Happy World IP Day from The IPKat!

The AmeriKat happily wonders at a leaf (and not her laptop)
It is a sunny day in Central London.  Looking outside at the blue skies, budding trees and residents walking their dogs you wouldn't think it was a day unlike any other on the 26th of April.  Until you see that the dog walkers are wearing face masks and that they take wide berths around oncoming walkers.  But, remove the humans from this scene and you wouldn't notice anything unusual.  Except that, now, the sky seems clearer, the birds are louder and the air is easier to breathe.  While many of our lives are now frozen in our homes, nature keeps moving forward.  And, more than that, it flourishes when humans are not out in force intervening in its cycle.

It is therefore apt that today's World Intellectual Property Day theme is putting innovation at the heart of efforts to create a green future.  In the words of WIPO's World IP Day announcement:
"Carving a pathway to a green future is a modern-day imperative. We all share in this challenge and each have a role in building a green future. It is a complex and multi-faceted endeavor, but as the well-known naturalist David Attenborough has noted, “as a species, we are expert problem solvers.” We can create a green future.
We have the collective wisdom, ingenuity and creativity to come up with new, more effective ways to shape a low-carbon future. But we must act now!
The 2020 World Intellectual Property campaign puts innovation – and the IP rights that support it – at the heart of efforts to create a green future. Why? Because the choices we make today will shape our tomorrow. The earth is our home. We need to care for it."
The COVID-19 crisis has focused everyone's minds on their connection, role and impact in community and their relationship to their surroundings and nature.  Without the ability to maintain physical relationships with each other, many of us have reawakened our connection to nature.  We have found joy and delight in the simplicity of looking at blossoms on a tree, watching a tomato plant grow on the balconies of our city apartments or listening to birdsong throughout our days inside.  We have placed new found value on these connections to our environment - they make us feel human, hopeful and nourished.  
According to this WIPO report released today, 2019 barely saw a rise in the number of PCT applications for green technology.  Such technologies include applications energy conservation technologies, green transportation, alternative energy product and nuclear power generation.  There was only a 1.3% increase in the number of green technology PCT applications filed in 2019 (16,940 applications), as compared to 2018.  Green technology represented only about 6% of the total number of PCT applications filed in 2019.  76% of these green technology applications came from Japan, China, US, Germany and the Republic of Korea.  
These figures aren't great, but the IPKat is hopeful that our re-connection to nature and the importance of "home" that this crisis has created can further fuel consumer demand for innovation in green technology, eco-friendly products and art that creates a vision of a greener future.   Intellectual property rights have an important role to play in incentivizing this innovation and creation and in ensuring that onward innovation and creation is enabled by permitting the use of these ideas.  Although there is much uncertainty, the IPKat does know that the intellectual property rights system can be used to foster this innovation and creation for the benefit of our collective home - earth. 
The IPKat Team wish you and your families a happy, healthy and safe World IP Day!
Happy World IP Day from The IPKat! Happy World IP Day from The IPKat! Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Sunday, April 26, 2020 Rating: 5

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