International law firm Bird & Bird is advising the Micro:bit Educational Foundation on future plans for the successful digital education tool, the micro:bit, launched earlier this year by Foundation member, BBC Learning. The firm advised pro bono on setting up a Not-For-Profit organisation, and ensuring it has the rights in place to take the micro:bit product forward.
The micro:bit is a handheld, fully programmable computer which was given free to every Year 7 or equivalent child across the UK. The aim of the micro:bit project is to inspire widespread hands on learning, including digital skills. Since the launch of a public service campaign in March 2016, nearly 1 million micro:bits have been distributed across UK schools.
In the next stage of its development, the micro:bit legacy, supported by members including The Institution of Engineering and Technology, software design company ARM Holdings, domain name registry Nominet and the BBC, will be handed over to a newly formed not-for-profit entity supported by these organisations.
A Bird & Bird team, led by Tech & Comms partner Roger Bickerstaff and IP partner Nick Aries, has been advising on the creation of the NFP and on brand licensing arrangements concerning the micro:bit product. The team is continuing to advise on the Foundation's agreements with commercial partners and on IP related questions.
Peter Brownlow, Intellectual Property partner at Bird & Bird, responsible for pro bono/CSR matters, said: "We are very excited to be advising on this next stage of the micro:bit journey. Many of our clients today are navigating the impact of technology and the digital world on their businesses so it is brilliant for us to be part of an initiative that will inspire new generations to discover the world of digital for themselves."