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Reviewed 14 September 2011
Alison Brimelow receives her award

Award for Chair of Intellectual Property Institute

Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Wilcox, today congratulated Alison Brimelow, Chair of the Intellectual Property Institute, and former President of the European Patent Office (EPO), after she was honoured by the German Federal Government with the award of the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit (Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz).

In a ceremony in Berlin, the State Secretary of the Federal Minister of Justice, Dr Birgit Grundmann, made particular mention of Alison Brimelow's pioneer role as the first woman President of the EPO and her achievements in reforming and guiding the Office through a time of financial crisis, as well as her personal engagement in the life of her adopted city of Munich.

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was instituted in 1951 by Federal President Theodor Heuss. It is the only honour that may be awarded in all fields of endeavour and is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation.

Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said:

"It is fantastic to see a former British civil servant get this prestigious recognition. Alison has made a huge contribution to the field of intellectual property law over a number of years."

Notes for editors

  • The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) 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 Intellectual Property (IP) to which the United Kingdom is a party.
  • Alison Brimelow was appointed Chair of the Intellectual Property Institute from April 2011. From 2004-2010 she was President-elect and then President of the European Patent Office. From 1999-2003 she was Comptroller General and Chief Executive of the UK Patent Office (now the IPO). She joined the UK Patent Office in 1991, where she became Head of the Trade Mark Registry in 1993. From 1997-1999 she was Director European and International Competition Policy at the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI). Other posts included European Trade Policy at the DTI, and Deputy Director, Top Management Programme at the Cabinet Office.
  • For further information, please contact Joe Upton on 0207 215 5969.

Date of release: 14 September 2011