From October 2016 to March 2017 the team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Tian Lu and Hayleigh Bosher.

Friday, 17 June 2016

LGBT or ally in Intellectual Property? Then this is for you...

IPKat has reported a couple of times (here and here) on the IP Inclusive initiative, working for diversity and inclusivity within the intellectual property industries. IP Inclusive is spearheaded by several Intellectual Property organisations (including the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the IP Federation, the Intellectual Property Office, and FICPI-UK) to increase diversity and equality within the IP profession.  Bloggers and blog-lovers among us will be happy to know that IP Inclusive has a blog , and Merpel reports that there will appear there soon an entertaining report of the Diversity in IP breakfast meeting that took place in conjunction with AIPLA last Monday, which this Kat attended.

The IPKat is now happy to publicise the IP Out group within IP Inclusive:

Within the ‘Support’ work stream of IP Inclusive is IP Out - a new networking group for LGBT people and “straight allies” working in the Intellectual Property profession.
IP Out aims to provide networking and socialising opportunities for LGBT people and their straight allies.  You do not have to be a patent or trade mark attorney to join – anyone working in or around IP is welcome.
IP Out hopes to host around four events each year. The events, which are open for all to attend, will be a mixture of talks and panel discussions as well as more informal social events.
Please sign up to our mailing list by visiting  our website,, to be kept informed of group news and our inaugural event, coming soon.  Feel free to contact the IP Out committee at if you have any questions.

As a gay man and patent attorney himself, this Kat is delighted with this news, and hopes that as many people as possible will sign up so that the programme of events can be well supported.

In the meantime, this Kat will also be joining the Legal Pride group at Pride in London 2016 on Saturday 25 June.  Spearheaded by the Law Society, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) diversity in the legal profession is being celebrated under the banner 'All are equal under the law' and law firms are getting involved in the Pride in London Parade.

Happily, participation is not limited to solicitors, and anyone from the legal industry, and partners, children and friends are welcome.  You can find out how to get involved here.  The same link has details of another aspect of Legal Pride - the legal profession is being asked to tweet a selfie between 6 June and 25 June using the hashtag #lawwithnofilter. This reflects the theme of this year's Pride in London #nofilter - referring to the need LGBT+ people often feel to filter their behaviour, to self-censor or to hide who they are.  I blog about non-IP topics on the IP Alchemist blog, and I have recently written some reflections on being a gay man here, which may explain why I think this is important.

I hope to see some IP Kat readers at Pride or IP Out.


Nathan said...

I am a straight man. My respect for the IPKat blog just went up a huge notch. You rock, Darren.

Darren Smyth said...

Thanks, Nathan!

Jeremy said...

The IP community is a precious space in which we should all seek to respect, help and share our areas of mutual interest and expertise with one another, irrespective of nationality, religion, gender or sexual preferences. If we can promote respect and cooperation within at least our own little community, maybe -- just maybe -- something will rub off on the rest of world.

Darren, your words are thoughtful and moving.

Darren Smyth said...

Thank you, Jeremy. Your supportive comments on this, the blog which you founded and has been so influential in the IP world, mean a great deal. I really hope that IP Inclusive and IP Out can contribute to the vision that you describe. I certainly intend to do my part.

Anonymous said...

As a gay woman in IP, who still struggles with the concept of how "out" to be in my professional life, I am eternally grateful to the organisers of these initiatives and to the IPKat for publicising them. Thank you- it means a lot.

Anonymous said...

^What the Anonymous commenter above said. Is this for people in the UK only?

Darren Smyth said...

Thank you last two Anons for your kind comments. In response to the last point, I don’t speak for IP Out or IP Exclusive - I am just a humble participant. But my understanding is that they are primarily focused on improving diversity and inclusivity within the UK IP professions. However, I am sure they would welcome interest and involvement from IP professionals in other countries.

Tom said...


Anyone is welcome to join IP Out. Since those involved in running it are based in the UK (the same is also true for IP Inclusive) it is likely to have a UK focus, initially at least. But, who knows where it could lead, and we of course would be very pleased for input from our overseas colleagues so we can assess the demand for a more international agenda.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at



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