USPTO Workshop Series
From 2009-2011, PIPRA conducted an 18-month program supported by the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Intellectual Property Initiative. The goal of the program was to “foster innovation and competitiveness by delivering IP information and education” in countries with nascent IP protection systems in East Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
The program included a series of 6 international workshops designed for innovators and policymakers, in which basic concepts of IP protection, licensing, and commercialization were introduced. Workshops were held in Vietnam, South Africa, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Kenya, and China.
Each workshop averaged 70 participants, with audiences that included scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, IP managers, and administrators. All events were organized in collaboration with local stakeholders, such as the national patent and trademark offices (PTOs), universities, trade and interest groups. Instructors included a mixture of experts from the United States and the local countries, with a focus on individuals with experience in public sector research institutions.
While most education about IP rights in developing economies focused at the time on enforcement and trade, the PIPRA workshops centered on the role of IP in translating research to commercialization. Additionally, efforts were undertaken to tailor the message to each local audience, so that workshop participants could understand how IP can benefit them, and how to use IP in their work.
At the conclusion of the series of the 6 international workshops, PIPRA – with support from the USPTO Intellectual Property Initiative – launched the first edition of the Licensing Academy course. For more information about this two-week program, which entered into its 5th edition in 2015, refer to the Licensing Academy section.