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Blog / Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day 2018


26 April 2018

Today is World Intellectual Property Day, WIPO’s annual celebration of IP rights and their role in innovation, creativity and society as a whole. The theme for 2018 is Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity.

“This year’s World Intellectual Property Day campaign celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.”  — WIPO website.

Full details on this theme and the many events and initiatives taking place around the world can be found on WIPO’s website or by following #worldipday on social media.

As part of the World Intellectual Property Day campaign, WIPO published an interesting article entitled “Innovation, Creativity and the Gender Gap which explores this theme in detail and identifies some of the barriers that women face when innovating and creating. These barriers include more widespread societal gender inequality, the concept of a ‘glass ceiling’ and the preconceptions and stereotypes that people seem to hold regarding the roles of women. Katherine Rock at Innofy wrote a must-read four-part series around the question “Where are the female patent attorneys?”. Focused on the lack of gender equality in the Australian patent profession, Rock explores the business case for gender equality, common myths surrounding gender imbalances and latest research into the topic, as well as suggestions for implementing change. 

Timothy Au, a Lexology author from our sister publication IAM, wrote an article in December 2017 examining new research by the Equality of Opportunity Project: a study called “Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation. In his piece, Au comments:

“Girls who grow up in an area with many female inventors in a particular technology class will be much more inclined to produce an invention in the same technology class. Chetty and his team estimate that the gender gap in innovation would fall by half if girls were as exposed to female inventors as boys are to male inventors.”

With that in mind, and in support of this year’s theme, we wanted to highlight a few of Lexology’s successful female authors, writing specifically in the Patents work area.  These female authors have written interesting, well-read articles across a range of patent topics.

Crystal J. Chen, partner at Tsai Lee & Chen Patent Attorneys & Attorneys at Law:  Crystal is Lexology’s third most popular author in the Patent work area over the last 12 months, and boasts a personal archive of 190 articles on Lexology.  Her articles advise on patent prosecution processes, recent significant decisions and new rules covering Taiwan and China. Crystal also has many accolades to her name, including being recommended in the 2018 WTR 1000 and winning the Intellectual Property – Patents category for Taiwan at Lexology’s 2017 Client Choice Awards.

Irena Royzman, Ph.D., partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP:  Irena focuses on pharmaceutical and biotech patent litigation, and publishes a mix of updates on significant litigations and industry updates. Irena has been a real thought leader in the field of biosimilars, having published 39 articles on the topic. Her most popular article on the topic, “Update on Biosimilar Approvals and Pending Applications in Europe and the U.S.”, was co-authored with Jacob F. Siegel.

Sarah A. Kagan, attorney at Banner & Witcoff Ltd: Sarah also works in biotech, with her work focusing on the protection of biotech inventions. Many of her articles highlight key developments from the courts, with her 24 published Lexology articles covering the spectrum of patent case law from inter partes review to non-disclosure agreements.

Hazel Ford, partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP: Hazel is a UK-based European patent attorney who provides readers with informative, useful updates on rules and patent prosecution procedures. Hazel’s analyses of patentability requirements in individual subject areas have proved particularly popular, especially ‘Patentability of Natural Products in Europe’ and ‘Patentability of Diagnostic Methods in Europe’.

As well as successful female IP lawyers and patent attorneys based in law firms, we wanted to acknowledge the success of leading female in-house lawyers. The shortlist for 2018’s Global Counsel Awards was released today, and women make up half of the nominees in the Intellectual Property category: Lara Andrade at Discovery Networks Brasil; Ayala Deutsch at NBA Properties Inc and Kerry Flynn at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. These nominations acknowledge the demonstrable achievements each individual has made in their roles as IP-focused in-house counsel.

We fully support World Intellectual Property Day and are looking forward to seeing the events, articles and initiatives that arise from this year’s brilliant theme celebrating and acknowledges the significant contributions women have made in the field of innovation and intellectual property.