RTC dinner on Intellectual Property (27 January 2009)

Intellectual Property: A Success Story To Be Extended? Just Desserts or Global Gridlock?

Intellectual Property (IP) can rile information technologists. Some live off IP, or even assert their intellectual rights. Others believe that intellectual rights are bogus. We live in an age of remarkable intellectual property appropriation – copyright, trademarks, patents and commercial secrets grow at an unprecedented rate. However, is this right or appropriate? Do the new owners deserve this property, what might it mean for society, are there alternative ways of governing intellectual property – who wins and who loses? This debate will explore one of the thorniest areas of the modern, global economy and question whether global advancement needs ‘closed source’, or should go increasingly ‘open source’.

Key questions include:

  • Do extended IP rights improve or damage commercial opportunities?
  • Do business start-ups and SME’s understand the true role of IP?

Neil Infield

Neil Infield manages the Business & IP Centre at the British Library. Prior to the British Library Neil was manager of business information and market data at Hermes Pensions Management. Neil has been on a steep learning curve since joining the British Library. Working closely with inventors and innovators, such as Mark Sheahan (Inventor-in-Residence at the British Library), and experts from the Intellectual Property Office, he has developed firm views on the role of IP in entrepreneurship.

Ian Angell

Professor Ian Angell is well-known to the Real Time Club as one of our favourite panellists. He last addressed the Club on ID Cards in 2006. Ian has been Professor of Information Systems at the London School of Economics since 1986. As ever, “the Angell of Doom” has very radical yet constructive views on intellectual property, not least as the Chairman of Creative Commons (England and Wales).

David Bunting

David Bunting is the Chief Executive of Trevor Baylis Brands plc, a company that was set up with Trevor Baylis to provide route-to-market services for Inventors and Entrepreneurs. The business focuses on identifying and protecting novel intellectual property. So far TBB has worked with over 5000 people, and resulted in two books on Invention and IP for the well known ‘Dummies’ series from Wileys. David s a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Fellow of the CMA.

Tony Pluckrose

Tony Pluckrose is a Chartered and European Patent Attorney and a partner since 1994 at Boult Wade Tennant who has also spoken at Real Time Club events. During 20 years of practice Tony has dealt with a diverse range of technologies, from toys and games through medical devices to oil industry engineering. Tony enjoys giving commercial advice to British SMEs, helping them to set IPR strategy and to exploit their IPR commercially, e.g. by licensing.

Michael Mainelli, who will chair proceedings, is a financier and scientist who leads Z/Yen Group in the City as well as being Professor of Commerce at Gresham College.