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The launch of the Global IP Alliance

On October 20, 2022, Atlanta will host a “once in a lifetime Intellectual Property celebration” with the official presentation of the Global IP Alliance. We talk with the people behind the idea.

The launch of the Global IP Alliance

20 years ago at the Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, Intellectual Property programs were created for students and the community. The project developed over 15 years and eventually it outgrew the universities. In 2018 the Georgia IP Alliance (GIPA) was formed.

At that time, GIPA recognized the unique and important opportunity to build a non-profit IP organization to represent the citizens of Georgia and key stakeholders of the ecosystem with a focus on IP Awareness/Education, IP Collaborative Ecosystem, and IP Diversity & Inclusion. The project was so successful that other States in the United States followed the approach.

In 2020 GIPA launched the United States IP Alliance (USIPA) as the umbrella organization for the state IPAs and used the same ecosystem approach. The USIPA was also successful and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) began to analyze if the idea could expand to the rest of the world. They joined the USIPA board at the end of 2021 with the express purpose of launching the Global IP Alliance in 2022. It will finally launch with more than 50 countries on October 20, 2022 in Atlanta, with the keynote presentation of Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Marcasur interviewed Scott Frank and Gonzalo Rovira, two of the main people behind this huge enterprise. Frank is the President & CEO of AT&T Intellectual Property LLC, and Chair & President of the Georgia IP Alliance. Rovira is Director Of Intellectual Property at Bayer Latin America. Other members of the team are Lisa Jorgenson (Deputy Director General at WIPO), Nikhil Marathe (Director, IP Strategy & Innovation at AT&T), and Elizabeth Dougherty (Eastern Regional Outreach Director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The alliance has gone from Georgia to the US and now looks to go global. Which has been the strategy to do that?

SF: We always have had a vision to think big, even when the Georgia IP Alliance was launched in 2018. At the time we saw the potential of this platform to reach around the globe, which is why we TMd the USIPA and GLIPA names and websites. The vision is simple – if you have a successful platform that helps people, try to grow it bigger and help more people. We have used the best practices from GIPA to start USIPA and now the GLIPA. Our strength is that we have been fortunate to attract the right people, like Gonzalo Rovira (Legal Director LATAM IP and Licensing at Bayer Group) and Maria Fernanda Hurtado (LATAM IP Policy and Advocacy Consultant), who can lead these efforts as we grow around the world.

In its presentation, the Global IP Alliance states that to date, no other organization has been formed that brings the various players in the IP ecosystem, nationally and internationally, together under one umbrella. Besides that, what are the differences with other IP organizations?

SF: That is correct. Here are a few other differences:

-Our goal is to let ordinary citizens know about the value of IP to improve their lives, and are therefore involved in the entire IP Lifecycle – from awareness and education, to supporting pro-bono efforts, bringing together inventors, Corporates, VCs, etc to the table.

-Global IP Alliance is planning to augment its global vision with local efforts – regional alliances that will drive efforts on the ground in each country. This is similar to the model used in the USIPA, were National USIPA plans are augmented by efforts in each state through State level IP alliances.

-We are not a trade group, and our only goal is to be the voice of the citizens in the IP ecosystem

In its presentation, the Global IP Alliance also highlights that it will facilitate a more collaborative IP ecosystem. Is this an organization that focuses on inventors, students, creatives and all kind of citizens, and not primarily on lawyers and law firms?

SF: The goal is to have everyone human being in the world be aware that Intellectual Property is a key enabler of a better and more sustainable future for our planet and is the key for knowledge economy.  We want people around the globe to realize that a world with better IP enhances the quality and enjoyment of life, spurring economic growth and creating new jobs and industries. 

How has been the response of Latin America so far? 

GR: The reaction in Latin America and the Caribbean has been awesome. Initially with IP experts in each country. With their help and commitment, we have now more than 70 representatives from different sectors engaged in our organization. We are currently working in the fundamental pillars that the Global IP Alliance (i.e. IP education & awareness; Collaboration for IP ecosystem; and Inclusion & Diversity) within the Latin America & the Caribbean region.

Which type of players from Latin America have become members?

GR: In Latin America, we have reached out to key stakeholders who play an important role in the IP community in Latin America & Caribbean such as Universities in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, IP experts and IP consultants in almost all the countries in the region, as well as non-governmental associations (e.g. association of inventors, association of entrepreneurships, association of IP agents, association of authors, association of entertainment producers, etc.) IP offices, and Latin America trade associations.

The alliance has the support of the WIPO? Have you received similar backing from Latin American governments?

GR: Yes, the Global IP Alliance has the support from WIPO and we are in the process of engaging and getting the support from the local IP offices within the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The alliance launching is programmed for October 2022. Can you tell us something about the event?

SF: The October event is meant to being the entire IP ecosystem together for the first time, with important players in attendance. You can find here the agenda and speakers for the October event. 

How can people become members of the alliance?

We believe that every citizen in the world should know about the value of IP, and how we can contribute to make of this world a more sustainable one and improve their lives, either by protecting their own ideas or by incentivizing innovation that improves their lives. We therefore believe that Membership to the alliance should be open and anyone can join. They can sign up here

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Marcasur Magazine - Edición Nº 86