2023 World Intellectual Property Day: Women Year  

April 26 is the World Intellectual Property Day promoted by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). The theme of the 2023 World IP Day is “Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity”.

Why we celebrate World IP Day

April 26 – the day when the WIPO Convention entered into force – was chosen by the WIPO Member States with the goal of increasing the general awareness on IP matters and, most of all, highlighting the role of artistic and technological innovation in the global human progress.

As matter of fact, the intellectual property system recognizes and awards inventors and artists for their work, and it also allows the entire society to benefit from their creativity and ingenuity. An efficient IP protection system does not only protect the profitability of the authors, but also encourages inventors and artists to spend time, energy and ingenuity in the development of new technologies and new creative forms of expression, which turns then into an enrichment of all collectiveness.

As recalled by WIPO itself “An environment where innovation and creativity thrive, and which is diverse and inclusive, improves our chances of dealing with the major challenges facing humanity, driving human progress, and making our lives healthier, safer, and more comfortable”.

Women and intellectual property: accelerating innovation and creativity

The main topic of this year is precisely the women inclusion in the IP field.

WIPO chose to celebrate female inventors, creators and entrepreneurs all over the world to highlight the sharp gender gap which can still be found in this field.

According a survey carried out by WIPO, women worldwide must face not only a cultural prejudice, but also more difficulties compared to men in terms of access to knowledge, skills, resources and support needed to exploit the tools offered by the IP system.

These barriers are the reason why the number of women participating to the IP system is hugely lower compared to men. Women are almost half of the global population (49,58%) but, according to the data WIPO shared last month, in 2022 only 16,2% of the inventors mentioned in international patent application were women.

This number tells us that women represent a large pool of talent that is not being valued and remains unused.

According to WIPO estimations, at the actual rate, gender equality between inventors could be reached only in 2064. Nevertheless, this deadline seems way too far if we consider that we live in an historical moment in which environment challenges and the construction of economical resilience for recovery represent a global top priority.

As pointed out by WIPO, women participation to the IP system must be encouraged if we want to accelerate innovation and creativity, because data show that “when women lose out, we all lose out”.

Ilaria Feriti