World IP Day

The World IP Day has been celebrated on 26 April since the year 2000. On this day, IPI traditionally announces the most remarkable events in the past year, positively or negatively impacting the IP field. Due to extreme circumstances brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, the field of IP saw numerous events, initiatives and calls for adaptation being brought forward.

Thus, IPI puts forward the following events as the most noticeable:

  • Numerous individuals and organizations representing researchers, educators and students sent an open letter to WIPO, urging for action to be taken in order to ensure that copyright systems in the Member States offer support in tackling the Coronavirus outbreak and its consequences (more in our post “Open letter: WIPO should react to COVID-19 accordingly”);
  • LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) published a statement, calling upon EU Member States’ governments, European Commissioners, publishers, authors and their trade bodies to enable open and remote access to educational and research materials in order to properly react to changes introduced with the new coronavirus pandemic (more in our post “LIBER calls for open access to knowledge during the pandemic”);
  • Distant learning and access problems, occurring due to the pandemic, clearly indicated why the new EU Copyright Directive 2019/790 implementation needs to be fast and good (more in our post “Extraordinary conditions show the necessity for fast and good implementation of the new Directive”);
  • Strict governmental measures adopted as the answer to the coronavirus pandemic raised important questions, whether the current situation demands that we renounce our privacy rights (more in our post “Fighting the pandemic by renouncing our privacy?”).

Among all, the most noticeable event is the “Open COVID Pledge”, which is already producing tangible results. Under the auspices of Creative Commons, the international coalition of scientists, lawyers, entrepreneurs and individuals organized an “Open COVID Pledge”, calling upon rightsholders to enable open access to their Intellectual Property during the pandemic in order to help curb the virus spread. IPI has already supported the “Open COVID Pledge” (more in our post “Open COVID Pledge”).

We here at IPI hope that everyone gets through these difficult times as soon as possible and that we learn to understand the importance of open access to knowledge and the ability to freely use knowledge for research and education for the benefit of our society as a whole.