World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2017

Innovation – Improving Lives

Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

This year, we’ll explore how innovation is making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable, turning problems into progress. We’ll look at how the intellectual property system supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators, encouraging them to develop their ideas, and ensuring that their new knowledge is freely available so that tomorrow’s innovators can build on today’s new technology.

Every day, ordinary people are producing extraordinary new things to change the world for the better.

Their innovations take myriad forms, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous: A billboard in Peru that harvests water from the air, supplying the local community with clean drinking water; a 3D-printer at an American university that regenerates damaged human tissue; a mobile money transfer and microfinancing service from Kenya, renewable energy solutions that power fridges in rural India; a graphene battery from China that charges a mobile phone in minutes; cutting-edge assistive technologies from the Russian Federation to help people with disabilities perform everyday tasks.

Problems to progress

From new medicines and materials to improved crop varieties and communications, innovation is making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable.

Innovation is a human force that knows no limits. It turns problems into progress. It pushes the boundaries of possibility, creating unprecedented new capabilities.

World Intellectual Property Day 2017 celebrates that creative force. We’ll explore how some of the world’s most extraordinary innovations have improved our lives; and how new ideas are helping tackle shared global challenges, such as climate change, health, poverty and the need to feed an ever-expanding population.

We’ll look at how the intellectual property system supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators, encouraging them to develop their ideas, and ensuring that their new knowledge is freely available so that tomorrow’s innovators can build on today’s new technology.

Your turn

Which innovation has most improved your life? What more can be done to make sure new technologies reach the people who need them?  What do you think should be the priorities for future innovation?

Join the conversation: #worldipday

| Message from WIPO Director General Gurry

World IP Day events map

Find out what's happening in your country.

Get involved!

Innovation – Improving lives

(photo: SolaRoad Netherlands)

Innovation in action

These 10 innovations are improving our lives.

(photo: iStockphoto.com/sumkinn)

Intellectual property quiz

How much do you know about intellectual property basics? Take our quiz to find out!


The space is the limit

“Innovation is one of the drivers why we fly to space” – European Space Agency Astronaut Frank De Winne.

Inventions that make a difference...

(Photos: Linde Group)

At home

19th century inventions that are still used at home.

For kids

Classic toys that continue to entertain digital-age kids.

In the office

Vintage office supplies still in use at workplaces worldwide.

Innovators speak

Tristan Vouga, inventor of an exoskeleton

Consuelo Cano Gallardo, inventor of a downhill skateboard

Dr. Munir, inventor of an arsenic water filter

Erick Rajoonary, agriculture entrepreneur

Arthur Zang, inventor of a cardiac care tablet

Herman Moeliana, inventor of rapidly degrading eco bags

Stefania Isidori, inventor of remote-controlled snow chains

Bruno Castillón Lévano, inventor of a newborn incubator and resuscitator

IP and innovation

(photo: Courtesy of GestVision, Inc)

Improving lives across the globe

A closer look at the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patents for Humanity awards program. How it works and what it does.

(photo: Courtesy of Surgitate)

Smart solutions to global challenges

Dr. Özge Akbulut talks to WIPO Magazine about her work and the challenges of innovation in an emerging economy.

(photo: Courtesy of McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT)

The CRISPR-Cas9 battle

The race to develop commercial applications for the CRIPSR-Cas9 gene-editing tool promises to revolutionize medicine and agricultural research. But who controls this ground-breaking technology?

Innovation and intellectual property

Many innovations can be protected through IP rights. What are these rights and how do they support inventors and improve lives?

(photo: iStock.com/Reptile8488)

What lies beneath biopharmaceuticals

Corey Salsberg, Vice President and Global Head of IP Affairs at Novartis explains that there is much more to pharmaceutical innovation than meets the eye.

(photo: Nokero Intl. Ltd)

Lighting up lives

Nokero is transforming livelihoods in developing countries with low-cost, eco-friendly solar-powered lights.

(photo: Agencia Uno - Imagen de Chile)

Reviving communities with branding

Chilean producers are adding value to heritage products and breathing new life into their communities.

Learn how to use the wealth of technology information in patent documents.

Access e-tutorial

Publicity materials download

All PDF files are print-ready.

These materials can only be used for the purpose of the World IP Day 2017 campaign. Modified World IP Day campaign materials can be reproduced, distributed and made available to the public in any form only for non-commercial purposes.

More about World IP Day

In 2000, WIPO's member states designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP. 

Since then, World IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of music and the arts and to driving the technological innovation that helps shape our world.