Tuesday 26 April 2011 is World Intellectual Property Day, and if you are a member of the Licensing Executives Society (Britain & Ireland) you can pop along to join fellow members in celebratory free (at first !) drinks in London (see the LES B&I website for details). Elsewhere around the world the day is marked in less inebriated fashion.
The governing body, as it were, of intellectual property around the world is WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation – note, not the WIP office! – and, as it explains on the WIPO web site: “WIPO’s member states initiated World IP Day in 2000 to raise public awareness about the role of IP in daily life, and to celebrate the contribution made by innovators and creators to the development of societies across the globe. World IP Day is celebrated annually on April 26, the date on which the Convention establishing WIPO entered into force in 1970.”*
In fact, the idea for a special day came first from the National Algerian Institute for Industrial Property (INAPI) in April 1999, and this was supported by the Chinese delegation to WIPO in August 1999. By October 2000 the General Assembly of WIPO had ratified the idea and the first official day was 26 April 2001, carrying the theme “Creating the Future Today”.
Every year since has also had a theme, and in the history to date Create/Creativity/Creating has featured in 5 of the first 7 years, and not at all since; and Innovation has featured 3 times since 2008 though never before. It would seem WIPO is following the traditional chronology of invention, where IP is first created, and then developed with innovation. ICIPIA predicts that future years will feature ‘commercialisation’ in their themes, closely followed by ‘monetisation’…
Seriously, 2011’s theme is actually titled “Designing the Future” – the first time ‘design’ has been mentioned. And better late than never, because design must be the Great Unsung Hero of IP.
If you wonder why that is so, and what exactly we mean by it, then call ICIPIA to talk about how you can use design rights to strengthen your own commercial position, and how even after patent rights may have been lost or not recognised in time, design rights can still save the day – and your future !
* This quotation © WIPO and is reproduced from the WIPO web site. WIPO was established in 1967 as an agency of the United Nations.
© ICIPIA Limited 2011