WJO Celebrates Women in Innovation and Creativity on World IP Day

April 27, 2018

On April 26, 2018, the WIPO Japan Office (WJO) held an event celebrating World Intellectual Property (IP) Day at the United Nations University in Tokyo.  

As the World IP Day 2018 theme is dedicated to the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of women, the WJO organized an event featuring three outstanding female innovators as guest speakers, as well as major users of WIPO’s global IP services, such as the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA) and the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), and representatives of other UN agencies.

The event started with opening remarks by Mr. Yuji Okuma, Director of the WJO, highlighting the significance of the day. 

Keys to gender equality success

The first guest speaker was Ms. Liping Shen, Head of Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd.'s Research Institute for Advanced Technology , who presented the firm’s internal processes and systems that have helped them achieve the highest ratio of female inventors listed in Japanese PCT applications.

Green tech contribution

Following the first presentation, Ms. Nina Arataki, who works on quantum computing technologies at Fujitsu Limited, explained her research on cutting-edge digital annealer technologies, which enable human beings to quickly find the best solution for a mathematical combination problem. Fujitsu Limited has recently joined WIPO GREEN and has already made remarkable contributions to the WIPO GREEN database through the registration of over 200 of their green technologies.

Innovation at any age

The final speaker was internationally distinguished innovator, Ms. Masako Wakamiya, who engaged with computers only in her 60s yet developed the smartphone application “hinadan” when she was 81 years old. The 83-year-old innovator emphasized the importance of staying creative and intellectually curious, suggesting that elder seniors should study the latest IT skills to stay connected with the society. 

Photo: Ms. Wakamiya tells the story of how she became a computing expert in later life and even created the smartphone application “hinadan”
Ms. Wakamiya tells the story of how she became a computing expert in later life and even created the smartphone application “hinadan” (Photo: WJO). More WJO photos on Flickr.

Finally, Ms. Kae Ishikawa, the Head of UN Women Liaison Office in Japan gave a toast, stressing the need for further assistance for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields in developing countries.

Gender equality ranking for PCT applications

To mark World IP Day the WJO released a ranking of the top 10 Japanese organizations with the highest rate of PCT applications in which female inventors are listed. The ranking was welcomed by participants, many of whom had been interested in tracking down such figures.