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Reviewed 7 February 2011

IPO appoints new Chairman to its Steering Board

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has announced the appointment of Bob Gilbert as the new Chair of its Steering Board.

The role of our Intellectual Property Office Steering Board is to advise Ministers, through our Director General, Sir Adrian Smith, on our Corporate Plan and performance (including targets).

The Steering Board also provides guidance from a commercial standpoint on our operation and development across a range of issues.

Intellectual Property Office Chief Executive John Alty welcomed Bob's commencement stating:

"Bob's appointment coincides with the development of our Corporate Strategy and his wide experience will enable the Steering Board to develop their role in ensuring efficiency and value throughout the organisation. I look forward to  working with Bob on an exciting agenda to ensure the IPO is best in class across its policy, delivery and advisory functions."

Bob Gilbert is a corporate lawyer. For 30 years he was a partner and latterly Deputy Senior Partner of Wragge &.Co, the Birmingham law firm. He is currently Chairman of the Paintbox Group of automotive engineering companies.

He has held many non-executive appointments as chairman of both private and publicly quoted companies as well as chairing bodies in the public sector.

In 2004 he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Industry to chair the government's Motor Sport Development Board, and was until recently Chairman of Nominet, the .UK domain name registry.

His career has given him exposure to a range of IP issues and international experience of commercial and industrial enterprise. Bob approaches challenges with a hands on style, and is very keen to help the IPO deliver its strategic vision.

Speaking about his appointment to the Intellectual Property Office Steering Board today, Bob Gilbert said:

“Intellectual Property is essential for ideas, knowledge and creativity to deliver growth. The IPO Strategy will deliver benefits for the economy and society. I am looking forward to getting stuck in and making a difference to the contribution of the Steering Board in making this reality”.

Editors notes

  • During the last 12 months, the Steering Board has provided advice and guidance on a wide range of topics, such as our Corporate Plan, Agency Targets, Intellectual Property Policy, Accounts and Risk Management.
  • The Steering Board will meet six times a year from April. Its membership will now consist of:

    Bob Gilbert, Chair
    Independent board member
    Non-Executive Chairman of Paintbox Group

    David Roberts
    Independent board member
    Ex-Senior Vice President of IP at Glaxo SmithKline
    Chairman, Stratagem IPM Ltd

    Mary Champion
    Independent board member
    Freelance IT Management Consultant (previously Vice President at Capgemini)

    Sir Adrian Smith External Link
    Director General of Knowledge and Innovation, BIS
    A member from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills

    Sir Anthony Pigott
    Independent board member
    Chairman of a Defence/Security Strategic consultancy firm (FutureWins)

    Gary Austin
    Independent board member
    Chief executive of a2om International

    John Alty
    Chief Executive Officer, Intellectual Property Office

  • Members of the Intellectual Property Office Executive Board also attend meetings, though they are not formally members of the Steering Board.
  • Minutes of recent Steering Board meetings are available on the IPO website or you can e-mail E-mail Secretariat to request copies.
  • The Intellectual Property Office is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) External Link and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  • Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge based economy.
  • It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to IP to which the United Kingdom is a party.
  • For further information, please contact Intellectual Property Office Press Officer Emma Griffiths on 020 7215 5982 or E-mail communications.

Date of release: 7 February 2011