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In celebrating women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs on April 26th World IP Day, Fishman Stewart recognizes the need for more women to leverage the IP system to protect creativity and add financial value to their work.
New USPTO Empowering Women Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative offers resources
Troy, Mich.—April 17, 2023—World Intellectual Property Day – always celebrated on April 26 – is sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to help raise public awareness of the importance of intellectual property in our everyday lives—and the impact that patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights and trade secrets have in encouraging innovation and creativity throughout the world. Michael Stewart, managing partner of intellectual property law firm Fishman Stewart PLLC, has been recognized for devoting time and effort in promoting the initial World IP Day programs throughout the United States.
Reflecting on this year’s theme, ‘Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity,’ Stewart embraces the far-reaching creative contributions that women throughout the world been making through their ingenuity and hard work, but endorses greater support to help them overcome challenges in accessing IP resources to protect their assets and thrive.
“While women make up about half of the world’s population, there is an ‘innovation gender gap’ between who is generating creative endeavors versus who is participating in the IP protection system,” Stewart said. “Barriers such as lack of IP knowledge, limited access to IP networks and mentors, negative bias, and inadequate financial resources mean that too few women globally are benefitting from what intellectual property has to offer.”
In forming this year’s World IP Day theme, WIPO noted that:
- An estimated 16.2% of inventors named in international patent applications were women in 2022, according to WIPO data released in March 2023
- At current rates, parity among Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)-listed inventors will be reached in 2064
- Narrowing the gender participation gap is of utmost importance to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #5of achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls
Stewart believes that tapping into the vast pool of talented women creators could mean more technologies that work for everyone, new woman-led businesses, and stronger economic development and recovery to build back better—and intellectual property is the conduit to make that happen.
“One only has to look at history to realize that women such as Marie Curie, Hedy Lamarr, Frida Kahlo and Coco Chanel have been driving scientific breakthroughs, setting new creative trends, building businesses and transforming our world for centuries,” Stewart said. “That’s why it’s so important to encourage women to not only realize that there is great opportunity to transform their creativity into reality, but also educate them on the process of intellectual property and how intellectual property rights, when meeting established criteria, can legally protect their innovative works and enhance business success.”
From the rise of Canva by tech entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder Melanie Perkins, to Özlem Türeci, physician, scientist and co-founder of BioNTech, which in 2020 developed the first mRNA vaccine to be used against COVID-19, and even the ability of amateur athletes like gymnast Olivia Dunne to monetize their likenesses, images, and/or names without restriction from the NCAA, creativity continues to play an ever-increasing role in all of our day-to-day lives—and women can be an important piece of that process.
“IP rights can provide each and every researcher, inventor, entrepreneur, designer, artist and student with the key tools necessary to advance their creations and turn them into intellectual capital—capital that can promote both social change and economic gain,” Stewart said. “This year’s World IP Day is a reminder to creators of their value in the marketplace and to society that intellectual property is all-inclusive.”
Stewart also urges women founders to learn more about the United States Patent Office’s new Empowering Women Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative, designed to encourage women business owners to understand and protect the value of their intellectual property. Learn more about WE resources here.
About the World Intellectual Property Organization
WIPO, established in 1967, is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states. Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Learn more at https://www.wipo.int/portal/en/.
About Fishman Stewart PLLC
Fishman Stewart helps turn client creativity into valuable intellectual capital. Since its founding in 1996, the firm has obtained tens of thousands of patents and trademark registrations and represented clients in hundreds of cases in Federal Court. As strategic advisers to CEOs and senior executives, Fishman Stewart attorneys develop IP management strategies for U.S. and foreign-based companies to safeguard their business assets throughout the world. To discover how Fishman Stewart leverages intellectual property to effectively increase enterprise value, visit fishstewip.com.