Each year on April 26, governments and organizations around the world join WIPO in celebrating World Intellectual Property Day. Our theme this year is encouraging creativity.
For many people, the connection between intellectual property and creativity is far from obvious. The word creativity conjures a world of artists and music makers, of poets and problem solvers. Whereas intellectual property all too often summons images of gray-suited lawyers, locked in litigation. But look more closely, and it quickly becomes clear that it is the intellectual property system itself which sustains and nourishes those creators.
Everywhere we look, we see images of intellectual property in action:
- in the color and drama of a box office hit from Bollywood, providing entertainment and employment for countless people;
- in the songs of a rising star from Mali, whose CD sales transport African rhythms to listeners around the world and help him earn a living from his music;
- in the vision of a non-profit non-governmental organization, which develops an engineer’s patented device for bringing clean water to isolated villages;
- in the intricate weaving of an Iranian carpet, bearing a registered mark to show its authenticity;
- in the latest trend-setting accessories from a Japanese design team;
- in new medical treatments based on innovative research in China, in Jordan, in Cuba;
- in the best-seller written by a young mother, which brings magic to millions, launches dozens of careers, and earns untold revenues from film and merchandising rights.
Encouraging creativity – rewarding the creative, innovative talents on which our world and our future are built – these are the ends which intellectual property serves. This is what drives WIPO’s work. This is what makes World Intellectual Property Day a cause for celebration.