April is a very busy and exhausting month for intellectual property lovers. What with all these celebrations we are apt to gorge ourselves on cake and expend all our air blowing up balloons.
Happy Birthday TRIPs
Celebrations started last week with the 15th birthday of TRIPs, the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property. The agreement was signed as part of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization on April 15, 1994. (The agreement did not enter into force until January of 1995.) Since then, there have been over 100 disputes concerning TRIPs before the WTO (per WTO website). One interesting note for the 15th anniversary is Article 64, which was intended to last for 5 years and then be reviewed. It was extended once for 5 more years. The provision is still active. Will it ever be removed?
Today is Earth Day. Although Earth Day did not begin with a focus on intellectual property, it is hard to escape the association now. A large part of environmental awareness and improvement involves new forms of energy and environmentally friendly inventions.
World Book and Copyright Day
Tomorrow, April 23rd, is World Book and Copyright Day. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, began World Book and Copyright Day as a special occasion for promoting "reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright." Take some time to celebrate your favorite authors and books with the rest of the world! (This particular Ipper will most likely be curled up in a corner with Jane Austen, if she can find her book.)
World Intellectual Property Day
Sunday is the crowning glory of the month's festivities: World Intellectual Property Day. This year, WIPO's theme for the April 26th celebration is right in line with Earth Day: promoting green innovation. A list of suggested celebratory IP activities can be found here.
April 26th also marks the 39th anniversary of the establishment of WIPO.