26 April, World Intellectual Property Day
On the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day, which falls on the 26th of April every year, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders wants to underline the importance that Belgium gives to the protection of intellectual property. This is why our country has since October 2012 been fulfilling (and will be doing so for the next year) the role of chair of the industrialised countries within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is split up into seven regional groups. Belgium is acting as coordinator, spokesperson and negotiator for the points of view of the 31 industrialised WIPO member states in the plenary meetings. This is the first time that Belgium is taking on this task.
The World Day provides the opportunity to promote the debate on the role of intellectual property in the stimulation of innovation and creativity. It is a unique opportunity to debate with the rest of the world and to show how intellectual property works. In addition, this day is also an opportunity to show how intellectual property can contribute to growth in the music and arts sector and how it can stimulate technological innovation in the world. The theme of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day is “Creativity: the Next Generation” and is about what the world will look like in a number of years.
The World Intellectual Property Day was established on 26 April 1970, the day on which the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) – headquartered in Geneva – came into effect. The WIPO has three main tasks. First of all, it strives towards increasing the normative development of intellectual property. To this end, the organisation monitors the drawing up of new, international intellectual property conventions. The WIPO also has an administrative function. Existing intellectual property conventions and the obligations arising from them are managed and followed up by the organisation for the account of the member states. Finally, the WIPO also provides technical support for the development of institutions for the protection of intellectual property. In this regard, the organisation provides technical, financial and logistical support for the development of national intellectual property strategies in developing countries.
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