IPO Report Reveals How The Media & Public Perception Has Shaped The IP Landscape

July 4, 2024

Intellectual Property

A new report from the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has shed light on how the United Kingdom’s news reporting on Intellectual Property (IP) rights has evolved over the past ten years and the way in which that has shaped public perception.

At Briffa, we have summarised the findings within the report and provided valuable insight into how the narrative surrounding Intellectual Property has been represented in the media.

Key Findings from the report:

  • Firstly, there has been a significant rise in news articles mentioning “intellectual property” across all major UK news outlets over the last ten years. Notable Increases were observed in 2018 onwards, mainly stemming from Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Discussions surrounding patents have surged, most notably around healthcare based innovations, as well as artificial intelligence. News such as this shines a positive light on the UK’s position at the forefront of global technological challenges and innovations.
  • The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, was the most commonly mentioned person with regard to copyright in the press over the 10 year period. Donald Trump came in second.
  • Reporting on design rights proved complex. Fluctuating coverage highlighted the key challenges that are faced in accurately capturing the nuances of IP rights in the media.
  • There was an intriguing narrative with regard to growing public engagement with IP matters. Notably driven by social media, there was a clear portrayal of news stories highlighting a ‘David vs. Goliath’ narrative in media reports, where public sympathy tended to align with perceived underdogs in disputes.
  • A huge surge in coverage surrounding copyright was seen during 2018 with many articles covering the EU Copyright Directive. Overall spikes in coverage were often seen at times of copyright reform.
  • The Daily Mail was the publication that had the most frequent number of articles pertaining to ‘copyright’, ‘design’, ‘intellectual property’, and ‘patent’.

“The findings of the report underscore the crucial role of media and public perception in shaping the landscape of Intellectual Property in the UK,” – William Miles, Partner of Briffa. 

“With online platforms increasingly holding influence over public discourse, it’s vital for rightsholders and legal practitioners to navigate these narratives strategically.”

The government report calls for further research into the impact of media inaccuracies on public understanding of IP rights and suggests that the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) could play a crucial role in providing greater understanding to journalists through education to enhance public understanding surrounding the complexities of IP law.

This comprehensive analysis not only sheds light on the current state of IP rights in the UK but also charts a path forward for policymakers, legal professionals, and the media to collaboratively enhance public understanding and reporting on IP matters.

For any intellectual property concerns whether it be trade marks, copyrights, or design rights simply contact us at info@briffa.com or on 020 7096 2779.

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