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INTA Releases Think Tank Report on the Financial Sustainability of Intellectual Property Offices

25-Feb-2024 | Source : The International Trademark Association (INTA) | Visits : 894

NEW YORK - In the next installment in a series of think tank projects facilitated by the International Trademark Association (INTA), the Association announced the release of the Financial Sustainability Considerations for the Intellectual Property Office of the Future Report. Authored by the Intellectual Property (IP) Office of the Future Think Tank, the Report details the proactive steps IP offices can take now to achieve and maintain financial sustainability and to evolve and thrive in the future, according to the official website of INTA. 

Facilitated by INTA, the IP Office of the Future Think Tank convened for this project comprises a team of 14 independent experts representing different regions, office sizes, and development levels of the jurisdictions these offices serve, and includes current and former heads of IP offices from Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, France, Ghana, India, Namibia, Norway, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Their combined expertise is reflected in the range of approaches and best practices in areas of strategic management shared throughout the Report.

“In a globalized, innovation-driven economy, IP offices must constantly strive to maintain their efficiency and effectiveness in managing titles. This Report draws on the collective experience of the authors to suggest ways forward,” said Pascal Faure, Director General, Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (France).

While recognizing the existence of different IP office operating models and taking into consideration the economic cycles and industry trends in the use of IP rights, this Report examines the fundamental requirements for financial sustainability and how these can be achieved and maintained, allowing IP offices to both execute existing mandates as well as plan for and thrive in future scenarios.

David J. Kappos, Director at the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 2009 to 2013, noted: “This Report provides highly practical information and guidance for IP offices of all sizes and circumstances, aimed at improving the ability to manage the very challenging economics of operating an IP office in the dynamic and unpredictable 21st century global economy.”

Recognizing that not all issues discussed are applicable to every IP office, given the differences in their financial models, the Report explores a range of topics and strategies relating to the financial sustainability of IP offices across seven chapters:

Chapter 1 describes the range of financial models currently in use across IP offices.
Chapter 2 explores the importance of financial autonomy and stability required for IP offices to remain financially sustainable and to fulfill their statutory mandates.
Chapter 3 explores the strategic components of successful fees and the strategic components to ensure sustainability in a dynamic environment.
Chapter 4 examines trends and forecasting in market demand and setting appropriate fees.
Chapter 5 explores the range of potential cross-subsidies an IP office may need to consider, as well as their implications.
Chapter 6 looks at how longer-term game changers such as technology, evolving preferences, and disruption are continually at play.
Chapter 7 outlines some strategies to consider when adjusting fees.

“Being financially sustainable is essential for an IP office to deliver its core services and plan for future investments to encourage innovation and creativity,” said Rena Lee, Chief Executive, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Singapore). “I hope that IP offices can derive useful insights from this new Report.”

This Report builds on the IP Office of the Future Think Tank Report. Published in 2020, this initial think tank report explores three key themes: the evolution of the IP system, future challenges and opportunities, and the key features that an IPO of the future should have. It was subsequently republished in 2022 with a companion checklist that distills its recommendations into a concise format that can be easily discussed and applied. Completing the set of think tank reports published so far are the IP Law Firms of the Future—Think Tank Report and In-House Practice of the Future Think Tank Report, both published in 2020. Most recently, the IP Judiciary of the Future—Think Tank Video Series (published in 2024) explores the pivotal role the judiciary plays in reflecting the evolving landscape of IP rights.

Adam Williams, Chief Executive and Comptroller General, United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK) noted, “This Report is a great resource for new and existing Heads of IP offices the world over. It also provides valuable insight for decision-makers in Central Government finance ministries to help them understand the variables, opportunities, and challenges that shape IP Office finances.”

“We continue to live through volatile times with crises around the world impacting the global economy and the financial health of all organizations, including IP offices. This Report provides all IP offices with a solid foundation for building and sustaining their financial health, to the benefit of brand owners and professionals everywhere,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “On behalf of INTA’s global membership—the office users—thank you to the Think Tank participants for undertaking this research.”

Looking ahead to INTA’s upcoming Annual Meeting, the IP Office of the Future Think Tank will host a session focused on this report on Monday, May 20, at 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm. The 2024 Annual Meeting will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, May 18–22.


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