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Wallace & Gromit teach Oz kids to respect patents

Museum exhibit “contains strong and accurate IP messages”

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Wallace & Gromit have taken on their toughest challenge yet: teaching Australian kids to respect intellectual property rights raising a generation of patent trolls.

The plasticine pair travelled to Australia to appear in the Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention exhibition at Scienceworks, one of several museums run by Museums Victoria.

Visitors will have the chance to tour what’s being billed as “a life-size version of Wallace and Gromit’s home” in which it is possible to “discover how simple ideas transform into life-changing inventions.”

Inventions on show include the Telly-scope II, the Blend-o-matic, the Thinking Cap and the Karaoke Disco Shower, plus the Chocolate Teapot and Ice Hot Water Bottle.

Notes accompanying the exhibits explain each invention, and do so in terms approved by IP Australia, the exhibit’s principal sponsor and provider of Australia’s patent office, trademark and design registry and also the overseer of plant breeders’ rights.

“We … have worked with Scienceworks to ensure that the exhibition contains strong and accurate IP messages that are relevant to an Australian audience,” IP Australia’s website boasts. “We hope that the exhibition inspires a new generation of Australian inventors who understand IP rights and how to use them to protect their inventions.”

As the parent of a child who insisted on spending AUD$50 of birthday funds on a plastic “elder wand” at a recent Harry Potter exhibition, your correspondent hopes that the IP messages are also present in the inevitable gift shop, along with an explanation of licensing fees and colossal markups.

It's not the first time the inventive duo have hitched their wagon to IP protection: London's Science Museum did likewise in 2009. ®

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