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Georgia nonprofit launches with aim of protecting statewide intellectual property


The Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance officially launched Monday as a nonprofit designed to serve the state by establishing a better model for creating, protecting and enabling intellectual property.

GIPA has created a coalition of education institutions, world-leading research labs, innovation-focused organizations, companies ranging from Fortune 500s to startups and other creators to collaborate on the initiative. The organization will focus on accelerating the market launch of ideas that serve the common good, while specializing in protecting IP, including patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, according to a news release.

Gov. Nathan Deal officially proclaimed October 2018 as “Intellectual Property Month,” in recognition of GIPA and the critical importance of IP to the growth and success of the state’s economy.

“Intellectual property rights incentivize the advancement of knowledge in high-demand fields and support greater investment in innovation and inventions that produce significant economic returns,” Deal stated in the proclamation.

The GIPA Executive Committee is led by Chairman Scott Frank (President and CEO of AT&T Intellectual Property); Vice Chair Keith Cowan (former President of Strategy & Corporate Development for Sprint); Treasurer Michael Wright (former Vice President of Finance for the Coca-Cola Company); Secretary Michael Hobbs (Partner at Troutman Sanders); and Executive Director Carol Beckham (former Vice President of AT&T Intellectual Property).

The GIPA Board currently has more than 50 members from across the IP ecosystem, including representation from the State of Georgia; Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Technology Association of Georgia; Metro Atlanta Chamber; FinTech Atlanta; Georgia Research Alliance; Emory University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia State University; University of Georgia; Georgia and Atlanta Bars; and Georgia Lawyers for the Arts. Additional members include more than a dozen law firms, corporations, consultants and inventors.

“GIPA is honored to collaborate with business and civic leaders from across the state’s strong IP ecosystem,” Frank said in a statement. “This alliance will further enhance Georgia’s success in the global economy and inspire new creativity for decades to come.”