Teaching IP to kids with Ed Shearling, Kitty Perry and friends

Ducks can come up with great logos in a matter of minutes
Many people have puzzled over how to educate the public about intellectual property.  This task is even harder when trying to educate children.  The UK IPO believes it has found a solution...

Children like cartoons, so they made a cartoon about IP told through the story of Nancy (a French bulldog) and her gang of meerkats.  There are lots of videos and other resources in the series but the episode which caught the attention of the BBC concerns logos...

Ed Shearling - guess the animal...
Nancy is helping her mate Ed Shearling to set up his band.  In an excellent example of client management she starts her meeting by questioning his choice of ducks as backing singers.

With the tough questions over, Nancy delves into the IP issues with the help of a mysterious geezer in a suit.  It then becomes an episode of Mastermind with Ed being introduced to the concept of "logos" and immediately subjected to a tough quiz.  Amazingly, Ed cracks the first clue ("who do you think is behind this logo shaped like an apple?") in record timing - cue major meerkat excitement.

Justin Beaver
Ed Shearling is very inspired by Justin Beaver and doesn't think it would be so bad for people to get them confused.  But Nancy's suited and booted manager cautions against this approach

For those who remember the Moshi Monsters dispute over Lady Goo Goo (who appeared together with Dustbin Beaver), it is particularly surprising that the UK IPO has adopted these names for its cartoon.  Others have criticized whether the £20,000 spent on the videos was money well spent.

One final thought - the BBC's  coverage of the new resources focused on the trade mark videos but the average person reading the article (headline: Kitty Perry and the copyright lessons for seven-year-olds) would assume that copyright is the only form of intellectual property. Admittedly trade marks do get a mention but it is buried in the text).  Perhaps IPO resources would be better focused on educating the media before worrying about kids getting to grips with IP.

Huge thanks to Amit Alagh (Wolters Kluwer) and James Sweeting (Superdry) for flagging this story on the BBC website!

You can watch the band logo video here and all of the Nancy & the Meerkats resources are available on the UK IPO

Edit on 25 January 2018:

Christopher Morcom QC has kindly got in touch to highlight a similar education campaign that WIPO ran a few years ago using more traditional cartoons in comic strip style.  You can see the comics which WIPO prepared re copyright, trade marks and patents at the relevant link.  
Teaching IP to kids with Ed Shearling, Kitty Perry and friends Teaching IP to kids with Ed Shearling, Kitty Perry and friends Reviewed by Rosie Burbidge on Friday, January 19, 2018 Rating: 5


  1. Nice try... but the real cool stuff was an IP version of Pororo with the help of the KIPO.

  2. Sounds fun! Do you have a link you can share? You'll see I've now updated the post to include the WIPO comic strip as well!


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