2016 IP Champions

“Whether it’s the newest life-saving medical cures, the latest action-packed blockbuster movie or the must-have holiday toy, intellectual property is essential to the innovation that drives our economy and enriches our lives. Championing innovation and creativity is an agenda we can all get behind – here in Washington and in capitals around the globe.”

– David Hirschmann, president and CEO of GIPC.



What does an IP Champion look like? IP Champions are industry leaders, business owners, inventors, creators, academics, political representatives – the list goes on.


Mark McGrath (lead singer of Sugar Ray)

Mark McGrath is the lead singer/songwriter for the world-famous band Sugar Ray. McGrath boasts a string of top 10 hits, several multi-platinum albums, and countless sold-out tours.

Billy Morrison (guitar player for Billy Idol)

Billy Morrison is a true artist. He performs as the guitarist for the legendary Billy Idol and co-wrote the majority of the 2014 Billy Idol album, Kings & Queens of the Underground. Additionally, Morrison is an actor, painter, and has designed his own signature guitar for Gibson.

In recognition of the IP Champions Gala, McGrath and Morrison co-authored an op-ed in U.S. News and World Report titled “Protect America’s Creative Future.”



The Creative Coalition

The Creative Coalition is non-profit advocacy group that was founded in 1989 and is made up of members of the American entertainment industry. The Coalition fights tirelessly on behalf of IP rights for America’s creative community, and has consistently kept the importance of intellectual property top-of-mind for legislators and influential media on Capitol Hill and throughout the country. Robin Bronk is the CEO of the Creative Coalition and has served the organization since 1998.



Award-winning actor Richard Kind

Richard Kind is best-known for his roles in features such as Mad About You, Argo, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Spin City and Gotham. Kind’s contributions to the creative community are hard to count, as he has had over 180 roles over the past 30 years. But in addition to his incredible work, Richard has also leant his voice and his starpower to the cause of creators rights as an active member of the Creative Coalition.



U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (UT)

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Hatch has long been an advocate for strong IP protections for American creators, and most recently championed the bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which was signed into law by President Obama in May 2016.



Pfizer’s Ibrance Team

In 2016, Pfizer released a groundbreaking new treatment of breast cancer. The drug’s accelerated approval by the FDA is indicative of its crucial need among so many patients across the globe and the Ibrance team’s innovative work. Ibrance is the first CDK 4/6 inhibitor in the U.S. market.




The Microsoft “Make What’s Next” Campaign

In 2016, Microsoft launched an advertising campaign themed “Make What’s Next” to encourage girls to enter tech fields and become the next great inventors. The campaign was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day. To address the reality that women hold only 7% of patents in the U.S., Microsoft also launched a patent program to give select female inventors support in patenting their ideas.



Oscar award-winning producer Bruce Cohen

Bruce Cohen has been a tireless advocate in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years.  An Oscar award-winning producer, Cohen’s credits include major blockbuster hits American Beauty, Silver Linings Playbook, and Big Fish, among others. Cohen is on the Board of Governors of the Producer’s Guild and is on the Executive Committee of the Producer’s Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.



Danny Marti (Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator)

In 2014, President Obama named Washington lawyer Danny Marti the Administration’s IP Enforcement Coordinator, known around town as the IP Czar, to coordinate U.S.-led law enforcement strategy around copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Marti has spent his career protecting American consumers, workers and job creators from threats to the intellectual property rights of our creative and innovative industries.



Barbara Kolm (Austrian Economics Center)

Barbara Kolm is President of the Friedrich A. v. Hayek Institute in Vienna, Austria and Director of the Austrian Economics Center. As a worldwide networker, Kolm uses her abilities to promote free market policies; in addition she is a frequent speaker on issues related to public policy, especially on deregulation and competition topics, including the critical importance of promoting strong intellectual property rights across the globe.



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