Written by Nicole Pérez, Associate Lawyer at CLD Legal
Each year on April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, usually between numerous celebrations, seminars, and dinners, and, in this 2020, we would have been celebrating together as a community in Singapore during the INTA Annual Meeting. There is no doubt that the current situation forces us to stop and reflect on how we have been living until today.
This year, the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO – has framed the celebration under “Innovate for a green future”. In 2019, according to WIPO data, the increase of international patent applications for innovative, environmentally friendly technologies was almost noticeable.
It is undeniable that the theme that frames this celebration has fitted perfectly with our current reality. Entire cities have been left without movement, their citizens have disappeared, pollution levels have decreased and even new inhabitants have taken to the streets. Thus, it is necessary that as habitants of this planet we promote innovation towards more efficient and friendly technologies for the environment.
The purpose of Intellectual Property has always been a humanistic goal, seeking to improve the quality of life of humans, however, how can we improve, if at the same time we are affecting the place where we live? It is evident, therefore, of the symbiosis that must exist between the human being and the planet. In consequence, innovation must be based on principles of sustainability, allowing humans to benefit, without the need to harm the planet or reduce its impact to a minimum.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a great example of how our current lifestyle was damaging the planet, and while as humans we suffer the consequences of this disease, the planet seems to be regenerating. Once quarantine measures begin to be relaxed, we need to start changing our lifestyle towards a greener one.
Here, the role of Intellectual Property is imperative. Brands must promote sustainability, and modify their products and/or services towards more eco-friendly products. Inventors must ask themselves, in the midst of their inventive process, how to achieve the same result, reducing the impact on the planet? In the same way, our production and marketing systems will have to evolve towards less aggressive land models and more sustainable ones.
Definitely what we are currently experiencing will mark a before and after in humanity, it is in our hands that the direction we take is to innovate towards a greener future.
To all our clients, colleagues, and friends, Happy World Intellectual Property Day!