A preview of this year's event

It is time to think again about World Intellectual Property Day, which falls on 26 April.

In 2000, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated this date, on which its establishing Convention came into force in 1970, as annual World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD), in order to make Intellectual Property more relevant to all of our lives.

This year WIPO celebrates the 10th anniversary of World IP Day and the 40th anniversary of WIPO and its Convention.

In addition, WIPO’s focus this year is “Innovation – Linking the World”, so we have several reasons to celebrate IP and the protection of innovation across the world in April.

These are topical areas for Scotland, which continues to be a centre of excellence for IP and innovation.

Art for art’s sake

Details about World IP Day 2010, the new blue WIPO artwork and posters for 2010, and the image and event archive for the last 10 years, which can be used to promote World IP Day, can be found at www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/.

Standard Life’s own WIPD poster was designed in-house for Standard Life group, so we own the copyright. This was the first 2010 poster displayed on the WIPO World IP Day Gallery at www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/ en/ipday/posters.html, and can be found under Standard Life along with our posters for the last two years.

April IP attractions

It will be a very eventful time for IP in Scotland in April:

  • “Wallace and Gromit Present a World of Cracking Ideas” exhibition opens at the Glasgow Science Centre on 2 April. I visited this Intellectual Property Office sponsored event in London, and it’s great fun for adults and children!
  • Retired Law Lord, Lord Hoffmann will be speaking about IP at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on the evening of 13 April.
  • “Creating brand value from your business” is a free IPO event in Stirling Management Centre on 20 April.
  • The Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocates are arranging another annual lunchtime World IP Day 2010 conference in Edinburgh on 23 April from 12 noon to 2pm. Sponsored by the Scottish Society for Computers and Law and Dell, it will be jointly chaired by Roisin Higgins, advocate and myself. Scheduled to be held in the Mackenzie Building, Old Assembly Close, High Street, the venue will be confirmed nearer the time. Speakers are still being finalised but Miles Rees, Business Outreach Manager, Intellectual Property Office has been confirmed. Innovation and the potential global protection of IP are very topical areas for modern day Scotland, and the speakers will consider the importance of innovation and IP and its protection and respect. Watch the Society and Faculty websites for more details.

More fancy food for thought

I will be arranging some more WIPD 2010 decorated cakes for our office and the Edinburgh conference, and all the appropriate email licences to use the images from WIPO and our in-house designer will be displayed to the supermarket bakery concerned!

IP and IPO

IP is still a reserved matter for Westminster, and David Lammy MP, the Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property, is responsible for our Intellectual Property Office, which is a major supporter of WIPD and will be announcing its own London and Newport events nearer the time.

In times of economic challenge, we have to continue to take steps to protect and respect IP, as IP enhances the value and profitability of our businesses. World IP Day is an annual opportunity to help raise the profile of IP globally.

I wish you all a very happy World IP Day, when it comes!

  • Graeme McWilliams is Legal Adviser, IP & E-Commerce, Standard Life, Edinburgh and a member of the IP and Technology Committees, and the IP accreditation panel of the Law Society of Scotland. The opinions expressed are personal views which do not reflect the views of Standard Life group.
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