Published April 25, 2024

As World Intellectual Property Day approaches on 26 April, we asked our Editorial Board their thoughts on this year’s focus: ‘IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity.’

Established by the United Nations in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 global goals intended to create a better world by 2030 by addressing issues related to poverty, inequality, and climate change. The role of IP is vital in reaching these goals, with innovation and creative solutions a driving force towards a more sustainable future.

Our Editorial Board share their thoughts:

“The purpose of sustainable development is to eliminate poverty, protect the earth, and ensure prosperity for all. The economic development of China over the past 40 years has fully demonstrated the importance of the IP system for sustainable development. The IP system must resonate with economic and social development in order to effectively play its role in protecting and incentivizing innovation. To achieve global sustainable development, it is still necessary to continuously improve and harmonize the IP systems of countries with green innovation as the core. Such a system should provide a feasible business model that rewards innovators, helps bridge the technological gap between different countries, promotes global technology transfer and cooperation, and ensures that in the digital age, innovation protection, and public interest needs can be balanced at all times. This will be a new consensus and foundation for global development and open cooperation.”

Gang HU, Deputy General Manager, China Patent Agent (H.K.) Ltd., The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member 

“In the UAE, World IP Day’s theme, “IP and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Building our common future with innovation and creativity,” resonates deeply with the country’s vision and aspirations. As a country committed to sustainable development, the UAE places significant emphasis on integrating innovation, creativity, and IP rights into its Green Agenda 2030. This ambitious initiative aims to balance economic growth with environmental preservation, fostering a future where prosperity aligns with sustainability.


“Hosting COP28 in 2023 showcased the UAE’s leadership in addressing global climate challenges, emphasizing the pivotal role of innovation in achieving environmental goals. With a growing focus on green innovation, the UAE is leveraging IP protection to incentivize and safeguard advancements in renewable energy, water conservation, and sustainable agriculture.


“By further developing a robust IP protection system, the UAE underscores its dedication to fostering a conducive environment for innovation and creativity. This framework not only encourages local inventors and entrepreneurs but also attracts global talent and investment, facilitating the exchange of ideas and technologies crucial for realizing the SDGs.”

Yasir Masood, IP Manager, Rouse & Co., The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member

“In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Mission-based businesses are on the rise, and millennials and Gen Z, especially, value businesses with a social conscience or mission. On this World IP Day, it’s up to us, the legal profession, to ensure we educate the next generation of mission-based entrepreneurs and the lawyers who serve these businesses understand how to build sustainable businesses that can stand the test of time by leveraging a strong portfolio of IP rights!”

Stacey C. Kalamaras, Founding Partner, Kalamaras Law Office, LLC, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member

“World IP Day celebrates innovation and creativity within IP via its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a great theme as it encourages us to strive to improve and continually look to the future of IP, whilst ensuring any changes are considered for the benefit of the IP community, and community in general, in the long-term. There are many sustainable tools the IP world can use in its desire to improve and grow and I cannot wait to see how these develop both now and in the future. Innovation and creativity have always been, and will always be, key in IP.”

Charlotte Wilding, Partner, Keltie LLP, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member

“This year’s theme for World IP Day, “IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity” hits close to home in Jamaica. The SDGs have been incorporated into “Vision 2030 Jamaica”, Jamaica’s first long-term strategic development plan for strengthening national capacity for sustainable, inclusive, and resilient development, with each priority area linked to specific SDGs.


“This World IP Day, we have been given an opportunity to carefully examine the role IP can play in helping us advance the SDGs and our Vision 2030 while balancing the nuances and complexities of a developing region. On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, the Intellectual Property Caribbean Association (IPCA), will host a Webinar on Intellectual Property and the Sustainable Development Goals in the Caribbean. This webinar will take a look at an area that tends to be overlooked within the region, namely the intersection between intellectual property and the environment, particularly the warm waters of the Caribbean, and will feature speakers who have used IP to propel innovative solutions geared at protecting the environment. Likewise, the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be hosting its usual “IP Week” Activities from Sunday, April 21st right through to World IP Day where a round-table on this year’s theme, with a specific focus on SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.”

Rachael Lodge Corrie, Partner, FOGA DALEY, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member

“On World IP Day, we celebrate IP and the Sustainable Development Goals. NITI Aayog serves as India’s topmost public policy think tank to supervise the adoption and monitoring of initiatives to accomplish SDGs. There are efforts to foster IP projects that are designed to counter poverty, improve health and education, combat climate change, and preserve forests and oceans. The government has launched national welfare and development projects to support SDGs. SDG India Index is a report by NITI Aayog on India’s progress.


“Initiatives, like Make in India, Digital India, and Skill India, are already part of the ecosystem to further SDGs. Projects like the Atal Innovation Mission nurture innovative young talent growing in schools and universities.


“India’s roadmap includes steps towards drone technology in agriculture and subsidizing availability to farmers, protecting plant varieties and recognizing GIs which help preserve the identity of indigenous products. GIs are incentivizing sustainable farming by connecting quality to their origin thereby helping producers to adopt climate-friendly practices. Green patents are granted for waste management, alternative energy production, energy conservation, agriculture, and forestry.


“SDG efforts have helped reduce poverty rates and achieve near-universal primary school enrolments. IP initiatives have been helmed to create awareness about maternal and child health, thus lowering mortality rates.


“A delicate balance must be preserved while supporting IP for SDGs as creativity should be accorded incentives to bring participation but at the same time ensure that the rigors of IP do not stifle the free flow of technology that forms the fulcrum of SDG initiatives.”

Misum Hossain, Founder & Head, Lincoln Legal Chambers, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member

“This year’s theme for World IP Day is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the broader importance not only of global collaboration but of IP rights as well. History repeatedly shows us that incentives are key to rapid innovation, and I firmly believe IP protection is one such critical incentive. History also demonstrates, I think, that humanity fares better when we’re open to a diversity of ideas. In our turbulent times, these underlying truths create a moral imperative – perhaps even an existential one – for each of us in this profession to foster collaboration in problem-solving and advocate for strong and harmonious IP regimes to help spur innovation. Some may see these as inconsistent goals. They don’t have to be. Even in the simplest terms, our shared incentives to innovate should promote cross-border collaborations with the promise of shared, multi-national IP protection.”

Chris Mitchell, Member, Dickinson Wright, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member 

“This year’s focus for World IP Day is Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which relate heavily to IP: the motor of development in the current “knowledge economy.” Our planet is our house, the house of our families, and the house of the next generations and IP is an extraordinarily valuable instrument to help these goals effectively take place. In Argentina, a country blessed with one of the largest and most fertile lands in the world, pure water, natural and green food production, animals fed with natural grass, and high levels of education in its population, we are undoubtedly an important player in achieving these goals in South America.


“Argentina is a country of creators and inventors, from the invention of the ink pen, the by-pass technique, the artificial heart, the fingerprint identification system, the stent, and the traffic lights for blind people. Our creativity, open spirit, and natural resources (such as lithium) encourage the use of IP to build a sustainable future for our planet.


“Further, Argentine Patent, Trademark, Domain Name, and Copyright Offices and governmental bodies are fully online, thus adding to the sustainability criteria.”

Santiago R. O’Conor, Managing Partner, O’Conor & Power, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member

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