celebrating world intellectual property rights day


Tomorrow isn’t any ordinary day. As I’m sure you are already aware, the 26th April 2007 is being celebrated globally as World Intellectual Property Rights Day.


IP Rights are often overlooked by agencies and some clients. Its sometimes seen as the work of others, probably Mike in Legal who’s hidden in the back office somewhere.

While the subject can draw the odd yawn, I thought I’d encourage you to visit a website today as we all prepare to celebrate the event in our own way.

If you are in the U.K. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/home.htm

If you are in any other country: http://www.wipo.int/portal/index.html.en

The theme for IP Rights day this year is ‘Encouraging Creativity.’ There’s even a poster that hopes to support this thought.


But rather than lecture you about giving away your valuable ideas for nothing, which you probably do and already know you shouldn’t. I thought I’d cut through the huge swath of bureaucratic IP support this day will unleash on an unsuspecting world by providing you with a taste of some of the events that will be taking place around the world.

What I found interesting was how the bureaucrats responsible for IP in different countries have given a local take on how to celebrate IP Day creatively.

So, without a trace of irony:

– Barbados will host an open day in their office (I believe the poster provided by the World IP Organisation may see some use).

– In Belgium writers will be invited to attend a conference entitled ‘texts don’t grow on trees’ (apparently the material for the posters did).

– In Bulgaria the population have been subject to a three week awareness campaign leading up to the great day itself. There will be a presentation of certificates (not posters) to Bulgarians who are to be given national recognition for their achievements in Intellectual Property (I’m unclear if these are the employees of the Bulgarian IP Department, or Bulgarians who’ve copyrighted or patented something).

Uniquely an online forum will be set up where citizens will be able to express themselves creatively (I think this is known as freedom of speech in some countries, but I admire their rise to the challenge of the day).

– In Canada you will be able to download the official poster (hurrah!) from an official website. And there will be a special commemorative celebration in the lobby of the Canadian IP Organisation’s office. Staff and their partners will be attending.

– In China the destruction of a large quantity of pirated and otherwise illegal products will take place in order to discourage counterfeiting (I’m unclear if duplicates of the IP poster will be subject to this action). In addition there will be significant co-ordinated events in 31 provinces and regions throughout China, arranged through the cooperation of 18 government ministries. For those who like to let their hair down, there will also be a quiz on IP for the staff who handle complaints about IP infringements.

– In Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) the Director General of the Ivorian IP Organisation will appear on national TV and separately there will be a televised debate that is accompanied by films about IP. There are a host of planned activities for Global IP Day. As well as a government announcement about IP, there will be a list of inventions selected for exhibition.

– In the Czech Republic you may look forward to an office open day and lectures on changes in the IP Classification and EPC 2000 (I can’t wait).

– In Ethiopia there’s an exhibition displaying examples of protected works, relevant posters (wonderful) and statistics on the status of intellectual property in the country.

– In Finland the Parliament will split into ten different working groups and brainstorm ideas, the best of which will then be tabled as ideas in 2 sessions that will be voted on. Apparently some Russians will be invited to join this activity. The event will be hosted by the City of Lappeenranta, Lappeenranta Technical University, and Lappeenranta Innovation Oy, together with the primary organisers of the event, the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland and Suomalaisten Keksijöiden Tukiyhdistys (Support Association for Finnish Inventors) and Headline Oy, which is responsible for the practical arrangements (including sticking up the poster?).

– In Greece there will be a theatrical play about IP for children, a photography exhibition and concerts of Greek music and jazz (I’m not certain if the band were booked for the taverna that night anyway. But it adds a certain informal charm to the day).

– In India a Judge of the Supreme Court will attend a seminar on IP which includes a presentation by the Delhi police force. Also the Chambers of Commerce and Industry will play some jingles on the radio (I’d love to hear them).

– In The Netherlands the day will be celebrated with a reception that will be held by the organisers of the Dutch IP website, Boek9, at a venue called Klos Morel Vos & Schaap in Amsterdam. Anyone involved in the field is invited. Further information can be found at: http://www.boek9.nl.

– In New Zealand an event will be held at the Stamford Plaza Hotel Auckland. It includes cocktails and a presentation. They are hoping for 250 people to attend, including someone who will talk about baggage handling (I kid you not).

– In Paraguay, there will be a World IP Day workshop. It’s being held in a school hall

– In Singapore people will be ‘Saying no to piracy’ by being shown movies before they are officially released in cinema (I couldn’t make that one up)

– In Spain there will be a declaration by the Ministry of Culture, a new web page and some TV, press and radio ads and banners that encourage people to ‘Defend your Culture Against Piracy.’ (Not sure if this will be translated for the Basque region)

– In the UK we’ve apparently got the results of a survey to look forward to. 662 designers and manufacturers were questioned on IP and the results will appear on the web site (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/home.htm ). There will also be some events, some booklets published and a press conference at the British Library.

Wallace and Gromit will front a campaign aimed at primary school children called ‘Cracking Ideas’ (how wonderful is that?).

– In Uzbekistan various anti-piracy initiatives will be launched and a round table will be held with IBM and Microsoft. IP rights will be given media coverage to inform the public about IP related rights. Importantly, students will be invited to enter a competition to create the best poster about the day (wonderful).

Apologies I haven’t featured the full global list, but you will find it at:


No offence intended by my comments. All the activities I have mentioned are listed as genuine (copyrighted?) by the World IP Organisation.

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