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British IP Day: 25 years of the Alliance for IP

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The Alliance for IP was established in 1998. It is a UK-based coalition of organisations representing IP-rich businesses and creators – organisations who are all vital to our economy. IPO CEO Adam Williams marks British IP Day – and Alliance for IP’s 25th anniversary event - by looking at the value the organisation and its members contribute as a cornerstone of the UK’s IP environment.

British IP Day is a celebration of the richness that innovation and creativity bring to our society, culture and the economy, and the pivotal role of intellectual property (IP) in facilitating and protecting UK ingenuity.  

British IP Day

This year, we have much to celebrate. From the continuing success of our world-renowned creative industries to our support for the rapidly emerging artificial intelligence (AI) revolution, the IPO continues to build an environment in which these established and emerging sectors can thrive.  

And supporting these sectors is crucial for fulfilling the government’s ambition of growing the economy, and creating better-paying jobs and opportunities right across the country.  

The UK creative industries contribute more than £100 billion to the economy, and UK brands and creator content, spanning film, television, music, and the arts and design sector continue to leave their unique mark on a global scale.  

AI has also been leaving its mark as it revolutionises the way we work and think. The UK’s investment and activity in the field of AI has been ranked third in the world, employing more than 50,000 people and contributing around £4 billion to our economy. 

Our mission in the IPO is to create a UK IP system that is balanced, accessible and effective, and encourages creativity and innovation to support the government’s ambition. The UKs IP system consistently ranks as one of the best in the world and gives creators, inventors, and entrepreneurs the confidence and incentive to protect their work and reap the rewards. 

But British IP Day is not just about the work we do in IPO, or the UK’s IP system. This is a celebration of all those who play a crucial role in championing and supporting the IP rights of creators, innovators, investors, and businesses.  

At the forefront of this mission is the Alliance for IP, who turned the idea of British IP Day into a reality back in 2016. The Alliance is a UK-based coalition of 21 organisations representing IP-rich businesses and creators, who are vital to our economy. And this year also marks their 25th anniversary. 

The Alliance formed in 1998, back when Apple introduced the first iMac, Furbies felt like the cutting edge of robotics, Titanic was sweeping the Oscars, and the IPO was still known as The Patent Office. The Alliance brought together those that both rely on and support the UK’s IP system to ensure IP rights are valued and protected in the UK.  

A quarter of a century later, the Alliance and its members are a cornerstone of the UK’s IP environment and provide a consistent and effective voice for IP. They have made sure there has been constructive and visible parliamentary support for the IP system. They have influenced policy, championed initiatives to tackle counterfeiting and piracy, and frequently worked closely with the IPO on a range of issues to make sure the IP system that continues to function effectively, and supports creativity and diversity through the books, films, music, design and sports that we love. 

As the IPO strives to deliver world-class IP services and build a world-leading IP environment for the benefit of everyone in the UK, we cannot underestimate the key role that all our partners play in helping us to deliver on our ambitions.  

While I will not be able to attend the Alliance’s parliamentary reception this year as I will be championing the importance of the UK IP system at the WIPO General Assemblies in Geneva, I want to thank them for their unwavering support for the UK’s IP system and wish them a very happy birthday, and another marvellous British IP Day! 

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