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Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart PLLC
Newsletter – Volume 24, Issue 9

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Celebrate World Intellectual Property Day with Finny

By Anthony M. Gartrelle

How will you be celebrating World Intellectual Property (“IP”) Day on April 26th? Finny will be swimming around the world testing the cleanliness of our waters and visiting his friends under the sea because this year’s topic is “Sustainable Development Goals” (or “SDGs” for short). 

These SDGs set a fifteen-year plan for improving life at every level on this planet because while there may be upwards of 8 trillion planets in the Milky Way galaxy, there is only one Earth and we all have to do our part to keep Mother Earth healthy. 

This year’s World IP Day topic exemplifies the long-established connection between innovation, intellectual property, and the initiatives pursued by these SDGs. For example, and as we wrote about in a recent FishTank article, patent application review has been expedited for climate-related technologies by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

In September 2015, Heads of State and Government and High Representatives met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and agreed on the 17 SDGs and 169 targets to achieve them. Of course, Finny’s favorite SDGs are Life Below Water (SDG 14), quality education (SDG 4), and clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), but the other 14 goals cover topics critical to preserving our environment while promoting innovation and economic growth. Other SDGs range from ending poverty in all its forms (SDG 1), achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls (SDG 5), and building resilient infrastructure and fostering innovation (SDG 9). 

Among Finny’s favorite targets include preventing and significantly reducing marine pollution of all kinds (Target 14.1), minimizing and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification (Target 14.3), protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems (Target 6.6), and eliminating gender disparities in education and ensuring equal access to all levels of education (Target 4.5). For a full list of every SDG along with a breakdown of the targets, events, publications, and actions taken to meet these SDGs, please visit the United Nations website.

To see the progress of the SDGs, visit the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division detailing a vivid yearly progress report. The most recent progress assessment from 2023 is shown below. As you can see in Figure 1, Finny is doing his best to keep SDG 14 (Life Below Water) on track! 

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) established World IP Day in 2000 to highlight the impact that patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and designs make on daily life, and to pay tribute to the creators and innovators who have changed the world through their creativity and contributions. To celebrate World IP Day, the US Patent and Trademark Office will be hosting an in-person gathering at the U.S Capitol Building on Wednesday, May 1st at 4 pm (ET). To attend, visit the registration page.  

If you see Finny on his journey, please take a picture and post it on social media with the hashtag #FollowFinny so we can all track his progress together. Visit Finny to learn more about him and see where he’s been! A plush toy of Finny is available as a travel companion on our Swag page. Celebrate with Finny by helping meet the Sustainable Development Goals and have a wonderful World IP Day! 

Anthony M. Gartrelle is the newest associate at Fishman Stewart, PLLC and a past committee member in previous World IP Day events along with Michael Stewart and Paul Ratzmann. Practicing a wide range of technology fields, Anthony has experienced much of what the Intellectual Property field has to offer while working as an intern for various law firms as well as a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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