Wednesday 3 May 2023

World IP Day 2023: Women and IP

World IP Day

World IP Day - Date

April 26th is celebrated as World Intellectual Property or World IP Day from year 2000 onwards. In 1970, on April 26th, “WIPO Convention” had come into force. In 2000, WIPO's member states designated April 26 as World IP Day.

2023 Theme

Each year, a theme is assigned. The theme for 2023 is- “Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity”

Source: WIPO

The rationale of this theme as per WIPO:

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

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.

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

Why Celebrate IP Day?

World IP day is being celebrated to enhance IP awareness and understanding. The celebration offers a chance to join with many worldwide and discuss about IP. IP is linked with creativity and innovation that contributes to world’s betterment and progress.

There are many Intellectual Property Rights- IPR- such as- Patents, Copyright, Trademark, Industrial Designs, Geographical Indications etc. These encourage innovation, creativity, knowledge, inspiration, and promotion.

IPR enables producers and creators to legally protect their creations and earn fame and value.

IP Culture

There is no doubt that IP is the need of the hour that must be celebrated every day. Also, it is significant for both women and men. However, knowledge about IP and IPR is lacking. Many are not even aware of the meaning and requirement of the various IPR, and they are used interchangeably and erroneously. For example, many wrongly refer to Geographical Indication (GI) as Patent or Trademark. 

Also, the information about the IP and IPRs is lacking e.g. people are unaware about even the names of local products. IP culture must be cultivated right from school.

IP, more specifically GI, Misrepresentation

UK-based marathon-runner Odia woman, Ms Madhusmita Jena Das, ran the Manchester Marathon dressed in a traditional "Khandua" Saree last month. Her marathon participation images and videos are now viral. Those who have followed this news or search it online will find that- the name of her saree has been shared by most as “Sambalpuri”.

Though both Khandua and Sambalpuri are types of "Orissa Ikat" GI from Odisha, India, they have their own GI tags. 

More information in this blog post- Khandua or Sambalpuri? Sab Chalta Hai?

GI is also a type of IP or IPR. 

Representing IP correctly should be everyone's responsibility. 

Such misrepresentation and misinformation needs to be corrected, else the false info will get lifetime credibility and validity.

IP Seminars at Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

This April 26th, it was great to address regarding IP and GI at the seminars organised by the National Rice Research Institute (NRRI), and MSME-DFO and CTTC at Cuttack and Bhubaneswar respectively.

In my presentation, also shared images of some women who have done great work.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Can you identify her?

Please share your answer in the comments below.

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