Delivering D&I in AIPPI

02 Feb 2024 | Newsletter

Lisa Mueller
Lisa Mueller D&I Committee, (Chair, US)
Saiful Khan
Saiful Khan D&I Committee, (Vice-Chair, UK)

The AIPPI Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee was created after the 2022 AIPPI World Congress in San Francisco, USA, and comprises a diverse group of individuals from around the world. One of the first tasks undertaken by the Committee was to conduct a survey of the AIPPI membership to assess engagement and support for diversity and inclusion issues.  We are pleased to provide a summary of the survey’s findings, as well as objectives the Committee established based on the results of the survey.

The results of the survey revealed a captivating spectrum of viewpoints among the membership.  Most respondents expressed unwavering support for diversity and inclusion within AIPPI. Beyond providing support, a substantial number of respondents indicated that they were actively involved in a variety of diversity and inclusion-related activities. However, a small number of voices expressed a lack of interest in the topic, believing that AIPPI, as an intellectual property-focused organization, should not concern itself with diversity and inclusion. This differing perspective added depth to the discourse, prompting the Committee to consider alternative pathways to engage and educate members of all viewpoints. One interesting insight from the survey was the overwhelming demand for training, education, and awareness on diversity and inclusion issues.  Religion, gender, disability, race, and age emerged as areas of particular interest. This enthusiasm for knowledge showcased a profound desire for growth and understanding among the membership.  Thus, the survey’s findings encapsulated a diverse array of sentiments, from ardent support to reservations, highlighting the complexity and richness of the conversation around diversity and inclusion within AIPPI. These insights catalyzed the Committee’s efforts to support a more inclusive and diverse future for the organization.

In view of these findings, the Committee crafted a comprehensive set of objectives for the next two years. These objectives are designed to significantly enhance diversity and inclusion within AIPPI by proposing actionable steps based on the response to the survey. Additionally, the Committee plans to achieve these objectives under an over-arching theme of “allyship”.  The objectives include:

1. Commitment to Accessibility

The Committee created the “Accessibility” task force to focus on promoting diversity and inclusion within AIPPI. To achieve this objective, the Committee will be proposing a series of actions that not only demonstrate our unwavering commitment to these principles but also enhance accessibility and the quality of life for our members.  The Accessibility task force plans to craft a D&I statement that will be displayed on AIPPI’s official website and is also examining ways to enhance accessibility within AIPPI, such as on the website, social media, and annual and mid-term meetings.

2. Empowerment through Education

The Committee created an “Education” task force to develop a series of regular and recurring educational initiatives, including webinars, blog posts, articles, and more, to enrich the knowledge and awareness of our membership on diversity and inclusion issues.  Watch for the announcement of our first webinar in March/April 2024.

3. Enhancing Collaboration

The Committee created a “Collaboration” task force to focus on engaging in strategic collaborations with key stakeholders, such as, for example, AIPPI national and regional groups, the AIPPI in-house committee, national IP professional bodies (e.g., AIPLA, JPAA, CIPA/CITPMA), GLIPA, IP D&I organizations (e.g., IPInclusive), and international patent offices (e.g., USPTO, EPO, WIPO). The purpose of these collaborations will be to align efforts, build consensus, and share best practices to foster diversity and inclusion worldwide.

The Committee is excited about these objectives and looks forward to working with the membership to create a more inclusive intellectual property community, one where every member feels included, empowered, and valued.