27 April 2017

East Africa: World Marks World Intellectual Property Day With a Key Focus On Innovation

Every day, ordinary people are producing extraordinary new things to change the world for the better for instance the mobile money transfer revolution and microfinancing service from Kenya. Innovation is perceived as a human force that knows no limits. It turns problems into progress and pushes the boundaries of possibility, creating unprecedented new capabilities.

It is in regards to this that the World Intellectual Property Day 2017 marked on 26th April 2017, focused on Innovation and explored how some of the world's most extraordinary innovations have improved our lives; and how new ideas are helping tackle shared global challenges.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Website, the organisation sought to look into how the intellectual property system supports innovation by attracting investment, rewarding creators, encouraging them to develop their ideas, and ensuring that their new knowledge is freely available so that tomorrow's innovators can build on today's new technology.

"Intellectual property is a crucial part of a successful innovation system. It provides a return for those who take the risk to introduce the "new" - in terms of products and services - into the economy. It provides a framework for the rather difficult and challenging journey that any idea has to undertake before becoming a commercially available product or service," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry in a statement.

He further added, "With this year's World Intellectual Property Day campaign we are celebrating innovation and how it improves our lives. We are also celebrating all the risk-takers, all those who have dared to bring about positive change through innovation."

World IP Day 2017 was themed "Innovation - Improving Lives." This year's campaign will also be an opportunity for people to think about what it actually takes to invent something and the challenges associated with that process. It is also a chance for us to consider how we can make innovation really work for the benefit of the whole of society.

WIPO's member states initiated World IP Day in 2000 to raise public awareness about the role of IP in daily life, and to celebrate the contribution made by innovators and creators to the development of societies across the globe.

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