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Survey of international best practices in intellectual property information dissemination

By William MacDougall

Abstract

The Information Branch of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is responsible for disseminating information on intellectual property (IP) through its Outreach Program. As a basis for developing this program, CIPO engaged a consultant group to establish benchmarks against international best practices in IP awareness, promotion and education as part of a strategy to establish a strategic direction, or framework, that would facilitate this task. This article sets out the approach to this project, the written survey questionnaire generated, the results and the implications for CIPO's Outreach Program. The questionnaire was distributed to a limited number of Intellectual Property Outreach Organisations (IP Offices and the European Commission) around the world, including CIPO itself, to obtain information on key program activities, key targeted clients, key strategic partners and related program design details. For comparison purposes, the same questionnaire was also sent to a small number of other Canadian "Non-IP" Organisations in order to learn more about their information dissemination practices. The responses, while containing varying degrees of completeness, when combined with other available research material, provided useful comparisons with current and planned CIPO dissemination strategies. Top-ranked programs include Internet Web site information, Customer Call Centres, publications and speaking engagements. Broad conclusions are that CIPO's major programs and key clients closely parallel those of the other IP Outreach Organisations. Top-ranked key clients include small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the general public, inventors, large business and industry associations. Top-ranked strategic partners include other government departments and agencies. The additional research provided an inventory of other, unique programs. However, the responses did not provide the conclusive data on program design criteria, performance measurement or information dissemination resource allocations that were anticipated.Information dissemination Canadian Intellectual Property Office International best practice Benchmarking IP Outreach program Survey questionnaire Survey results Activity/client matrix Targeted clients Strategic partners SMEs Internet web site Customer call centre.

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