2022 World Intellectual Property Day celebrations focus on youth innovation


Intellectual property has the power to unlock potential and change the lives of people facing challenges in communities, cities, provinces and the entire country, says Jetane Charsley, Head of the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO).


Charsley was speaking at the media launch of 2022 World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD), which will take place on Tuesday, 26 April under the theme "IP and youth innovating for a better future", celebrating youth-led innovation and creativity.


"Young people are full of hope, and through innovation and imagination they are problem-solvers with the potential to generate positive social and economic change in the world," said Charsley.


The campaign seeks to build on the natural energy, creativity and potential of young people for shaping a better future, by helping them gain a better understanding of how the various tools of the intellectual property (IP) system – trademarks, design rights, copyright, patents, plant variety rights, geographical indications, trade secrets and more – can support their ambitions.


WIPD is celebrated every year with the aim of raising awareness about the role that IP rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), the body responsible for the overall coordination of the event, says this year's theme provides an opportunity for young people to find out how IP rights can help them transform their ideas into reality, generate income, create jobs, and make a positive impact on the world around them.


In South Africa, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), through its entities, has a number of programmes that offer young people funding, technical support, entrepreneurship training and other opportunities. The DSI's work is supported by other institutions that also form part of the organisation of WIPD. These include NIPMO, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Technology Innovation Agency, and the Small Enterprise Development Agency.


Adv. Rory Voller, Commissioner of the CIPC, said the potential of intellectual property to contribute to growing economies and transforming society could not be overstated, and that the youth were very much part of the IP system.


"Not everybody needs to seek employment, since those who can develop and innovate technologies can themselves be employers," Voller said.


Though the target for this year's celebrations is the youth, as per the WIPO theme, entrepreneurs, innovators and creators, and the public at large will also be exposed to the importance of intellectual property.


The University of Mpumalanga will be hosting this year's main WIPO event. This will be preceded by a roadshow taking place at Riverside Mall in Mbombela on Monday, 25 April to share information with members of the public.


Issued by the Department of Science and Innovation


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