Are innovation, technology, knowledge and intellect not considered worthy of public honours? A search of these words on this year’s New Year’s Honours list reveals very slim pickings.
IP Draughts is glad to see that Andrew Bud has received a CBE for services to exports in science and technology. He had some dealings with Andrew several years ago, and was impressed by his approach.
Professor Ian Weeks of Cardiff University has won an OBE for services to knowledge transfer and to medical innovation.
And that’s about it. Searches for intellectual property, patents, copyright and trade marks reveal nothing.
Searches for law reveal numerous people involved in criminal law, including civil servants and police officers, but very few people involved in civil law.
An award in the field of law was made to someone who might, just about, qualify as part of the IP world. But the field is so ancient that it predates the first IP laws by several centuries: the hallmarking of precious metals. Robert Grice obtained an MBE for services to hallmarking law. He has been a leading light behind the Touchstone Awards. To quote from some blurb on the trading standards website:
Sponsored by the British Hallmarking Council and the UK’s four Assay Offices, the award celebrates local authorities and individuals for their dedicated efforts in pursuing hallmarking fraudsters.
The absence of significant numbers of awards in the innovation and IP fields, and more widely in civil (non-criminal) law, suggests that these areas are viewed as private, rather than public, concerns. But successive governments have made lots of positive statements about the importance of these areas to the UK economy. There seems to be a ‘disconnect’.
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