Frequently Asked Questions: World IP Day

Basics

World IP Day offers a unique opportunity to join with others around the globe to consider how intellectual property (IP) helps the global arts scene to flourish and enables the technological innovation that drives human progress. 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 awareness and understanding of IP.

World IP Day is an opportunity to highlight the role that IP rights, such as, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright), play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

A balanced IP system recognizes and rewards inventors and creators for their work and ensures that society benefits from their creativity and ingenuity.

IP rights provide the means by which researchers, inventors, businesses, designers, artists and others can legally protect their innovative and creative outputs and secure an economic return from them.

But the IP system is no free lunch. Only when a work meets certain established criteria will it qualify for IP protection. A song, or a movie, for example, only qualifies for copyright protection if it is original. Similarly, a technology has to be groundbreaking (i.e. novel, non-obvious and useful) to qualify for a patent. Moreover, to obtain a patent, an inventor is obliged to make details of her invention public so that others can build on the technology.

An effective IP system that balances the interests of inventors and creators with those of society as a whole has proven an effective way to encourage inventors and creators to invest their time, energy and ingenuity into developing new technologies and new forms of creative expression that both improve and enrich our lives.

An environment in which innovation and creativity thrive, and which is diverse and inclusive, improves our chances of addressing the major challenges facing humanity, driving human progress, and making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable.

The theme of World Intellectual Property 2023, is “Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity”

In 2023, we celebrate the “can do” attitude of women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs around the world and their ground-breaking work.

Women make up nearly half of the global population (49.58%) and represent a huge pool of talent, which remains largely untapped.

Women in all regions are shaping the world through their imagination, ingenuity and hard work, but often face significant challenges in accessing the knowledge, skills, resources and support they need to thrive.

Research commissioned by WIPO is helping to identify the multi-faceted barriers that may exclude women from using IP services. In addition to the lack of IP knowledge, women often lack access to networks, mentors, sponsor and role models; face difficulties in securing financial resources; confront negative bias and bear the burden of care responsibilities within their families.

These barriers mean that too few women are benefitting from the IP system.

WIPO statistics for 2021, reveal that only 16.5 percent of inventors named in international patent applications were women. While numbers are rising, progress is slow. WIPO estimates that, at current rates, parity among Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)-listed inventors will only be reached in 2055.

At a time when building economic resilience for recovery is a top priority, connecting women with the IP system to accelerate innovation, creativity and business growth, is more important than ever. It makes economic sense and it is the right thing to do.

For World Intellectual Property Day 2023, let’s pull together to promote the development of more inclusive and diverse IP ecosystems that accelerate innovation, creativity and business growth for the benefit of all.

WIPO is actively working towards gender equality and the full participation of women in the international intellectual property (IP) rights system, both through systematic gender mainstreaming and targeted activities. These include:

  • The appointment of WIPO’s first IP and Gender Champion and IP and Gender Program to promote greater gender diversity in IP and innovation worldwide.
  • The launch of an IP and Gender Action Plan. The Plan provides a strategic direction for WIPOs’ work in promoting and encouraging women’s engagement in IP and innovation ecosystems.
  • Ground-breaking data collection and analyses to determine women’s participation in the innovation ecosystem and improve the available knowledge base.
  • The delivery of customized IP for business and commercialization programs to women entrepreneurs around the globe.
  • Work with national IP Offices to increase understanding and integration of gender considerations and to promote the exchange of good practices.
  • Developing policy and legislative advice and support for national policymakers aimed at helping bring more women and girls into innovative and creative activities.

World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated globally. Anyone can take part in the campaign! IP offices, government agencies, law firms, businesses (large and small), international organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, schools, students, and more... Join the thousands of people around the world that come together every year to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day.

You can get involved in many ways:

  • Help us amplify the campaign.
    Online: Share your views and on social media using the #WorldIPDay hashtag, and follow @WIPO on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram. Download and share World IP Day content  and tell give your perspective on how women are accelerating innovation and creativity and why it’s important to encourage more women to use the IP system on your website or blog.
    Offline: Talk about World Intellectual Property Day and this year’s theme with your friends and colleagues.
  • Attend a World Intellectual Property Day event (virtual/hybrid). Every year, hundreds of events are organized around the world to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day– webinars, conferences, national award ceremonies, workshops, and exhibitions. Take your pick. World Intellectual Property Day is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate innovation and creativity and to learn something new.
  • Organize an event. Why not think big and organize your own World Intellectual Property Day event? Have a look at our list of event ideas for inspiration.

For the latest World Intellectual Property Day updates, check our website and Facebook Page.

Organizing and promoting World Intellectual Property Day events

World Intellectual Property Day is a great opportunity to get people interested in and talking about IP.

If you would like to organize your own World Intellectual Property Day event, whether virtual, hybrid or in-person, and are looking for inspiration, have a look at our suggested activities, or World Intellectual Property Day events maps from previous years. These are available in the World IP Day archives.

  • Use our World Intellectual Property Day suggested activities to promote your event online and offline. For details about what you are allowed to do with these materials, have a look at the answers relating to publicity materials.
  • WIPO may also publicize certain events on social media. Be sure to use #WorldIPDay and mention WIPO (@wipo on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and @wipo on Instagram) when talking about your event.

N.B. WIPO is not able to officially endorse or financially support events organized by third parties.

Publicity materials

You can use content from our social media kit to promote World Intellectual Property Day.

Unfortunately, we cannot authorize use of the WIPO logo for third party events.

Our video production guidelines offer some basic pointers on how to create a video clip for your campaign.

Our guidance note offers suggestions on how to engage with social media influencers to amplify your key campaign messages.

Our web guidelines offer pointers on how to develop a website with helpful information on IP, case studies, videos, and other IP activities.

World IP Day Archives

Take a look at previous World IP Day campaigns in our archives.

More questions?

If you couldn't find an answer to your question on this page or through the World IP Day homepage, then feel free to contact us.