Perhaps the Most Complex World IP Day Theme Ever


jane Lambert

World Intellectual Property Day is a worldwide celebration of the legal protection of innovation and creativity that takes place on or around the 26 April of every year.  That day has been chosen because it is the anniversary of the day on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization came into force.  The World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") is the United Nations specialist agency for intellectual property.

Every year World IP Day revolves around a special theme.  In 2021 it was IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market.  In 2022 it was IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.  Last year it was Women and IP: accelerating innovation and creativity.  This year it is IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity which is certainly the most complex and arguably the most ambitious theme ever,

"SDGs" stand for "Sustainable Development Goals" which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.  The UN describes them as "a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future."  There are 17 of them which are listed in this video.   

Now the obvious question to be asked is: "Where does IP fit into these lofty goals?"  In anticipation of that question, the WIPO has commissioned some research which is contained in the report Mapping Innovations: Patents and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  The authors of the report identified 100 distinct technology categories linked to the SDGs covering areas such as agriculture, medical devices, renewable energy and transportation. Patent searches were tailored to each of those technologies which revealed that one in three active patent families were related to the SDGs.  There is a very interesting article on the research by Jessica Morel, Chief Marketing Officer, Product Applications, LexisNexis Intellectual Property Solutions entitled LexisNexis SDG Patent Mapping of Sustainable Innovations in the WIPO Magazine.

For those who want to learn about the relationship between IP and SDGs in some other way, the WIPO has produced an interactive tool.  Topics such as "People", "Economy", "Planet" and "About IP" are laid out in the form of branches of a tree.   Users who click one of those branches are transported to another page with more detailed options,  For instance, those who click the "Economy" branch are taken to a screen with the words "Building a Thriving Economy with IP".  The heading of a subject box is entitled "With Innovation and IP how can we achieve ........." and then choices such as "Reduced Inequalities", "Decent Work and Economic Growth" and "Peace Justice and Strong Institutions" appear.  Each of these leads to another sunscreen.  The information conveyed by this tool is impressive.

The world's young filmmakers were invited to take part in a competition to produce a video on the theme of IP and the sustainable development goals.   Judges shortlisted the best and members of the public are invited to vote for the film they like best.   The videos and citing page can be accessed here,  

Other celebrations include a Changemakers Gallery of innovators, creators, entrepreneurs and IP practitioners who are using IP to achieve the SDGs.  Nominees include artists like Ivannia Lazzaro of Costa Rica, entrepreneurs like Maingaila Moono of Zimbabwe, inventors like Chadi Khatib of Syria and patent attorneys like Anna Moloney of the UK  Organizers are encouraged to insert their events into a calendar.  

Those who want to participate in the celebrations in other ways can find ideas and inspiration on the "Create your own World IP Day Campaign" page of the WIPO website.

Anyone wishing to discuss this topic can call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during UK office hours or send me a message through my contact page.


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