Attorney raises awareness of World IP Day

Dedicated to raising public awareness about the importance of encouraging innovation and creativity throughout the world, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) annually observes World Intellectual Property Day on April 26 to showcase the role that patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights and trade secrets play in our everyday lives.

Michael Stewart, managing partner of intellectual property law firm Fishman Stewart PLLC, has been recognized for devoting time and effort in promoting the initial World IP Day programs throughout the United States, in addition to firm partner Paul Ratzmann and associate Anthony M. Gartrelle, who have also been committee members in prior World IP Day events, as well as Stewart.

Reflecting on this year’s theme of “IP and the SDGs: Building our common future with innovation and creativity,” Stewart points

to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and acknowledges the change-makers who are driving the innovation and creativity needed to achieve these goals and build a better and more sustainable future for everyone.

“In addressing global challenges like hunger, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and sustainable cities and communities, intellectual property plays a pivotal role and provides a potent stimulus for creativity and innovation which can lead to sustainable growth and development,” Stewart said. “For 2024’s World IP Day, we celebrate the creators, inventors and agents of change who are using their intellectual capital to introduce essential solutions that will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and build our common future.”

Stewart also points out that tracking specific innovations aimed at achieving SDGs is ever-increasing in importance as only 15% of these goals are currently on track toward the implementation of Agenda 2030 – and patent analytics is one of the keys to accountability.

“Even though almost 70% of technology data is captured in patent data—and despite being publicly available—it is not easy to understand,” he said. “However, this challenge has created an opportunity through patent analytics as the conduit to measure the trajectory of technological advancement and progress—and also highlight gaps that exist and determine where more resources need to be directed.”

To illustrate patent analytics in action, WIPO has put together its Mapping Innovations: Patents and the Sustainable Development Goals report with an extensive analysis of patents mapped to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It serves as an important guide clarifying the path of forward on the use of intellectual property and where it can most make a positive difference. Also on its website, the organization has included interactive visualizations to explore the SDGs through patent activities, key findings in technologies for sustainability, and key findings in the geographical distribution of sustainable innovation and the patent owners driving it.

“Innovation and creativity are innately human characteristics, that when tapped into, can greatly improve the quality of life,” Stewart said. “The intellectual property system incentivizes these characteristics to help stimulate investment in important activities and act as a catalyst for job creation, economic development and social vibrancy. It’s also why we shine a spotlight on World IP Day. IP is not only a powerful tool for growth but will also help us achieve sustainable development and SDG success.”   

To celebrate World IP Day in the United States, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will be hosting an in-person gathering at the U.S Capitol Building–Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 1 at 4 p.m. (ET). Livestream is also available.

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