World IP Day 2022

Since 2000, on April 26th, the world celebrates World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. This year’s theme is IP and Youth innovating for a Better Future. Previously, it was around themes like “Get Up, Stand Up. For Music (2015), Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined (2016), Innovation – Improving Lives (2017), Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity (2018) or IP and SMEs: Taking Your Ideas to Market (2021). This is therefore a day to raise awareness on IP matters and highlight the role that IP rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity and, in the end, in our daily lives.

In fact, IP is everywhere. It’s on the phone that you just turn off when your morning alarm rings (patents), it’s in the cup of coffee that you drink (design?/trademark), on the snickers that you wear (patent/trademark), on the song that plays on the radio when you go to work or on the book that you’re reading (copyrights), on the computer screen that you’ve just turn on when you arrive to work (trademarks/copyrights), on the drink that you have at lunch or on the cough drop that you eat when you are sick (trademarks/trade-secret)…

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds (e.g. idea, invention, or process), which does not necessarily mean that every idea (no matter how clichéd), every invention (no matter how worthless), and every creation (no matter how dull) is entitled to IP rights protection – there are rules!

IPR can take the form of patents – granted for inventions, defined as a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem; trademarks - signs that individualize the goods or services of a given enterprise and distinguishes them from those of competitors; design – the aesthetics and ergonomics of a product; trade secrets – any information of commercial value concerning production/operations which is not generally known; copyrights- protecting works of human intellect (literary and artistic works); geographical indications– a notice stating that a given product originates in a given geographical area, just to name a few.

And why is this relevant? Providing exclusive rights and rewarding inventors and creators for their work helps ideas turn into opportunities, ensures that society benefits from creativity (as at some point in the process disclosure is mandatory), and thrives innovation, that will improve lives, help humanity address the great challenges ahead and have a more sustainable society.

How does this work? A patent, for instance, gives to its owner the exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, selling, and importing/exporting the patented invention, without the inventor’s (or the owners) authorization, which is one of the reasons why investors continue to value IP protection highly when considering investment decisions: in the absence of suitable protection, investment justification may be difficult since the technology could otherwise be easily copied (and there goes the competitive advantage). Also, IP assets are part of the non-physical property of a business (non-tangible). They are legally protected, and that protection can be enforced in a court of law. They can be independently identified, are transferrable, and have an economic lifespan (eg. 20 years for patents) and value (Coca-Cola™, has - once again - been named the world’s most valuable soft drink brand, recording a brand of US$33.2 billion in 2021!!).

As a sustainable tech R&D and innovation incubator for disruptive technologies, with a dedicated team of very young and talented researchers and with a clear vision and mission to ideate, innovate, develop, support, and commercialize smart cellulose-based technologies and projects and to develop and translate technology into high-promise opportunities for our associates and clients, AlmaScience is establishing itself as an IP-intensive institution.

We are aware that it’s much about risk and reward and that IP monetization can be a high-risk, long-term activity, particularly with unproven technologies, but we are firmly convinced that it also has the potential for large rewards at multiple levels and that will take us far. We are just at the start and are slowly but steadily building up our IP portfolio, so stay tuned for our upcoming innovations.
Because IP matters!

To learn more and for funding information

Dra. Tatiana Costa
Director of Innovation, Funding and IP

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