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Thinking IP – My United States download                         February 15th, 2011

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 15.02.11 @12.12pm                                                                                     submission stats…
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                                                                                                       & IP Review…
 Don’t forget to follow tonights event at the TechHub in London on Twitter, using the
                                                                                                       » Evidence, submissions,
 hashtag #iptechhub                                                                                    comments – Pulling it all
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                                                                                                       » mark rose on » The
 Ian Hargreaves                                                                                        emphasis on evidence
                                                                                                       Diana Kimpton on » Budgets,
                                                                                                       Plans for Growth & IP
 The phone rang in my office at Cardiff University yesterday to announce a very familiar voice.
 Ray Snoddy, a former colleague from my days as a journalist on the FT, was asking questions           » mark rose on » The
 for a piece he is writing on the review. Four thousand words, he tells me. That might be longer       emphasis on evidence
 than the review itself.                                                                               » Andre Regini on
                                                                                                       » Evidence, submissions,
                                                                                                       comments – Pulling it all
 Ray had been talking to people across the creative content sectors for an article focused on the
 copyright aspects of the review. He said that he’d been told I’d just been to the United States       » jeremy moore on » Public
 and spent all my time in Silicon Valley, not even bothering to talk to people from the creative       Consultation – The Final
 industries.                                                                                           Week

 As readers of this blog will know, I did indeed spend a couple of days in California last week, but   My World
 from there we travelled to Harvard for a day with academic thinkers on various aspects of
 innovation, the economy and the internet. Then we had two days in Washington, catching up             » My Profile
 with the US Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) and an array of people from Congress and             » Terms and Conditions
 relevant government departments and agencies. On our final afternoon, we held a roundtable at
 the British Embassy and were joined by a lively group of people from the publishing, music and
 film industries. Thanks Ray for reminding me to mention this.

 Holed up in snowy Boston on Superbowl Sunday, I was struck not for the first time (I lived in
 New York for four years back in the early 1980s) that America is both so familiar and yet so
 different. I’ve learned over time to enjoy the strange rhythm of American Football, with its long
 diversions and intense spasms of play.

 In Washington, would-be reformers of the patent system are driving in full offence in order to try
 to get the much delayed and deferred Patent Bill through the full legislative process, now that it
 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. This bill would usefully bring the US patent system
 more into line with Europe’s in certain respects, but a number of very experienced hands warned
 that a combination of an ill-tempered Congress and entrenched differences between the
 pharmaceutical and computer sectors made completion of the bill unlikely. We’ll see. Meanwhile
 at the Patent Office (USPTO), the new boss David Kappos (an ex-IBM-er) is busily pushing
 through reforms designed to cut the patent clearance backlog and make the operation more
 There are some similarities and many differences between the US and British debates on IP
 issues. The most striking similarity today is the way that political leaders have picked up the
 issue of IP as part of the economic competitiveness and growth agenda. President Obama’s
 State of the Union address homed in on the theme of the competitive challenges facing the
 United States. There’s a conviction that weaknesses in the way the patent system works are
 holding back American enterprise. The Washington debate on copyright is less vivid right now,
 though I noticed some interesting background thinking on enforcement issues. I also sensed
 talking to officials that there’s an absence of an over-arching strategic approach on IP. The
 pressure to develop such an approach, however, is mounting, as is the search for a stronger
 evidential base upon which to base policy judgments: a useful meeting at the National
 Academies enabled us to share notes on the research agenda.

 Back in the UK now, we have another busy week of meetings, starting with a group from UK
 universities and taking in sessions at London’s TechHub, then with Consumer Focus, The
 Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) and the House of Commons Select
 Committee on Culture, Media and Sport.

 I make it 14 working days to the deadline for written submissions to the review.

 Ian Hargreaves

 IP Review Team

 Follow us on Twitter! – @IP_Review_UK

 Find out more about the IP Review here

  Tags: ABPI, advisory, bis, blog, blogging, british embassy, business, call for evidence, cardiff university,
    comments, copyright, culture, david kappos, design, economic competitiveness, event, evidence, FT,
   government, growth, growth agenda, harvard, house of commons, ian hargreaves, independent review,
 innovation, intellectual property, intellectual property office, ip, ip review, ip system, ipo, media and sport,
national academies, panel, patent, patent bill, Ray Snoddy, research, review, select committee, silicon valley,
                      state of the union address, techhub, trade mark, trademark, USPTO
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