World Intellectual Property Day 2023

Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity

| Published on 25 Apr 2023

World Intellectual Property Day 2023 img

A Significant Day for WIPO

Back in the year 2000, the member states of the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) designated the 26th of April  as World Intellectual Property Day. This day is significant for WIPO, as it was the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force way back in 1970. The WIPO Convention was the constitutive instrument which set up WIPO.  
Since its early days, World IP Day has offered a unique yearly opportunity to regroup and consider how IP contributes to the flourishing of recent technology, music, and the arts. 

Theme for 2023 

This year, the theme chosen by the WIPO is ‘Women & Intellectual Property – Accelerating Innovation and Creativity.’ This theme highlights the vital role that women play in driving innovation and creativity, and the importance of protecting and promoting their intellectual property (IP) rights. 

The theme acknowledges the contributions of women in various fields, including science, technology, engineering, arts, and culture, and recognizes the need to ensure that women have equal opportunities to participate in and benefit from the innovation ecosystem. It emphasizes the role of IP in fostering economic, social, and cultural progress, and the need to create an inclusive environment that promotes gender equality and empowers women to unleash their full potential as creators and innovators. 

The theme also draws attention to the challenges that women face in accessing and utilizing IP systems, such as gender bias, discrimination, and lack of representation. It calls for efforts to remove barriers and promote gender diversity and inclusion in the field of IP, including policy and decision-making, and IP management. 

"There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. And there is no better tool for the empowerment of women than intellectual property rights." - WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. 

Distinguished Women in IP 

We feel that on this unique day, we need to offer tribute to some of the most distinguishable and prominent women which have embellished and continue embellishing the creative arena.  

Whitney Wolfe Herd  

Whitney Wolfe Herd is a prominent figure in the field of intellectual property (IP), known for her contributions to innovation and creativity in the tech industry. As the founder and CEO of Bumble, a popular social networking app that empowers women to make the first move in dating, Whitney Wolfe Herd has made significant strides in challenging gender norms and promoting gender equality through technology. 

As an entrepreneur and advocate for women's rights, Whitney Wolfe Herd has demonstrated the importance of IP in fostering innovation and creativity while also addressing societal challenges. She has used IP strategies to safeguard Bumble's unique brand, technology, and user experience, and has leveraged IP protection to build and grow her business. Her success in the tech industry and her commitment to promoting gender equality through IP have made her a trailblazer and a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators, especially women. 

Hedy Lamarr  

Hedy Lamarr was a pioneering actress, inventor, and innovator who made significant contributions to the field of intellectual property (IP) through her ground-breaking inventions and technological innovations. 

During World War II, Lamarr, along with composer George Antheil, co-invented a frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) technology, which aimed to address the problem of jamming of radio-controlled torpedoes by the enemy. This invention laid the foundation for modern-day technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS, and is considered a pioneering development in wireless communications. 

Despite the significance of her invention, Lamarr's contributions to IP were initially overlooked, and her invention was not fully recognized during her lifetime. However, her innovative spirit and intellectual prowess have since gained recognition, and she is now celebrated as a trailblazer in the field of IP. Lamarr's work exemplifies the critical role that women can play in driving technological advancements and innovation, even in fields traditionally dominated by men. 

Beulah Henry 

Beulah Louise Henry, often known as "Lady Edison," was a prolific inventor and entrepreneur who made notable contributions to the field of intellectual property (IP) through her innovative creations and relentless pursuit of inventions. Throughout her lifetime, Henry obtained nearly 50 patents for her inventions, covering a wide range of areas including household appliances, medical devices, and industrial tools.  

Henry's inventions were known for their practicality, and she was often praised for her innovative and creative approach to problem-solving. She was known to have a keen sense of identifying consumer needs and creating inventions that could improve daily life for people. Despite facing challenges and discrimination as a female inventor in a male-dominated field during her time, Henry persevered and continued to pursue her passion for invention and entrepreneurship. 

Henry's work in IP not only demonstrated her ingenuity and creativity but also served as an inspiration for other inventors, particularly women, to pursue their ideas and seek IP protection for their inventions. 

What this means for you 

The aim of the 2023 theme is to raise awareness of the contributions of women to innovation and creativity, highlight the importance of gender equality in IP systems, and inspire action to promote women's empowerment in the field of IP. It also serves as a call to accelerate efforts to ensure that women's rights and interests are fully recognized, protected, and promoted in the realm of intellectual property. 

How we can help 

Intellectual property can provide individuals and corporations with the protection needed to unleash their ideas and develop their finest inventions. Get in touch with our intellectual property team for more information on how we can help.

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