Innovation and intellectual property (IP) stakeholders from across the global coalesced on April 26 to observe World Intellectual Property Day, which this year celebrated and advocated for innovation for a green future.
IP Progress partners and other leading voices from around the world engaged in virtual conversations across social media platforms, webinars and through formal statements and reports. Many highlighted the critical role IP protections play in fostering and promoting the innovation that will promise a better, more sustainable and healthier future for communities worldwide.
Many countries underscored the progress and promise of patented green technologies. The United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office, for example, released a video showing the ways in which patented green technology is “helping to create a better future,” and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office highlighted a range of innovative “clean tech” projects.
Additionally, as the cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, World IP Day also saw leaders and experts drawing attention to the critical role that IP and innovation play in helping address and combat the pandemic. Notably, the United States underscored this sentiment in an official statement, asserting:
“The importance of intellectual property has never been more apparent than it is now, as we continue the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. To respond to this national and international emergency, the Federal, State, and local Governments have partnered with the private sector to develop new and powerful tools to combat the spread of the virus and provide care to those in need, focusing every available resource on the fight against the invisible enemy. Relying on strong intellectual property protections, these industries are able to act boldly to invent new tests, begin developing experimental treatments and vaccines, and rapidly produce and reengineer medical equipment to help win this war.”
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry echoed further: “Our response to the current crisis demonstrates that we have the collective wisdom, the ingenuity and the creativity to rise to these challenges and to shape a future, one that is safe, sustainable and green. And, as we look to that future, we see that intellectual property (IP)-driven innovation and innovative thinking are central to solving our shared, global challenges.”
And this year, in particular, when the stakes have never been higher, we applaud the partners, leaders and experts stepping up and speaking out to ensure that strong IP systems are protected and that innovation continues to be fostered and supported.
Similarly, IP Progress partners and other leading stakeholders came together on World IP Day, emphasizing that now—more than ever—innovation and IP are critical and must be protected and supported.
A letter spearheaded by IP Progress partner Property Rights Alliance and signed by 88 other organizations including Free Market Foundation, Geneva Network, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, CEDICE, highlighted that, “as humanity confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, we turn to IP-driven innovations for the most effective solutions.” The letter also underscored the importance of IP rights for a promising a greener future, promoting economic growth, incentivizing innovation, protecting against counterfeits and supporting trade.
Each year, World IP Day serves as a reminder of the vital role intellectual property plays across a vast array of sectors and industries globally. This year, in particular, when the stakes have never been higher, we applaud the partners, leaders and experts speaking out to ensure that strong IP systems are protected and that innovation continues to be fostered and supported.