Think, Imagine, Create – The Fifth World Intellectual Property Day
Algeria brought artists and gallery owners together for a seminar aimed at reinvigorating the market, held on World IP Day. (Traditional Algerian miniature by Aicha Haddad.)
The fifth World Intellectual Property Day met resounding success on April 26, with events in over a hundred Member States. The theme “Think Imagine Create,” directed towards young people, inspired celebrations from Azerbaijan to Colombia and from Scandinavia to Zimbabwe. Member States and non-governmental organizations the world over found different ways to realize the words of WIPO Director General Kamil Idris: “Our goal for World Intellectual Property Day and beyond should be to encourage young people everywhere to recognize the creator, the problem-solver, the artist within themselves.”
Recognizing the creator
Recognizing and respecting the creator is at the heart of understanding IP and of appreciating our own creative potential. Members of Young Inventors International – aged from 18 to 35 – are actively realizing that potential. The Young Inventors responded to a challenge by the Canadian IP Office to come up with the most inventive way of celebrating the event.
Events to honor inventors, such as award ceremonies, exhibitions and seminars, took place in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Finland, Georgia, Kenya, Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan – to name but a few. Viet Nam’s Center for Promotion of Invention and Innovation not only held a televised award ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, but also announced plans for a film tracing the stories of Vietnamese winners of WIPO awards. The achievements of African creators will also be admired by future generations at the Museum of Inventions and Innovation inaugurated in Zimbabwe by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) on April 26.
Many countries broadcast WIPO’s 30-second television spot aimed at promoting IP awareness and creativity in young people. Others produced their own material. Belize, for example, broadcast and webcast “Creative Belize,” throughout the month.
Children are adept at finding unconventional solutions to problems. The challenge is to keep that natural creativity as they grow up. To do so, they must be encouraged to feel that their ideas are valuable and useful. Many IP offices geared their activities to reach young minds with that message. Iceland organized an innovation competition for children; while school children throughout Jamaica got a break from the standard curriculum with three days of specially prepared, interactive IP activities and presentations. Another Caribbean nation, Trinidad and Tobago, produced IP Day kits for high school children.
An anti-piracy poster produced by Singapore for World IP Day
Young people in Singapore put on their thinking caps to participate in the IP scavenger hunt. Excited groups of them could be seen racing through one of Singapore’s most popular shopping malls – not in search of a sale but to locate clues and complete tasks related to IP. Their final challenge was to create an original work of art to illustrate what they had learned about IP, using items they had collected during the hunt. Participants walked away with prizes, a deeper knowledge of IP and the realization that they too could create and own IP.
WIPO’s “Striving for Excellence” exhibition (see page 8), inaugurated on World IP Day, also stimulates young people to think about the omnipresence of IP in their environment by looking at the world of sports.
The Estonian Patent Office, in collaboration with the European Patent Office (EPO), brought together students, inventors, entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses for an introduction to IP, its use and protection. In Beijing, a forum on IP rights followed a weeklong, nationwide publicity campaign. While in Hong Kong, the Motion Picture Association, Hong Kong Scout Association, IP Department and Customs & Excise Department launched the Intellectual Property Badge Award Program, the world’s first Scout merit badge program focused on respect for and protection of intellectual property.
Many artists – performers, musicians, songwriters, painters, designers, architects and directors – were honored during World IP Day. In Mexico artistic and literary authors were granted the Gran Orden de Honor al Merito Autoral (Honorable Order of Copyright Merit). Among those recognized was the Mexican film director Alfonso Cuaron of “Harry Potter” fame. Consuelo Velazquez – whose biggest hit “Besame Mucho” was recorded in several languages and sung by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Plácido Domingo, the Beatles, and others – was among those granted a posthumous WIPO Creativity Award.
Algeria promoted its rich artistic tradition by bringing together artists and gallery owners for a seminar aimed at reinvigorating the visual arts market. The two-day event received extensive media coverage. The children’s book, “Trip to Author’s Land,” was released with fanfare at the Vilnius City Hall in Lithuania. A children’s booklet on copyright was also widely distributed in Bahrain.
IP recognition around the world
World IP Day also offered an occasion for many countries to take stock of their national IP legislation and look to the future. The seminar “Post TRIPs* IPR Regime – Implication and Opportunities for India,” held by the National IP Office on April 26, focused on the next steps. While a seminar at the University of Brunei Darussalam discussed research and development, the basic principles of IP and the TRIPS Agreement.
In the United States, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 210 in support of the goals of World IP Day, and of WIPO’s work to promote greater understanding of the value of IP. The resolution emphasized the key role IP plays in the U.S. and throughout the world, and cited the contribution made by innovators and artists to the development of societies across the globe.
The Business Software Alliance is one of many NGOs to have participated in a number of World IP Day events in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Peoples Republic of China, South Africa, Turkey and the U.S. With the aim of promoting a safe and responsible digital world, BSA has developed programs for elementary and higher education, emphasizing the importance of being good cyber citizens and respecting the rights of copyright-holders.
The diversity of activities and events organized by WIPO Members States was such that we cannot do them justice within these brief pages. But more details are available on our website on www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/world_ip/2005/activities.html.
*Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement)