World Intellectual Property Organization

Award for Inventors

The WIPO award for inventors was launched in 1979 in support of the Organization's activities aimed at stimulating inventive and innovative activity around the world, as well as improving the image of inventors through recognition of their role as creators of substantive input to national wealth and development.

WIPO awards for inventors are offered to various categories of inventors, such as woman inventors or young inventors. Particular attention is given to those who have made important inventions which are considered to be significant contributions to the economic and technological development of their own countries. WIPO awards for inventors also contribute to the commercialization of inventions.

Those nominated for a WIPO award for inventors should either have obtained a patent or have filed for one.

(photo: WIPO)

General guiding principles


The WIPO award for inventors was launched in 1979 to help stimulate inventive and innovative activity around the world. The aim is to improve the image of inventors through the recognition of their merits as creators of substantive input to national wealth and development, especially in developing countries. The award is intended to contribute to attracting and upgrading public recognition of inventors and their work.

The WIPO award for inventors consists of a gold-plated medal and a certificate, issued in the name of the winner and signed by the Director General of WIPO. The WIPO award is primarily a honorific prize, to be bestowed at the highest level.

From 1979 through December 2013, 2,150 WIPO medals were bestowed upon inventors and innovators from over 130 countries, the majority from developing countries and countries in transition. Most of these medals were awarded on the request by international, national or regional organizations, concerned with the promotion of inventive and innovative activities.

National industrial property offices and inventors' associations request and use the WIPO awards as one of the prizes offered to inventors on the occasion of national invention competitions or exhibitions, invention and innovation weeks, or other special events. The WIPO award spurs and stimulates inventive and innovative activities. It engenders a spirit of competition and achievement. This has resulted in a rising number of requests for the WIPO award for inventors by organizers of invention and innovation exhibitions and competitions.

Award for inventors

The organizers of invention exhibitions or other events should contact WIPO twelve weeks in advance of the event, to agree on the medals to be awarded and the eligibility and selection criteria.

The WIPO awards for inventors are offered at the highest level in the framework of international exhibitions or competitions (such as the International Exhibition of Inventions, Geneva, or the Seoul International Invention Fair (SIIF), Republic of Korea).

Criteria for the selection of winners of the WIPO awards for inventors will be discussed with the organizers. The selection will be made by and under the responsibility of an international jury established by the organizers.

Preparation time required by WIPO

The text to be engraved on the medal, as well as the text of the certificate, must be agreed to between WIPO and the organizers twelve weeks in advance of the date of the event/award ceremony, so as to allow WIPO to prepare and arrange for their dispatch and delivery.

Information concerning the inventor(s) and the invention(s) for which the WIPO award has been given must be communicated to WIPO, as soon as possible after the award ceremony, in the case that it was not done before. Requests for different categories of awards for the same event must be communicated together in the same letter.

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