IP Federation Review

This year the IP Federation held a Best Practice Workshop where members discussed and shared details of their DEI policies and procedures to identify and establish best practices. The Best Practice Workshop covered two areas – internal policies and external policies with suppliers. It was clear that there was a wide disparity between the policies and practices of our members and that while many have well developed systems and procedures, some members’ policies and practices are still in development. It was agreed that the workshop should be repeated to ensure continued sharing of best practice as learnings and feedback developed.

The Senior Leaders’ Pledge for in-house attorneys, developed last year, needs further promotion and adoption. The Pledge will now be available on the IP Inclusive website to encourage in-house professionals, such as representatives of IP Federation members, to adopt it.

The IP Federation’s DEI Working Group has now established its own web presence on the IP Federation website.

This gives members a chance to be brought up to date on the Working Group’s efforts, as well as being able to reference the DEI objectives for IP Federation members. The webpage also provides links to IP Inclusive and explains how the IP Federation DEI Working Group is working with IP Inclusive to provide best practice guidance and networking opportunities for members. The page will be regularly updated to reflect current activities and opportunities.

In February 2023, Bobby Mukherjee (BAE Systems) and Sally Bannan (Cytiva) represented the IP Federation at the Senior Leaders’ Diversity Think Tank arranged by IP Inclusive, explaining what corporate clients are looking for in EDI terms from outside counsel.

Managing IP’s European Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit in June 2023 included a fire-side chat looking at diversity in the IP industry and how DEI efforts can be improved. The IP Federation was pleased to support this discussion with representatives Bobby Mukherjee (BAE Systems plc and former IP Federation President 2012–2014) and Matthew Hitching (Canon and IP Federation President 2022–2023) taking part.

In July 2023, IP Inclusive launched a highly successful outreach campaign called “Summer of IP” through its Careers in Ideas initiative. The campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the wide breadth of IP-related careers and encouraging wider interest in the sector, included a series of events and taster activities for interested parties. The IP Federation has supported this initiative, and DEI Working Group members Gordon Harris (Gowling) and Julie Browne (Shell) took part in a webinar panel session along with Connor Yap (Astra Zeneca) and Noyemie Sahakian (GSK) to explore the approaches, challenges and opportunities of working as an in-house IP professional.

In August 2023, Ruth Wright (BT) represented the IP Federation on a panel with other patent attorneys, sharing experiences of routes into and through the profession with students on In2scienceUK’s summer programme.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is central to the work of the IP Federation and its members. We are committed to making the intellectual property (IP) professions more inclusive for all those who have the aptitude and passion for IP, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, wealth or background.



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  • DEI