Twice a year, the UK state recognises outstanding contributions to society through national awards. Known as the New Year’s Honours, and the Queen’s Birthday Honours, these awards come in different ranks and classes. There are civil lists and military lists, home and overseas, and a personal list for loyal servants of the Queen.
There are the most important honours, such as the Order of Merit (limited to 24 individuals), Companion of Honour (limited to 65 individuals) and knighthoods of various kinds. Most award recipients receive one of the different classes of the Order of the British Empire – the name now seems quaint. In order of rank, you might be made a GBE, KBE/DBE, CBE, OBE, MBE or BEM. In this traditional, hierarchical world, concepts such as egalitarianism and flat organisations have yet to make their presence felt.
Today’s Birthday Honours List includes several people from the world of IP and commercialisation.
Professor Ruth Annand has been awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to intellectual property. Professor Annand is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol and is, or was, an “Appointed Person” – a judge who hears trade mark appeals. She was also, for many years, the host of the IP Diploma course that was run at the University of Bristol until her retirement, and is now run at the University of Oxford.
Colin Adams is a recently-retired Director of Commercialisation at the University of Edinburgh. He has been awarded a CBE for services to innovation and entrepreneurship.
And last, but certainly not least, is Andrea Brewster, former President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, prime mover behind the IP Inclusive initiative, and author of the only bit of the CIPA Journal that IP Draughts reads carefully – the humorous Secret Diary. Andrea has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to intellectual property.
Congratulations to all of you!