Methodological material “The Journey into the Industrial Property World”
EUIPO studies show that young people are lacking information on intellectual property, and the available information is presented in an ineffective way for the specific age group. Starting the new 2018/2019 school year in Latvia, general education, academic secondary education and vocational secondary education teachers will have the opportunity to integrate intellectual property issues in their lessons, thus contributing to the formation of a responsible and innovative new generation.
Latvia is widely notable for its innovative potential, which is rapidly growing and manifests itself in innovative technologies, dynamic start-up ecosystem, as well as young and creative minds. The formation of a responsible and innovative new generation is one of the priorities of the competence-based lifelong learning, which takes the central place in the Sustainable Development Strategy of Latvia until 2030.
Taking into account the availability of a wide range of digital content and fast development of innovations, understanding of the value of intellectual property is more important than ever. This would help teachers and advisors to gain knowledge about the intellectual property rights, develop an emotional relationship to IP by encouraging young generations to create their own work and see in practice the rights and the obligations, which come with creativity.
The Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia together with the National Centre for Education of the Republic of Latvia are part of a specialised network of education experts and stakeholders “Intellectual Property in Education”. The main purpose of the network is to coordinate and develop appropriate, modern resources and programmes for pupils and teachers, including various examples of videos, games, tutorials, e-learning portals and other online content, which could be disseminated through the schools with the aim of helping future generations understand the central role that IP plays in the economy and society.
Taking part in the above-mentioned network in order to improve teachers’ and students’ understanding of intellectual property rights, the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia in co-operation with the external service provider National Centre for Education of the Republic of Latvia have developed a methodological material “The Journey into the Industrial Property World”.
The methodological material “The Journey into the Industrial Property World” is the first such material in Latvia and among the few in the European Union, which interdisciplinary and broadly covers such industrial property topics as patents, trademarks, designs, geographical indications and protection against counterfeiting. The main goal of this project is to change the mind-sets of teachers and young people regarding intellectual property and creating their positive relationship to intellectual property rights, thus improving their skills in protecting their own and other people’s rights in the future.
Currently, Latvian educational standards pay more attention to copyright and related rights issues. However, the new competency-based learning curriculum will put emphasis also on industrial property. Starting the new 2018/2019 school year, general education, academic secondary education and vocational secondary education teachers in Latvia will have the opportunity to integrate industrial property issues in their lessons, thus contributing to the formation of a responsible and innovative new generation.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
In the digitalised century, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are at the heart of EU economic, cultural and social wealth. The protection of your own work and respect for the work of others plays an increasingly important role in the society. The knowledge of basic principles of intellectual property (IP) protection should be gradually integrated in the education. EC´s objectives is to boost digital skills and learning. The methodological material “The Journey into the Industrial Property World” is the first such material in Latvia and among the few in the EU, which interdisciplinary and broadly covers IP issues. The material will help to promote skills and competences that young people should acquire in the classroom in order to become familiar with IP, understand its potential to generate income and economic growth and lead them to respect IP rights, whether their own or those of others.
An integral part of this material is four animated films.
What is the current status of your innovation?
Despite the fact that the material has already been developed, the overall project is at the implementation (knowledge transfer) stage. In order to introduce teachers to the new methodological material and the covered topics, representatives from the Patent Office will visit several schools in various regions of Latvia and offer educational seminars in the following weeks.
In collaboration with the Social Welfare Company and an expert in business education in Latvian schools “Junior Achievement Latvia”, the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia will train and educate Student Companies as well as teachers on industrial property protection issues in entrepreneurship.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The main collaboration partner involved in the project was the National Centre for Education of the Republic of Latvia (NCE).
In order to improve teachers', methodologists' and students' (in grades 1. – 12) understanding of industrial property rights and to integrate these issues into the learning process, it is very important to maintain the dialog and exchange of views between the NCE and the Latvian Patent Office.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The main stakeholders, users and beneficiaries affected by the outcomes of the project:
• Social Welfare Company and an expert in business education in Latvian schools “Junior Achievement Latvia”.
• Junior Achievement Latvia Student Companies
• Latvian Teachers' Network.
• Students, etc.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The material was highly valued by the authorities from the NCE, Social Welfare Company and an expert in business education in Latvian schools “Junior Achievement Latvia”, patent attorneys, student companies.
IP, creativity and innovation – are expected from our future students. These issues should be included in the new content of education. This material will encourage and help educators to teach about IP, its role and value, as well as, to promote skills and competences that young people should acquire in the classroom in order to become familiar with IP and the commercial side of innovation, understand its potential to generate income and economic growth and lead them to respect IP rights, whether their own or those of others.
Young people themselves create and realize business ideas that are based on technical or artistic creativity, which require protection of IP.
Our initiative in the long-term perspective will contribute to higher innovative capacity and technology transfer.
Challenges and Failures
Providing effective guidance on achieving IP education-learning outcomes is still a clear challenge, one that requires political consciousness as well as specific teacher training provisions and materials.
One of the main challenges is the lack of training possibilities and resources in Latvian regions, which could delay the knowledge dissemination process.
Conditions for Success
The main precondition for the successful knowledge dissemination is the support from the local government. Intellectual property issues (especially industrial property issues) should be integrated into national curricula.
Other conditions for success may include:
• Support from local teachers;
• Continuous awareness raising activities;
• Teachers training.
The developed methodological material could be further replicated and used as an example in order to enhance creativity and knowledge dissemination in the related fields.
The methodological material could address various target audiences and raise an overall awareness in our country. By teaching students, we could reach also adults.
Intellectual property professionals should better cooperate with representatives from the education sector. It will facilitate the knowledge dissemination and will help to adopt right measures to integrate intellectual property issues in the learning process.
An integral part of this methodological material is four animated films that provide a better understanding of the subject and contribute to the fulfilment of the tasks included in the material.
Animation ‘What is Intellectual Property, Trademark, Patent and Design?’ is available: