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IP in education discussed at OHIM Observatory

8-9 March in OHIM’s Alicante h.q. Professor Ruth Soetendorp, as expert co-ordinator,  co-moderated a conference of the OHIM Observatory held to plan implementation of the findings of the IP in Education research project.

The objective of the research was to analyse how IP rights, and associated quasi IP, are being taught in Primary and Secondary schools throughout the 28 EU Member states.  Connections between IP education and 5 specific learning areas considered essential for enhancing creativity innovation and social values were studied in depth.  Results were benchmarked against analysis of non-EU countries ranked most innovative in the 2014 Global Innovation Index.
The main findings were that IP is not a stand-alone subject, but is integrated in different subject areas throughout all educational levels.  Copyright constitutes the most commonly referenced IP right within the official school curricula, and the ratio of teaching IP rights at primary level is higher in non-EU countries than EU, where IP appears mostly at upper secondary vocational level.  Good IP education practice, where it occurs, is often the result of extra curricular activity, invariably in private-public collaborations between stakeholders and Ministries of Education or Culture.
The conference heard about a range of EU member state and non-EU country experiences, as well as from Directorate General for Education and Culture.  Examples were shared of good practice,  plus case studies of resources including UKIPO’s Cracking Ideas and computer games from Portugal and Italy designed to promote understanding of anti-piracy.
The conference concluded with the resolve to support teachers, educators, education managers and education ministries in promoting IP education across the member states.