World Intellectual Property Day

World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26 April.

The event was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”.

Following a statement made at the Assembly of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in September 1998, the Director General of the National Algerian Institute for Industrial Property (INAPI) proposed on 7 April 1999 the institutionalisation of an international day for intellectual property, with the aim of “[setting up] a framework for broader mobilization and awareness, [opening up] access to the promotional aspect of innovation and [recognizing] the achievements of promoters of intellectual property throughout the world.”

On 9 August 1999, the Chinese delegation to the WIPO proposed the adoption of the “World Intellectual Property Day” – “in order to further promote the awareness of intellectual property protection, expand the influence of intellectual property protection across the world, urge countries to publicize and popularize intellectual property protection laws and regulations, enhance the public legal awareness of intellectual property rights, encourage invention-innovation activities in various countries and strengthen international exchange in the intellectual property field”.

In October 1999, the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) approved the idea of declaring a particular day as a World Intellectual Property Day

26 April was chosen as the date for World Intellectual Property Day because it coincides with the date on which the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force in 1970.

An exhibition showing the intellectual property (IP) behind Steve Jobs’ innovations opened to the public at WIPO on 30 March 2012 and ran through to World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April 2012.
The exhibition tied in with 2012’s World Intellectual Property Day theme – ‘Visionary Innovators’.


This event has been criticized by a number of activists and scholars as one-sided propaganda in favor of traditional copyright, ignoring alternatives related to copyleft and the free culture movement.


  • 2001 – Creating the Future Today
  • 2002 – Encouraging Creativity
  • 2003 – Make Intellectual Property Your Business
  • 2004 – Encouraging Creativity
  • 2005 – Think, Imagine, Create
  • 2006 – It Starts with an Idea
  • 2007 – Encouraging Creativity
  • 2008 – Celebrating innovation and promoting respect for intellectual property
  • 2009 – Green Innovation
  • 2010 – Innovation – Linking the World
  • 2011 – Designing the Future
  • 2012 – Visionary Innovators
  • 2013 – Creativity – The Next Generation
  • 2014 – Movies – a Global Passion
  • 2015 – Get Up, Stand Up. For Music.
  • 2016 – Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.
  • 2017 – Innovation – Improving Lives
  • 2018 – Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity
  • 2019 – Reach for Gold: IP and Sports



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