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Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, Inc. (PIIPA) is an international nonprofit organization that provides pro bono intellectual property (IP) legal counsel to organizations, businesses, indigenous people, and public interest organizations in developing countries who seek to promote health, agriculture, biodiversity, science, culture, and the environment.
Intellectual property laws, like all legal systems, work best when everyone has opportunity to access the legal system and receive the protections of these laws. The problem is that only a fraction of the world’s population currently has the knowledge and/or means necessary to access the intellectual property legal system and use these laws.
The modern economy is knowledge based economy and relies not only on physical property rights but also on intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights are exclusive rights over creations of the mind. These include inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.
The world economy has come to depend on IP goods - from airplanes to business software, and from pharmaceuticals to cell phones. In many ways, intellectual property rights play a similar role to physical property rights. Secure intellectual property rights create incentives for innovation just as secure property rights create incentives for production.
PIIPA was created to address the intellectual property inequities that exist between the haves and the have not’s of the global economy.
- Operating a matchmaking service where assistance seekers can apply to find individual volunteers or teams who can provide advice and representation on IP matters.
- Expanding a worldwide network of IP professional volunteers - the IP Corps - to provide pro bono services
- Maintaining an online resource center with information for professionals, students, and those seeking assistance.
- Created a network of 400+ pro bono IP experts in 49 countries
- Coordinated pro bono support for 100 clients in over 30 developing countries
- Valuation of donated expertise and in-kind services over USD $1M
- Conducted a global survey to determine the worldwide need for pro-bono intellectual property assistance
- Organized symposium on the 'Need for Pro bono Intellectual Property Assistance in Developing Countries’
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