Andrea Brewster, Immediate Past President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), has received the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to intellectual property.
Among her contributions to the IP sector, Andrea has championed the importance of diversity and inclusivity throughout the IP professions, creating and launching a cross-profession diversity task-force, IP Inclusive, in 2015. She continues to spearhead this initiative, which brings together volunteers from across the IP sector.
Over 100 organisations and businesses have now signed the IP Inclusive Charter, committing them to take practical steps to improve the inclusivity of their businesses.
“I am honoured to receive an OBE for my efforts,” said Andrea.
“The protection and exploitation of intellectual property is an important driver of the economy. Commercial ideas and innovations, once protected, can generate revenue for future investment, and the professionals who help make that happen will be key to the UK’s future success.
“I am proud to have been able to both support businesses’ IP strategies and to help my colleagues in the intellectual property sector become more responsive to businesses’ needs. I have worked with some great and inspirational colleagues over the years and feel that this honour is also recognition for their commitment and enthusiasm, as well as for the strong team spirit within our Chartered Institute.”
Andrea was one of the founding partners of the IP practice Greaves Brewster LLP in Somerset, which she helped to develop into a thriving business until her retirement in 2015. She also served on CIPA’s governing Council for several years before becoming its Vice President in May 2014 and its President in May 2015.
During her presidential year Andrea helped to modernise CIPA by:
- Reconnecting the organisation's leadership with its members through a programme of regional meetings and improved communications
- Encouraging younger members to become involved in CIPA's governing Council
- Improving the profile of patent administrators within the Institute
- Helping to revitalise and professionalise the Institute’s training and continuing professional development programmes, including projects to improve members’ commercial skills and responsiveness to business needs.
In late 2015 Andrea convened an inaugural meeting of representatives of all the UK’s IP professions – solicitors, barristers, patent and trade mark attorneys and civil servants – to plan for a possible Brexit ahead of the EU referendum in June 2016. Important marketing materials for use overseas were produced in the months that followed.
Her commitment to helping UK business make better use of its innovations is demonstrated by her voluntary work with the government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
- Significant contributions to the IPO's IP Audit Plus programme, where the IPO has worked with CIPA members and IP professionals to deliver more than 1,000 audits over 3 years
- A vision for advisors to provide an “IP triage” service to help businesses identify their IP and get the right advice at the right time. A triage tool created in partnership between CIPA and the IPO is currently being trialled
- Support for the IPO's work in stimulating the IP Insurance market, instigating CIPA's development of a list of insurance providers to help businesses meet the cost of legal expenses and allow them to better protect their assets in court.