World Intellectual Property Day – April 26

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World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April. The National Algerian Institute for Industrial Property proposed the institutionalisation of an international day for intellectual property, with the aim of more awareness. The Chinese delegation to the WIPO proposed the adoption of the “World Intellectual Property Day”. In  1999, the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) approved the idea of declaring April 26 as a World Intellectual Property Day. World Intellectual Property Day was established in 2000. April 26 was the date on which the Convention established the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1970.

Each year, a message is associated with this day:

  • 2001 – Creating the Future Today
  • 2002 – Encouraging Creativity
  • 2003 – Make Intellectual Property Your Business
  • 2004 – Encouraging Creativity
  • 2005 – Think, Imagine, Create
  • 2006 – It Starts With An Idea
  • 2007 – Encouraging Creativity
  • 2008 – Celebrating innovation and promoting respect for intellectual property
  • 2009 – Green Innovation
  • 2010 – Innovation – Linking the World
  • 2011 – Designing the Future
  • 2012 – Visionary Innovators
  • 2013 – Creativity – The Next Generation
  • 2014 – Movies – a Global Passion
  • 2015 – Get Up, Stand Up. For Music
  • 2016 – Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined
  • 2017 – Innovation – Improving Lives
  • 2018 – Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity
  • 2019 – IP and Sports
  • 2020 – Innovate for a Green Future
  • 2021 – IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market
  • 2022 – IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future

This day raises awareness of patented inventions, copyrights, trademarks and registered designs. World Intellectual Property Day celebrates creativity and the contribution made by innovators and creators.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property refers to all legislation concerning patents, designs, trademarks and copyright protection. It is meant to protect the intellectual property of legal entities, as intellectual property can also carry significant value and is thus vulnerable for exploitation by outside parties. With the exception of copyright, intellectual property law in South Africa require for this property to be registered in order to qualify for protection. If you come up with a brilliant new invention, but do not register the patent, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it if someone else copies your idea and market it themselves. There are certain requirements that need to be adhered to before you can register something under the intellectual property law. The best advice is to consult with an expert in this field, such as Smit & Van Wyk Incorporated, in order to determine the best way to protect your intangible assets.