Non-profit organization aiming for IP without borders

23 May 2023

Non-profit organization aiming for IP without borders

The Global Intellectual Property Alliance (GLIPA), a non-profit organization established in October 2022, is aiming for greater knowledge of intellectual property by more people around the world, from farmers to inventors and creators to students and small business owners, or simply “IP without borders.”

GLIPA, mainly composed of lawyers and IP professionals, is targeting to do this via a webpage that will provide simple and comprehensive access to online IP educational resources from all over the globe in just five clicks. Not only will the webpage be an aggregate of existing online IP resources, the collection will be organized and focused, unlike most IP material in the internet. As such, users, including those who are clueless about IP, will be able to easily and conveniently access IP information that they need.

“As I understand, this will be focused so that you will be directed to whatever it is in your context, whether it’s women, young people, judges and so on. We want to be, what I call, IP without borders. It’s about the fact that practically everybody in the world is entitled to know about IP and its value,” explained Henry Wheare, a partner at Nixon Peabody in Hong Kong and chair of GLIPA’s education and awareness committee in Asia.

Wheare was one of the speakers at a GLIPA members’ meeting at the Singapore Cricket Club, held on the sidelines of the 2023 INTA Annual Meeting Live+ in the island country and city-state on May 18, 2023.

“As we jump into the endgame, even now, existing users of IP don’t quite know where to find the resources. So students will go on to Google, and they’ll find WIPO. That has a lot of information, but it’s very unfocused,” noted Wheare.

“So what we’re trying to do is bring this information into one space, which is our website. You’ll be able to go country by country then you’ll be able to draw down and find out where to find the answer. We won’t put all the answers on the website. If you’re a farmer and you want to know about agricultural seeds or something that has to do with patents or whether your crops are protected in some way, this is where you go,” he added.

GLIPA aims to undertake this initiative through crowdsourcing among its members. To date, GLIPA has more than 300 active members spanning over 63 countries.  But, for now, growing its membership is top of mind as the organization tries to attract more judges, university students, industry players and others into its fold.

One of its global priorities for 2023 is to include all international and regional IP organizations in its members’ circle.

Another goal is to have one project for each of the three pillars that GLIPA is anchored on in the coming year. These three pillars are awareness and education, ecosystem collaboration and IP diversity and inclusion. The organization hopes to grow this one-project-per-pillar initiative over the years.

“We’re trying to identify the gaps. There’s a huge amount of things that already exist out there. There are gaps in terms of education, knowledge, in terms of the people who subscribe to these organizations,” said Wheare.

He added: “This is not about making money. This is about getting the knowledge out there so that people understand the economic value of IP. Lawyers already understand that, but the clients often don’t.”





 - Espie Angelica A. De Leon

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