Usually when we write about mascots, we're writing about the protection of their trademarks. From sports mascots (like Zabivaka for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Russia), to school mascots (how about the University of Wisconsin's Bucky Badger?), brand mascots (the Pillsbury Doughboy), or government agency mascots (Smokey the Bear), they all serve as important brand ambassadors. They create awareness, sometimes act as spokespeople, and appear in marketing campaigns and on merchandise.
But this time, we're writing about a new intellectual property mascot. The government of India has launched IP Nani— an intellectual property mascot to raise awareness about intellectual property rights. IP Nani is described as "a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson 'Chhotu' aka Aditya." At the introduction of the new mascot, India's Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu emphasized the need for all of society, including school-aged children, to be aware of the fundamentals of IP law and to be involved in efforts to protect against piracy.
The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), a professional body under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) produced a series of animated videos in collaboration with the EUIPO on intellectual property rights for children featuring IP Nani as the central character. In one video, IP Nani is described as a "crime-fighting machine" who is "the nightmare of criminals and the protector of the hard-working." Here she is:
IP Nani isn't the first mascot related to intellectual property. In the United States, there's the USPTO's "T. Markey" character, who is featured in downloadable activities for kids. In the United Kingdom, the IPO recently launched a series of cartoons featuring a pop star named "Nancy" who battles the idea-stealing "Kitty Perry" to show "the importance of choosing an original band name and registering it as a trademark," writes BBC News.
Does your country have an IP mascot? Send us a picture and/or description in the Comments section. And let us know if you've run across others around the globe.