how to develop an effective outreach campaign, including using social media and other communication tools.



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