IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Survey of intellectual property teaching
Author: [UK Centre for Legal Education]


Year: 2005


Subject/Type: IP Knowledge
Focus: Outreach / Education
Country/Territory: Australia, United Kingdom
Objective: To learn about the extent of intellectual property teaching in engineering faculties.
Sample: A small group of British and Australian engineering professors
Methodology: Survey

Main Findings

British and Australian engineering professors consider a wide array of persons "best to teach intellectual property (IP) law", including: people with legal backgrounds (university lawyers, patent attorneys, and IP law academics), technology/knowledge transfer office staff, engineering academics, and local businesspersons. Preferred delivery styles and resources for IP teaching are: lectures, course notes and handouts, government texts, case studies, UK Patent Office and other web-based resources, games, and lecturers materials.

According to the professors surveyed, every engineering graduate should at least have the following knowledge about IP: a broad understanding of IP; awareness of implications surrounding disclosure and confidentiality, and of linkages between IP, innovation and business development; awareness of cultural differences between academic research and business environments; and general knowledge (how not to be taken advantage of in IP matters, whom to ask for advice, where to find information).

Students at a more sophisticated level should, inter alia, have the following IP knowledge: "what goes into a patent application and why"; relevance of patents; non disclosure agreements; (inter)national IP issues; offensive and defensive patent strategies; IP commercialisation and exploitation; and open source licensing and other "alternative" regimes.

Particular attention was drawn to the fact that teaching should not be uncritical (especially concerning patents) and involve role models and case studies. The ideal learning outcome will consist of the acquisition of a mixture of attitude, competence and knowledge regarding IP.

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]