IP Champion Award 2021

5th July 2021

Tuesday 29th June 2021 marked the 6th annual British IP Day, a celebration that showcases a range of innovative businesses, creators and sectors whose creativity is underpinned by Intellectual Property (IP).

 

Once again, our celebrations took place virtually but as the economy begins to re-open post-lockdown, we are keen to show how IP-rich businesses and creativity can make a positive contribution to the post pandemic economic recovery.

 

Across the UK there are individuals, businesses, and organisations who work to promote and protect intellectual property (IP), enabling British innovation and creativity to thrive. The Alliance for Intellectual Property’s IP Champion Award aims to recognise these efforts by rewarding a person, initiative, service or organisations that help in the protection or promotion of IP. The award is given to the winner each year on British IP Day, normally at a reception on the terrace of the House of Common but this year was awarded virtually.

 

Awarded Champions 2021:

  • Nick Kounoupias, Chief Legal Counsel, Anti-Copying in Design (ACID)

 

  • Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive, BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize

Nick Kounoupias, Chief Legal Counsel, Anti Copying in Design (ACID)

Alongside Lavinia Carey, the Alliance’s Honorary President, Nick Kounoupias co-founded the Alliance for Counterfeiting & Piracy, what we know now as the Alliance for IP, as a means to provide a unified voice for rights owners.

For the past 10 years, Nick has been a leading voice for designers and design law reform as Chief Legal Counsel for Anti-Copying in Design (ACID). He has been a champion for the campaign to provide designers with equivalent protection to other rights holders.

In 2002 Nick drafted the Copyright and Trade Mark (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002 via a Private Members’ Bill, which increased the prison sentence from 2 to 10 years for copyright infringement.

Additionally, Nick campaigned and succeeded in ensuring that criminal provisions were introduced for the intentional infringement of IP theft. The positive effects of this can already be seen with a noticeable change in the number of registered design issues (70% to 30%), supporting the idea that it has a deterring effect.

It is without a doubt that Nick has contributed significantly in the investment and protection of IP. His continued efforts and tireless work is recognised and is a worthy reason to earn the IP Champion Award.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive, BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize

Geoff Taylor has been an effective champion for IP rights and has acted as the lifeblood of the music industry for many years. As BPI’s CEO, Geoff has worked tirelessly campaigning on behalf of music, whether it be combatting piracy or seeking improvements to the IP and copyright regime.

Geoff has also applied his extensive skills and expertise in chairing the Creative Industry Council’s IP Sub-group and leading its work in developing voluntary codes of practice between the major technology platforms and rights holder to help reduce infringing activity either taking place on, or being facilitated by, those platforms.

As chair of the roundtables, Geoff’s role has been significant, covering multiple strands including search, social media and online marketplaces. The inherent tensions between rights holders and platforms mean that the process has been complex and sensitive to lead; however, Geoff has brought together these industries, achieving tangible outcomes in a number of significant areas whilst maintaining enormous professionalism, leadership and dedication.

The roundtable process is still ongoing, but they have achieved some notable and positive outcomes, with good progress on search, marketplaces and social media. The process has demonstrated many valuable lessons for future policy development and shown that different industries can be brought together through strong leadership and collaboration – Geoff has shown both these characteristics and his exemplary effort is recognised by the IP Champion Award.

Read more about previous IP Champion winners here.