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Archived updates for Friday, January 20, 2006

Join the IP Corp of the PIIPA

Thanks to The IPKat for pointing us to PIIPA (Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, Inc.), an international non-profit organization that makes intellectual property counsel available for developing countries and public interest organizations who seek to promote health, agriculture, biodiversity, science, culture, and the environment. According to their website, PIIPA has three main activities:
  1. expanding a worldwide network of IP professional volunteers (the IP Corps);
  2. operating a processing center where assistance seekers can apply to find individual volunteers or teams who can provide advice and representation as a public service (free or pro bono); and
  3. building a resource center with information for professionals and those seeking assistance.

Volunteer to join the IP Corps of intellectual property (IP) professional volunteers (attorneys, agents, licensing specialists, and others specializing in IP matters) who agree to put their services to good use for global communities.

Apply for assistance from IP professionals who are willing and able to assist.

Browse their IP Resources.

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Blogger Bill Heinze said...

Subject: RE: I/P Updates Weekly
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 11:01:43
From: "Gollin, Michael A."
CC: "Steve Price"

I read your newsletter with interest each week and so was pleased to see the item re PIIPA, below. I linked to IPKat and posted the following blog response to their questions.

Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors (PIIPA)
IPKat, thanks for your attention. I am founder and chair of PIIPA, and saw the link to this point on I/P Updates Weekly. Here are some answers to IPKat's questions:

Q: Who is PIIPA?
A: see

Q1. Where does PIIPA get its backing from, financially and politically?
A1. PIIPA was founded in 2002 by an international group of volunteers and has received support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health, the Smithsonian Institution, and Venable LLP, the Washington DC law firm where I am a partner and pro bono volunteer for PIIPA.

Q2. What is PIIPA's standing with WIPO, WTO and other international organisations that take an active part in IP matters?
A2. PIIPA was incorporated under US law and qualified as a 501(c)(c) tax exempt charitable organization. WIPO awarded PIIPA permanent observer status. PIIPA includes representatives from numerous international organizations on its International Advisory Committee and there is widespread recognition that the PIIPA Survey will provide the first objective, global, grassroots measure of the specific needs for public interest intellectual property assistance in the developing world. The results will be made publicly available through presentations and publications and should help PIIPA and policy makers direct resources to where they are most needed.

Q3. Whatever happened to PIIPA's 2005 Survey - and to what use will the 2006 Survey be put?
A3. The 2005 Survey was used as a test and had a surprisingly high response rate (over 100% due to email forwarding). There were over 100 responses, identifying about 60 developing country organizations that might need pro bono intellectual property assistance, and about 30 specific projects where help is needed.
Q4. Has any reader actively benefited from any PIIPA activity, or does anyone know of someone who has?
A4. PIIPA has improved access to justice in over 50 projects pending or completed. Some are summarized on the website and in PIIPA's newsletters. PIIPA volunteers have helped NGOs and developing country agencies with negotiating agreements, conducting freedom to operate opinions, asserting rights, challenging patents, and other projects involving all the sectors (including health, biodiversity, traditional knowledge and agriculture). The results of the PIIPA Survey will show that a massive expansion of the global pro bono effort is required to meet demand. Volunteers and applicants seeking assistance are encouraged to visit

Michael A. Gollin
Venable LLP
575 7th Street, N.W. | Washington, DC 20004-1601

January 23, 2006 11:10 AM  

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