With World IP Day approaching, the international community of intellectual property professionals should be proud of the great work it has done. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 2017 saw a whopping 3.2 million patents and 12.9 million trademarks filed, and we suspect that when the data comes in for 2018 the numbers will be even higher.
Many of those filings crossed borders, with innovators wanting their patents and trademarks protected not just at home, but also abroad. In some cases, the business or innovator approached a patent professional in the country they would like to file to, but this extra step would be time-consuming, difficult and confusing. Instead, a growing sense of community among IP professionals have served as a catalyst behind much of this international filing.
At the PCT Network, we can attest to the fact that when IP professionals cooperate, the clients benefit from increased IP protection. Businesses that never dreamed of having a patent or trademark filed abroad, usually due to the high costs in time and money, are now finding that it is, in fact, a possibility. IP professionals are able to connect with one another and become the bridges for clients to have their work filed abroad. With 600 member firms, the PCT Network has witnessed the power of community through the 6,000+ filings made through it.
The community of IP professionals is growing and becoming stronger. This May’s annual meeting of INTA is a clear example of this; thousands of IP professionals will be arriving in Boston to discuss intellectual property law and to make important connections. (If you’re one of those thousands be sure to schedule a time to meet with the PCT Network!) World IP Day is also an example of the growth of the community; for the last 19 years, people across the world have celebrated a day dedicated to intellectual property, not just online but also in face-to-face meetings and lectures!
For this upcoming World IP Day, let’s acknowledge the importance of intellectual property by celebrating the community of professionals behind it.