World Intellectual Property Day

World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”. April 26th was chosen as the date for World Intellectual Property Day because it coincides with the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.

The WIPO Convention (formally, the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization) is a multilateral treaty which established the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Convention was signed at Stockholm, Sweden, on 14 July 1967 and entered into force on 26 April 1970. As of August 2016, the convention has 189 parties: 186 UN member states plus the Cook Islands, the Holy See and Niue.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world”. WIPO currently has 189 member states,administers 26 international treaties, and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The current Director-General of WIPO is Francis Gurry, who took office on October 1, 2008. 186 of the UN Members as well as the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue are Members of WIPO. Non-members are the states of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, South Sudan and East Timor. The Palestinians have observer status.

An exhibition showing the intellectual property (IP) behind Steve Jobs’ innovations opened to the public at WIPO on March 30, 2012 and ran through to World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, 2012. The exhibition tied in with 2012’s World Intellectual Property Day theme – ‘Visionary Innovators’. Following a statement made at the Assembly of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in September 1998, the Director General of the National Algerian Institute for Industrial Property (INAPI) proposed an international day for intellectual property with the following aims:

  • To set up a framework for broader mobilization and awareness.
  • To open up access to the promotional aspect of innovation and recognise the achievements of promoters of intellectual property throughout the world.
  • To promote the awareness of intellectual property protection,
  • To expand the influence of intellectual property protection across the world.
  • To urge countries to publicize and popularize intellectual property protection laws and regulations.
  • To enhance the public legal awareness of intellectual property right.
  • To encourage invention-innovation activities in various countries.
  • To strengthen international exchange in the intellectual property field.
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