ipday_poster07_small.gifToday is World Intellectual Property Day, a day organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as a way to encourage people to think about intellectual property in everyday life, and about its importance in protecting IP. April 26 was chosen as this was the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.

Specifically, the aims of World IP Day are:

  • to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life;
  • to increase understanding of how protecting IP rights helps promote creativity and innovation;
  • to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe;
  • to encourage respect for the IP rights of others.

The theme this year is encouraging creativity. In a message from Director General Kamil Idris, he states, “Encouraging creativity – rewarding the creative, innovative talents on which our world and our future are built – these are the ends which intellectual property serves. This is what drives WIPO’s work. This is what makes World Intellectual Property Day a cause for celebration.”

Among the free give-aways are a nice publication on Understanding Industrial Property and a short video clip on “encouraging creativity and innovation” — even if it doesn’t really tell you much.

Jeremy Phillips of IPKat put together his own special post for World Intellectual Property Day describing the recent break-though in asexual reproductive technology by Disney Biosciences – the first-ever cloning of a cartoon character.

Even George and Laura Bush sent out a special WIPD greeting

See more activities here.  Although, not everyone wanted to join in all the reindeer games. 

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  1. It’s interesting how utilitarian arguments in favor of IP–that it encourages or stimulates extra innovation–which is the explicit goal of “IP Day”–never stop to ask what the costs of the IP system are, to make sure that the benefits it generates are greater than the costs. I discuss this issue in my article There’s No Such Thing As A Free Patent ( http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?Id=1763 ).

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