Each year, on April 26, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated in a continued effort to raise awareness and understanding of the value IP offers. This year’s focus is ‘Women in IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity’, intended to highlight the incredible impact women are making in the innovation space and encourage women into the IP sector and to benefit from IP as their presence remains disproportionate. To celebrate the occasion, we asked our Editorial Board their thoughts:
“The progress of human civilization and technological innovation have always been inseparable from the efforts of women. In the field of intellectual property, especially in the field of trademarks, there are a large number of female practitioners who generally possess high professional standards. It can be said that there is true gender equality in the field of intellectual property, and every woman with dreams is demonstrating the strength and responsibility of “being equal to men” and becoming the creators of the future together. Respect women, respect innovation, and respect intellectual property!”
HU Gang, Director of Trademark & Copyright Litigation Department at CCPIT Patent & Trademark Office, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“On this World IP Day, let us acknowledge the significant contributions to innovation and intellectual property made by women in the Middle East. Despite negative stereotypes, the region has a rich tradition of women’s participation in education and research, exemplified by the historic University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco, founded by Fatima al-Fihri which is considered the oldest existing university in the world. Recent data from UNESCO reveals that up to 57% of STEM graduates in Arab countries are women (with the UAE having 61% female STEM students). Sarah Al Amiri, the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, aptly emphasized the importance of prioritizing intellectual property rights and fostering a supportive environment for research and scientific discoveries to maintain and build upon this progress.”
Yasir Massod, Trademark Lawyer at Dennemeyer & Associates S.A. (AE), The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“The theme this year for World IP Day is ‘Women & IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity’ which is an incredible effort to celebrate women globally who are taking giant strides in the field of IP through their original and innovative creations.
Despite facing roadblocks at various levels including finance and access to resources, women are helping shape modern IP through their path breaking initiatives. Increasingly women in IP are thriving on the challenges and accomplishing newer grounds. It is vital that efforts are mounted to encourage more women to wield the powers of IP to protect their entrepreneurial vision and create commercial value.
Fostering the growth and increased involvement of women in IP will not only help identify problems faced by women due to long standing and stifling stereotypes across industry sectors but also help create solutions, products and services that address such systemic imbalance and gender bias.
It is not a myth that women are perilously underrepresented in the creation or protection of IP. Empowerment in real sense would mean equal opportunities for women to create and protect their IP without facing gender discrimination. Such opportunities would require eliminating bias and encouraging opportunities for girls from school levels in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).”
Misum Hossain, Founder & Head of, Lincoln Legal Chambers, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“The theme of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day is spot on with the need to include more women in the global economy and to provide them with the tools to recognize and protect their IP contributions. WIPO’s comprehensive approach to dealing with the IP gender gap by not just defining the issue, but actively seeking to address it is thoroughly impressive. The WIPO website explores the topic in detail with seminars and stories of inspiring women innovators, and it provides resources for women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs. I encourage all IP professionals to check it out to learn more.”
Peter Sloane, Partner at Leason Ellis, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“This year’s World IP Day headline became an opportunity for Polish patent attorneys to discuss the successes and difficulties in the scientific and professional activities of women, especially in the IP sector.
As part of the IP Week organized by the Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys, a number of inspiring and beyond the scheme webinars on the search for effective methods of supporting women in science are held, e.g., On the Situation of Women at Polish Universities and ‘How to Raise a Woman Scientist’ – the latter with the participation of representatives of the Cosmos for Girls Foundation. As part of IP Week, a column entitled ‘Women are not non-technical’ was also published in an attempt to dispel the damaging myth that women are supposedly non-technical. “
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Beata Wojtkowska, Patent & Trademark Attorney at Kulikowska & Kulikowski Sp. K., The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“World IP Day offers a great opportunity each year to reflect on the value of intellectual property and to renew our collective commitment to innovation for the betterment of humankind. It’s also an apt time to reflect on the many, many contributions to the arts and sciences made by trailblazing women, and how much greater our accomplishments as a whole could be by encouraging even more young women into STEM careers.”
Christopher A. Mitchell, Member at Dickinson Wright PLLC, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“Despite the many advances in technology, innovation and education made over the years, women remain under-represented in many sectors, including the fields of Information Technology and IP use. The use of Artificial Intelligence remains a trending topic globally, however studies reveal that AI can perpetuate gender imbalances and discrimination against women, with women being severely underrepresented in the research and software development stages. As we celebrate World IP Day and the large technological strides we’ve made, let us take a moment to celebrate the trailblazing women who have paved the way and ensure that we all play our part in supporting women to realize their innovative potential and understand how to leverage IP laws and IPRs. “
Rachael Lodge Corrie, Partner at Foga Daley, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“I remember that all I really wanted while growing up was to be able to use my creative side in whatever career path I’d choose. When deciding to be a lawyer, I realized soon enough that the world of IP could give me that… I would wake up helping a fashion designer and go to bed studying a case about some new vaccine breakthrough. IP helped to empower the younger me, and I really hope it could do the same for the next generations.”
Barbara Leitao-Johnson, Brand Protection Manager at Corsearch, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“World IP Day was established in the year 2000 by WIPO to raise awareness about the importance and impact of intellectual property rights in everyday life. After reading the impressive biographies and life journeys of Sarah Gilbert (AstraZeneca), Özlem Türeci (Pfizer-BioNTech) and Katalin Karikò (Moderna) , “Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity” , as the theme determined by WIPO in 2023 is more than true and welcome.These scientists of different nationalities and background are a clear example of diversity and inclusion, and mainly having in mind the million of lives they have saved with their vaccines in the fight against the COVID-19. Beyond doubt, women do not stop in their creation and inclusion in the highest development of IP.”
Santiago R. O’Conor, Partner at O’Conro & Power, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member
“Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity – The road ahead is often paved with very good intentions but succeeding to transform them into tangible and effective actions and breaking barriers is the hard task. Beyond the simple observation, which is already an incredible step forward in itself, will we, as human beings, one day, be able to establish the complete balance for all? A lot remains to be done fast, including, sometimes, getting rid of some remaining archaic “male dominant” (whether consciously or unconsciously) business managerial methods. Every little drop we (women, men, human beings) will take, counts. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and must act towards each other in a spirit of brotherhood”, Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let’s continue to roll up together our sleeves to achieve the better results!”
Catherine Hillaert-Prevost, Intellectual Property Advisor, The Trademark Lawyer Editorial Board Member