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World IP Day: How intellectual property helps our car industry thrive

John Ogier, Chair of IPAN; Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for Intellectual Property; Dr Hayleigh Bosher, Director of IPAN and Brunel IP expert

When you think of all the changes that are happening in the UK's automotive industry, such as the advent of autonomous vehicles or the innovations happening in motorsport, a connection with intellectual property – patents, copyrights, trade marks, and so on – might not spring to mind. But IP is key to protecting these new technologies, and was the subject of an event hosted by IP expert Dr Hayleigh Bosher for World IP Day.

At the event, held at the House of Commons on 24 April, the Minister for Intellectual Property Chris Skidmore MP spoke of how IP was the thread that runs through all his work in government, including his role as Minister for Education – that IP connects research, economic growth, the arts, sciences, and underpins our economy as a whole.

Speakers from across the automotive industry spoke of how protecting IP and careful regulation helped technology make the leap to everyday life. Just as disc brakes were developed for motorsport but now benefit the public as a whole, today's cutting-edge tech – such as carbon-fibre chassis – is likely to become commonplace tomorrow. And IP, supported by the right business models, will boost digitally connected cars, autonomous vehicles, and much more.

Skidmore commented that "it is absolutely crucial, when we look at new technologies and new necessary regulations, that we need to protect intellectual property of these innovations, that we work together as one single IP community, and as a result I am confident that we will have one of the world's best IP regimes for years to come".

Dr Bosher, lecturer in IP law at Brunel University London, hosted the event in her role as Director of the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN), an organisation that champions the importance and understanding of IP through events, publications and research projects. The event was held a little before World IP Day itself, observed every 26 April in order to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life.

Dr Bosher said: "World IP Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness about IP, creativity and innovation, and to recognise the impact that IP has in developing culture, economy and society.

"IP is intertwined with culture and society, so the regulation has to constantly evolve with the development of new technologies in harmony with the cultural climate and changes in society.

"In order to do this, it is necessary for all the stakeholders to work together. Our annual event is a forum for rights holders, businesses and government officials to discuss the latest challenges for IP now and in the future."

For further details of the event, read Dr Bosher's account on the IPKat blog.

Find out more about intellectual property law courses at Brunel University London.

Reported by:

Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268821