Awardees Recognized for Efforts to Promote Innovation and Protect IP Rights Across America and the Globe
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) last night hosted the 5th annual IP Champions event to showcase intellectual property’s economic and cultural impact. At the gala, GIPC announced that it will rebrand to be known as the Global Innovation Policy Center.
“This rebranding more accurately reflects the wide breadth of work the center encompasses,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of GIPC. “We’re charging forward to provide greater opportunities through strong and fair polices of all sorts that protect and promote IP-driven innovation and creativity.”
The IP Champions Gala brought together a wide array of industries to celebrate those who generate jobs, encourage innovation and creativity, ensure safety, and promote access to new creations.
“We’re fortunate to live in an era where IP-driven innovation is changing our lives for better every day, delivering everything from miraculous new cures to creative content at the touch of a button,” said Hirschmann. “The protection of intellectual property incentivizes innovation and entrepreneurship in science, technology, and even art to deliver the latest and greatest products and services. Even as we celebrate all that IP does to improve our lives, we urge policymakers to ensure we continue to incentivize more investments in innovation and creativity.”
In addition to improving lives through innovation, IP plays a major role in America’s economy. IP-intensive industries directly employ over 45 million American workers and drive over $6 trillion worth of total U.S. GDP.
Headlining the event was legendary guitarist Billy Gibbons, best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of rock band ZZ Top. Gibbons shared insights gleaned over the last 40 years about the changing IP landscape and treated attendees to an exclusive performance, including renditions of “La Grange” and “Sharp Dressed Man.”
Below is the full list of awardees and their contribution to promoting or protecting IP:
IP Champion for Excellence in Enforcement: DHS Operation Engine Newity
Operation Engine Newity is managed by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Operation targets counterfeit auto parts that threaten consumer health and safety. Investigations under Operation Engine Newity have led to the seizure of counterfeit airbag, steering, braking, and seat belt components. As a result of these seizures, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a consumer safety advisory to car owners and repair professionals about the dangers behind counterfeit airbags; safety tests on those seized under Operation Engine Newity have shown a 100 percent failure rate.
IP Champion for Excellence in Innovation: Novartis’ Kymriah
Novartis developed and received FDA approval for a CAR-T cell therapy, Kymriah, for children and young adults with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is refractory or has relapsed at least twice. Kymriah is a first-in-class, revolutionary approach to cancer treatment. Every dose of treatment is completely personalized to the patient, built on the patient’s own immune cells. Novartis is already working to apply the CAR-T technology to other forms of cancer.
IP Champion for Excellence in Creativity: Neal Adams
Neal Adams is a comic book artist and commercial artist, most famous for his work crafting the modern imagery behind favorite DC Comics characters Superman, Batman, and Green Arrow. He is an established creative rights advocate and was instrumental in winning recognition and royalties for Superman creators Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster. Adams was inducted into the Eisner Award’s Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Harvey Awards’ Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.
IP Champion for Excellence in Creativity - Animation: NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. Its premiere film production studio, Universal Pictures, is the oldest film studio in the United States. Through its successful partnership with Chris Meledandri & Illumination, and since acquiring DreamWorks Animation, its library of films includes such beloved animation classics as the Despicable Me franchise, the Shrek franchise, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, and Trolls.
IP Champion for Excellence in Advocacy: Karen Kerrigan
Karen Kerrigan is the president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC). Kerrigan’s advocacy work on behalf of the SBEC focuses on key issues impacting entrepreneurs, small businesses, and the American and global economies. She regularly provides counsel to government and industry leaders regarding the positive development of entrepreneurship and small business through strong public policy.
IP Champion for Excellence in Creativity: Billy Gibbons
Billy Gibbons is a musician, most famous for his role as guitarist and lead vocalist of rock band ZZ Top. Gibbons formed ZZ Top in late 1969 and contributed to mainstay rock classics like “La Grange,” “Legs,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” and “Sharp Dressed Man.” Gibbons consistently appears on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists List and was instrumental in honing the blues-rock fusion genre.