Today marks the 12th annual World Intellectual Property Day. This observance day was created in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It is an opportunity to “celebrate the contribution that intellectual property makes to innovation and cultural creation.” World IP Day is celebrated every year on April 26 in recognition of the day the WIPO convention (which created WIPO) came into force.
This year’s theme is “Visionary Innovators” and it seeks to celebrate the role that innovators play in the creation of Intellectual Property. As WIPO Director General Francis Gurry noted in his annual World IP Day address, innovators are “people whose innovations transform our lives. Their impact is enormous. They can, at times, change the way society operates.”
In his annual address, the Director general also discusses the importance of maintaining a proper balance between the incentivizing innovators to create, and public interest in sharing useful innovations. He notes that “we have to get the balances right, and that is why it is so important to talk about intellectual property. On this World Intellectual Property Day I would encourage young people in particular to join in the discussion, because intellectual property is, by definition, about change, about the new. It is about achieving the transformations that we want to achieve in society.”
In Canada, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has set up a website honouring World IP Day. The website includes tips for making IP a part of your business, information on IP for students, success stories of famous innovators, and additional information on the history and importance of World IP Day. There is also a fun “IP Basics Quiz” where visitors can test their knowledge of various fields of intellectual property.
Mark Kohras is a JD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. For IP Osgoode’s coverage of last year’s World IP Day event, see here.