World IP Day 2020 | Shaping the Future Together

Patents are key to intellectual property protection for hardware startups.World IP Day is April 26th and it’s a time to learn about the expansive world of Intellectual Property and how IP shapes the future by encouraging innovation and creativity. This year’s theme for World IP Day is “innovating for a green future”.

“World IP Day 2020 puts innovation – and the IP rights that support it – at the heart of efforts to create a green future. Why? Because the choices we make today will shape our tomorrow. The earth is our home. We need to care for it.” (WIPO) We applaud the young inventors, engineers, scientists and businesses working hard on cleaner alternatives, natural resource management and sustainable products for our global community.

Patents Safeguard Innovation

Protecting intellectual property (IP) is important to any business, but especially so when you are launching a startup. Often your IP’s security can mean the difference between a viable business and a startup failure. A solid intellectual property strategy is no longer a “should have”, in today’s globalized world it is a “must have”. Patents are viewed as a way to safeguard your invention, product and business.

In 2019, we saw a new high-watermark of 333,530 patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The figure is notable for a few reasons. One is that this is the most patents ever granted in a single year; and the second that this represents a 15% jump on a year before. The high overall number speaks to the enduring interest in safeguarding IP. (Tech Crunch)

The Open COVID Pledge

This World IP Day looks drastically different than in years past because of COVID-19, however we have seen something remarkable come from this in the world of intellectual property. Major corporations have stepped up and made their intellectual property available free of charge in order to help curb this global pandemic with the “Open COVID Pledge”.

Excerpt from the Open COVID Pledge:

“Immediate action is required to halt the COVID-19 Pandemic and treat those it has affected. It is a practical and moral imperative that every tool we have at our disposal be applied to develop and deploy technologies on a massive scale without impediment.

We therefore pledge to make our intellectual property available free of charge for use in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the impact of the disease.

We will implement this pledge through a license that details the terms and conditions under which our intellectual property is made available.” (The Open COVID Pledge)

Notable corporations such as Microsoft, Intel, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and HP have all signed the pledge in order to help spur innovation. As Microsoft noted: Researchers, scientists and others working to fight the virus should be able to develop and deploy effective solutions at scale without obstacles such as being threatened with patent litigation.

This World IP Day, we encourage you to learn a bit more about intellectual property and the role it plays in shaping our future.


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April 2024

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