World IP Day and the Celebration of Women in Changing the Landscape of Innovation and Technology

Attribution @WorldIntellectualPropertyOrganization
Attribution @WorldIntellectualPropertyOrganization


Tomorrow is this year’s World Intellectual Property Day, and the theme for IP day this year is “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity.” The idea behind this theme is to celebrate “the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.”

World IP Day is organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) every April 26, and the purpose of IP day in general is to increase the world’s general understanding of IP. WIPO’s member states designated April 26, which is also a tribute to the day that WIPO was established (April 26, 1970), as World IP Day.

Each year, World IP Day provides a very unique opportunity to unite with others around the globe, and to consider how IP has contributed to the flourishing of music and the arts, and has driven the technological innovation that is constantly helping to shape our world.

It is a day marked to celebrate the role that intellectual property rights have played not only in encouraging creativity and innovation, but its role in enhancing the way of life of the global culture.

As WIPO has so adequately put it:

“Every day women come up with game-changing inventions and life-enhancing creations that transform lives and advance human understanding from astrophysics to nanotechnology and from medicine to artificial intelligence and robotics.


And in the creative sphere, whether in the movies, animation, music, fashion, design, sculpture, dance, literature, art and more, women are re-imagining culture, testing the limits of artistry and creative expression, drawing us into new worlds of experience and understanding.


The important and inspiring contributions of countless women around the globe are powering change in our world. Their “can do” attitude is an inspiration to us all. And their remarkable achievements are an invaluable legacy for young girls today with aspirations to become the inventors and creators of tomorrow.


More than ever before, women are taking up leadership roles and making their voices heard in the science, technology, business and the arts. This is good news. With women and men working together, we strengthen humanity’s hand, and improve our ability to enrich our shared cultural wealth and develop effective solutions to alleviate poverty, boost global health, and safeguard the environment.


The time is ripe to reflect on ways to ensure that increasing numbers of women and girls across the globe engage in innovation and creativity, and why this is so important.”

With that in mind, we here at EverydayIP would like to mention a few women that have changed the lives of many through their innovative creations:

Marie Van Brittan Brown patented a moveable camera with peepholes. She later won an award from the National Science Committee for her huge contribution to home security, and laid the foundation for home security devices used in homes today.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, who is arguably the mother of all telecommunications, conducted breakthrough basic scientific research with subatomic particles that enabled others after her to invent technologies such as the portable fax, the touch tone telephone, solar cells, fiber optic cables, and the technology behind caller ID and call waiting. She became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D from MIT.

Nancy Johnson patented the world’s first hand cranked ice cream maker in 1843, which is before freezers were invented.

Ann Tsukamoto patented a process which allows stems cells to be isolated, which has been vital in medical advancements by helping scientists and researchers in learning more about cancer. Tsukamoto’s method, as well as her other major scientific contributions, has advanced stem cell research and has the potential to treat cancers and other various deadly diseases.

Grace Hopper was a computer programmer who designed Harvard’s Mark I computer, and coined the terms “bug” and “debugging” with regards to computer programming. She is acclaimed as a maverick for her contributions to computer programing, software development, and the design and implementation of programming languages.

Hedy Lamarr developed a “Secret Communications System” to help combat the Nazis in World War II. Lamarr’s system manipulated radio frequencies at irregular intervals to form an unbreakable code that prevents classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel.

If you would like to know which events are happening in your country during World IP Day, you can check out WIPO’s map of events right here. You can also check out this playlist to see short clips of women today, in celebration of 2018’s World IP Day, who are making strides in innovative technologies and creativity.

We encourage everyone to join the conversation using the hashtag #worldipday and talk about the female inventors and creators who have influenced and/or are powering change near you.

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