The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the specialized agency of the United Nations that administers many IP treaties, has designated April 26 as “World Intellectual Property Day.” 2010 marks the tenth year of World IP Day, and the theme this year is “Innovation–Linking the World.”
Eric H. Smith of the IIPA issued the following statement in celebration of the day: “World IP Day celebrates creativity and innovation and promotes respect for intellectual property. Without strong copyright protection and effective enforcement, many of the great cultural and technological assets that we now take for granted could never have been available to us to improve and enrich our lives. U.S. society has benefited significantly from a strong global system of protection enshrined in treaties and conventions to which virtually all the world’s nations belong. For example 153 and 164 countries are members of the WTO TRIPS Agreement and the WIPO-administered Berne Convention, respectively. 88 and 86 countries, respectively, are now members of the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). The WCT and WPPT have created the critical infrastructure for the healthy expansion of electronic commerce in countries that implement their obligations into national law. These global agreements have provided jobs, more secure and diversified economies, and greater social and cultural advancement.
“However, as we celebrate the important role that intellectual property plays in our lives today, we also note that, regrettably, copyright laws and treaties have come under attack and copyright piracy, in both the physical and digital world, threatens the livelihood of many creators, authors, performers and the vast infrastructure of companies -- large and small, American and international -- that support them. We commend WIPO for its commitment to the protection of intellectual property and hope that the heightened attention of World IP Day 2010 will better promote positive consumer, business and government understanding, awareness and respect for IP rights, including copyright.”