World Intellectual Property Day and Special 301 Report

intellectual property day in india

World Intellectual Property Day and Special 301 Report

The general assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in the year 2000 decided to celebrate 26th April as World Intellectual Property Day. Since 2001 it is celebrated every year on 26th April. 26th April was chosen as the IP Day because it is the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.

The objective of World Intellectual Property Day is to “highlight the role and contribution of intellectual property in the economic, cultural, and social development of all countries as well as to raise public awareness and understanding in this field of human endeavor.”

Every year WIPO chooses a theme and events are organized around the world by WIPO, IP offices, law firms, and universities worldwide. “Creating the future today” was the theme of the first World Intellectual Property Day in 2001. The theme of 2024 IP Day is “IP and the Sustainable Development Goals: Building our common future with Innovation and Creativity”.

IP Day is a fantastic way to promote ideas about intellectual property all over the world. However, many think that these events have little impact at the grassroots level. This is primarily because of the framework of the WIPO agenda. WIPO came into existence in 1970 as an instrument to promote the developed intellectual property system of the US and Europe. Many activists and scholars believe it to be one-sided promotion of intellectual property.

It will be interesting to follow how organisations use intellectual property to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

In contrast to IP Day, every year US government publishes the ‘Special 301’ report. It is an annual review of the global state of IP protection and enforcement. This year it was published on 25th April 2022, just a day before the celebration of World IP Day. And, once again India has been placed on the priority watch list by the US government.

According to the report, ‘trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns this year regarding insufficient IP protection or enforcement or actions that otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection.’ The countries on the priority watch list will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.

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