Message from Director General Francis Gurry
This year our World Intellectual Property Day theme is “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity.”
This is an exceptionally important issue. That is why today we are celebrating the talents and accomplishments of women inventors and creators around the globe.
But we have work to do. Available statistics indicate that the level of participation by women in innovation and creativity is below par. This is unfair to women and a loss for our world, which needs a full team working on our most-pressing common challenges.
In the case of innovation, if we take the use of WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as an example, in 1995, only 17 percent of international patent applications filed under that system included a woman among the inventors listed.
The good news is that this number is rising and now nearly one-third of all international patent applications contain at least one woman inventor. But that figure is still well below the parity we all seek.
Intellectual property exists to encourage innovation and creativity, which stimulate improvements in our quality of life, spur economic growth and address the radical challenges we confront such as climate change, clean energy, food security and health.
To address these challenges, we need the benefit of all of humanity’s resources. A deficit in the participation of women means that the current levels of innovation and creativity are suboptimal, and we are simply not reaping the full benefits that flow from innovation and creativity. At present, humanity is not realizing its full innovative and creative potential.
That is why on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day, I call on everyone, everywhere, to ensure that we each do everything in our power to increase the full participation of women in innovation and creativity.
This will lead to much greater opportunity and fairness for women and enormous benefits for the world.
I wish you all a very happy, fruitful and innovative World Intellectual Property Day.