The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) is pleased to announce the launch of its World Museums & Economic Development series.

Dr. Michael S. Shapiro, Secretary and General Counsel of the IIPI and co-author of the recent American Association of Museums book, A Museum Guide to Copyright and Trademark, will serve as director of the series.

The first project in the World Museums & Economic Development series is the development of a tool kit for museums in the developing world, including the drafting of a suite of intellectual property licenses for museums. The purpose of the tool kit is to assist museums to disseminate cultural heritage information and to increase earned income in support of their missions.

Bruce A. Lehman, President and CEO of IIPI and former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks stated: “As museums around the globe encounter complex intellectual property problems in the digital environment, the IIPI has received numerous requests for assistance. This project will provide much needed help and will demonstrate how museums around the world can use the intellectual property system for social, cultural and economic development.”

To ensure that the tools being developed by IIPI reflect the most current and pressing needs of the museum field, IIPI invites comments and questions on contemporary licensing issues (either print or electronic) from museums in the developing world. Although every effort will be made to address these issues in the tool kit, the IIPI cannot respond to requests for specific legal advice nor answer every inquiry. Comments and questions should be sent to