2011 Intellectual Property Day

World IP DayApril 26 is World Intellectual Property Day.  The date marks the 41st anniversary of the Convention establishing WIPO; the World IP Organization.  For the general public, the term “intellectual property” does elicit terms such as copyright, patents, industrial designs and trademarks. For most, these are business or legal concepts with little relevance to their own lives.  WIPO’s Member States decided in 2000 to designate an annual World Intellectual Property Day to raise awareness of the important role IP plays in everyday life.


Specific aims of the World IP Day are:

  • to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life;
  • to increase understanding of how protecting IP rights helps promote creativity and innovation;
  • to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe;
  • to encourage respect for the IP rights of others.

This year’s theme is Designing the Future and, in his message, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry relates the central role of design and the protection it receives through IP in the following terms:

“Design touches every aspect of human creativity. It shapes the things we appreciate from traditional crafts to consumer electronics; from buildings and bicycles to fashion and furniture. Design has been called “intelligence made visible”.

Design is where form meets function. It determines the look and feel of the products we use each day – from everyday household items to the latest tablet computers. Design marries the practical with the pleasing. It brings style to innovation.

This year’s World Intellectual Property Day celebrates the role of design in the market-place, in society and in shaping the innovations of the future.

Originally referred to as “art in industry”, industrial design provides the means to differentiate between mass-produced objects, drawing us to one product rather than another, making one brand more successful than another. Behind every new design is a desire to break new ground, to improve and to enhance consumer experience. Good design makes products easier, more comfortable and safer to use.

With today’s increasing emphasis on ecologically sound living, “designing out waste” is now an aspiration shared by many creators. Sustainable design processes can help lower production costs and reduce environmental impact. The designs of the future will necessarily be green, and the intellectual property system will encourage designers to produce them, by helping to protect original designs against unauthorized copying and imitation.

In international markets, companies need to be able to protect their designs quickly and cost-effectively in several countries. WIPO’s Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs – which simplifies that process – saw a 30 percent increase in international applications last year.

On World Intellectual Property Day 2011 WIPO joins governments, organizations, schools and enterprises around the world in celebrating the designers today, who are designing the future.”


Comments are closed.