World Intellectual Property Day 2010

Tomorrow, Monday April 26, is World Intellectual Property Day. Initiated by WIPO in 2000, the 10th anniversary of this day coincides with the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention establishing WIPO (the WIPO Convention).  There are currently 184 Member States, i.e. over 90 percent of the countries of the world.

Many countries and WIPO members organize special events for this day, countries with an active IPR policy but also countries one would not imagine to pay much attention to IP, like Moldova or Saudi Arabia (King Saud University in Riyadh tomorrow holds an open educational intellectual property day, providing information about WIPO its goals, mission and, functions, Moldova has a broad agenda of several activities related to IP).

Strikingly absent in meaningful activities that have to do with IP is the United States, who seems to use World Intellectual Property Day more as a promotion of culture than IP as means to innovate. The US Mission in Geneva, Switzerland organizes an event showcasing Western American Folklore (sic!).  What that has to do with Intellectual Property is unclear. A missed opportunity. Does it also tell something about US’ commitment to WIPO? American embassies in some part of the world and US organizations like The Institute of Policy Innovation seem to do a little better but, in comparison with some countries, lagging behind (e.g. US embassy in Chili).

Other, more active, countries activities on World Intellectual Property day:

UK: Members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys will be offering free intellectual property (IP) advice to businesses

The Netherlands organizes Patent Parade, an interactive exhibition showing well known inventions by Dutch inventors, like the strongest fiber in the world,  DSM Dyneema®, Dutch patent nr. NL 177840 or the Quooker, Dutch patent nr. NL 1002478, a trend setting hot water kitchen appliance or Philips’ patent NL 161284, the precursor to the Compact Disk (CD).

Dutch radio broadcasts a live audio program on one of its most famous laboratories, Philips’ Nat Lab (which can be downloaded as podcast).

In France, Electricité de France R&D celebrates World IP Day within a series of demonstrations entitled “Springtime for Research”

Italy has several events, among which The “Respect Creativity” awareness campaign, targeting middle schools launch by the Italian Ministry of Education.

Other countries, known for their groundbreaking innovation activities, are lacking on the WIPO list of countries organising activities, such as Finland, although the Support Association for Finnish inventors holds the Finnish Inventor’s Day.


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