Take your ideas to market

World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2021

IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market

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

Every business starts with an idea. Each of the millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate across the globe every day started with an idea that took shape in someone’s mind and made its way to market.

When nurtured and enriched with ingenuity, know-how and flair an idea becomes an IP asset that can drive business development, economic recovery and human progress.

Creative minds the world over – architects, artists, artisans, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists and many others – come up with new ideas every day. From the arts to artificial intelligence, fashion to farming, renewable energy to retail, television to tourism, and virtual reality to videogames, to name just a few.

Some of their ideas translate into the products and services we want to buy. Others don’t make it. The journey to market can be perilous. But with a focus on IP, businesses can anticipate, navigate and better manage the many twists and turns that pave the road to commercialization.

At a time when the imperative of economic recovery is high, World Intellectual Property Day 2021 shines a light on the critical role of SMEs in the economy and how they can use IP rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.

SMEs are the backbone of national economies. They deliver the goods and services we need every day; they hatch breakthrough innovations and inspiring creations and they create jobs; some become the world leading businesses of tomorrow.

SMEs make up around 90 percent of the world’s businesses, employ around 50 percent of the global workforce and generate up to 40 percent of national income in many emerging economies, more, if you count informal businesses.

Each of these business ventures has taken an idea and married it with ingenuity to create a product or a service that consumers want. And each of them can use IP rights to safeguard and create value from their business assets. Yet many are unaware that they hold IP or that it has value. This means, many are missing out on opportunities to improve their bottom line and grow. Studies show that when businesses are IP savvy, and when they acquire and manage IP rights, they do better.

If you are new to the world of IP, World Intellectual Property Day 2021 is an opportunity to find out how the tools of the IP system – trademarks, design rights, copyright, patents, trade secrets, geographical indications, and more – can support you when taking your ideas to market.

With IP rights you can turn an idea into a business opportunity, generate value, create employment and enrich the choice of products available to consumers. With IP your business can flourish and your community can thrive. World IP Day 2021 also highlights the central role that WIPO and national and regional IP offices around the world play in creating favorable conditions for SMEs to drive innovation and creativity, power economic recovery and create employment.

Join us in celebrating the ingenuity and creativity that lies behind every SME, their courage to make a difference and the contributions they make in enhancing our daily lives. Support your local SMEs and champion local innovation.

IP Day Events 

Explore the events calendar

Protecting your IP assets

World IP Day highlights the key role IP rights play in helping SMEs build stronger, more competitive businesses. Find out how your business can benefit from IP.

Case Studies on the Use of IP by SMEs

Culture & Indigenous Knowledge

WIPO IP Diagnostics

The IP Diagnostic Tool helps you identify your business' IP assets and provides you with an automated report with basic information on how to manage these assets.

Guides: Intellectual Property for Business

These guides help you understand why paying attention to IP is critical and how you can benefit from it.

Promotional tools

Publicity materials

All PDF files are print-ready. Additional templates, landscape visuals and editable files are available in our social media kit.

Promotion toolkit

Use our guidelines to create your own World IP Day 2021 campaigns:

Social media kit

Download campaign materials in 8 languages from our social media kit, including theme visuals, social media banners, cards, etc.

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.

Frequently asked questions

Why celebrate World IP Day? What kind of events can I organize? How can I add my event to the map? Answers to frequently asked questions about World IP Day.