The IPKat is excited to read breaking news of a Memorandum of Understanding which has been signed between the Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) and the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) at Queen Mary University of London. According to a circular from the IPI's Chairman Ian Harvey this morning, this will link the IPI to Queen Mary’s dedicated IP institute, the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI) which has provided a sanctuary for various Kats past and present. The circular adds:
"... For some time the Board of the IPI has felt that there was a fragmentation of IP research effort in the UK. The IPI has great strength in being the only group drawing for its evidence-based research upon all those who are involved in IP: business people, academics, lawyers, judges, IP specialists, economists and scientists. Despite this, there was still a lack of opportunity for core funding to initiate the kind of research programmes which we and our members believe should be important for policy-makers.IPKat team member Jeremy, as a Research Director of the IPI and Visiting Professorial Fellow at QMIPRI, welcomes this tie-in with great enthusiasm and hopes that the IP community will give both institutes their fullest support. He wishes Jo every success and happiness in her new role. He also joins the IPI in expressing thanks to outgoing Director Paul Leonard for his efforts, his patience and his good humour in leading the IPI into the 21st century.
We initially identified ten potential partners and, after discussions with each, narrowed this down to three and then one – Queen Mary and the CCLS. During these discussions, it became clear that there is a recognised need to collaborate more in this area and that there are groups who would like to collaborate with the IPI – and with whom there would be real synergies. Although our collaboration now will be with CCLS, we and they hope that this will be the beginning of greater collaboration between IP research groups in the future.
We are working towards having a formal agreement in place by the end of February and implemented by the end of March. We believe that this will create a real critical mass of expertise in IP research, in particular evidence-based research, drawing on the attributes and strengths of QMIPRI and those of the IPI, whilst keeping the independent identities of both organisations. Professor Johanna Gibson (above, right), Director of QMIPRI and a distinguished IP scholar, will also become the Director of the IPI under the collaboration. The IPI will relocate to the CCLS building in Lincoln’s Inn Fields to be alongside QMIPRI with a distinct identity and offices.
We chose Queen Mary as our collaboration partner because we saw real synergies and together we recognise, and want, to build upon the strengths of the other. The IPI will bring its broad IP stakeholder input and understanding. Queen Mary will bring its very strong academic IP research base which will make the initiation of new research much easier and provide a ready resource for future research. That said, we also both recognise that one of the IPI’s strengths is its capability to identify and bring in the best and most appropriate researchers for any given project irrespective of their affiliation. That will continue in the collaboration.
We both see this as a major step forward in building the IP research capability of the UK".