Washington, DC. IIPI is proud to announce that its Chairman, Bruce Lehman, has been inducted into the newly-created Intellectual Property Hall of Fame. The IP Hall of Fame, developed by Intellectual Asset Management magazine with the assistance and support of Computer Patent Annuities Limited Partnership, honors those individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of intellectual property law and practice. The IP Hall of Fame identifies the individuals who have helped to establish intellectual property as one of the key business assets of the 21st century. More information about the Hall of Fame can be found on its website, www.iphalloffame.com. Its aim is “not only to acknowledge the vital role played by these innovators in fostering today’s vibrant IP environment and ensuring its continued health, but also to show how central IP is to the global economy and to the wellbeing of people around the world.”
Bruce Lehman was honored for being the longest-sitting and first activist Commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and for his role as an architect of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He was also noted for his role in helping to negotiate the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Agreement and for founding IIPI in 1999.
The nomination and voting process for the first inductees took place in December 2005 through deliberations of 18 intellectual property specialist panelists from around the world. Twenty three inductees were chosen in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural year; the individuals range from two United States Presidents (Thomas Jefferson who was the first head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office; and James Madison, who is credited with including Article III, Section 8, the patent and copyright clause in the Constitution) to a 19th century French author (Victor Hugo who formed and headed the International Literary Association which drafted the foundational text for the international Berne Convention in 1883, a legal instrument which provides minimum standards for international copyright protection). The IP Hall of Fame plans to develop its nomination process in preparation for next year’s inductees. In its article on the Hall of Fame in its April/May issue, Intellectual Asset Magazine stresses that, without intellectual property, “the world would be a considerably poorer place.”