Excerpt from Teaching of Intellectual Property: Principles and Methods For many decades, intellectual property
Intellectual Property was the exclusive domain of a small number of specialist lawyers, who had generally acquired their IP expertise from working in IP-based companies or representing clients with IP-related problems. At best they might have had an introductory IP course during their legal studies. Such was the state of IP education until relatively recently.
On-the-job training was, therefore, necessary to supplement the limited opportunities to learn about IP offered by academic institutions. One such avenue has been national and regional IP offices (Patent Office, Trademark Office, Copyright Office), particularly those where the relevant laws require substantive examination of patent applications and/or administrative appeals.
Those offices often set up internal training facilities to provide IP specific courses for their staff, often to very specialized levels. The training was initially for primary education in IP, after which the trained staff was deployed to specific functions within the office, for further on the job training. In some countries, after several years of services at an IP office, a number of such trained staff have left to join law firms or other IP-related businesses. This means that IP training programs at IP offices have contributed to the development of IP skilled human resources by constantly supplying experienced experts to the private sector.
Though one could argue that this rather ad hoc form of IP education used to be sufficient, the acceleration in the use of the IP system and the importance IP has attained, on a global scale, has created a demand for more and better trained IP professionals, far beyond that which this rather limited approach could provide. While the following sections will illustrate the extent of that demand and how an attempt is being made to address lacunae in meeting it, it is clear that opportunities for IP education are still limited both in the scope, beneficiaries and availability of IP programs.
IP issues have, for decades, been researched and discussed, on many occasions and in many different contexts, including national debates on revising and updating national IP laws, and debates in national and international form on international IP treaties and conventions.
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This site is an attempt to show the landscape of currently available IP educational opportunities. To add programs, please email Professor Jon Cavicchi at:
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