Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

Despite significant efforts made for gender equality, women are still not treated equivalent to men under the law in many parts of the world. Starting from owning land and coming to obtaining legacy, women face a lot of disadvantages. However, an efficient system of Intellectual Property (IP) Protection can help lighten this discrepancy. Intellectual Property Protection can further protect the other rights of women as well. For instance, the countries with a systematic regime of Copyright Protection will, in general, have the highest-paid female artists and actresses too.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; encouraging the protection of IP throughout the world) celebrates April 26 as World IP Day every year to promote knowledge about various IP related matters like trademarks, copyrights, patents, etc., along with the crucial role they play in promoting innovations. This year, the theme of this day was, “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity” for celebrating women and their role in shaping the future of the world economy.

For economic growth and empowering women, protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is a valuable aspect. IP Rights not only restore financial incentives for women but also give them exclusive power over their unique creations. According to several reports and surveys conducted, nations with effective IP protection laws have better measures of gender equality. If used proficiently, IP Rights can lead to a significant advancement in the entrepreneurship by inspiring women who come up with innovative ideas and inventions. Therefore, IP systems must recognize and appreciate the creativity resulting from the indigenous and traditional knowledge of women across the globe.

Developing countries with weak IP regimes and high population exacerbate disparate living conditions for women. Moreover, they also tend to have higher levels of female unemployment, lower female education rates, and higher infant mortality rates. However, protecting IP can surely change this as the nation that protects IP Rights is also known for its terrific entrepreneurial environment for women. While developed nations usually have more grounded IP protection laws as compared to the developing nations, still they can make efforts to improve the IP protection for women.  As per the Women’s Institute for Policy Research, women have quintupled their portrayal among the patent holders since 1977. But, on the other hand, studies and reports have also suggested that women contribute only to 7.7% of primary inventors who own patents.

According to several indexes maintaining the scorecard of how well the countries across the world protect their IP Rights among women, countries that are highly efficient in managing their IP Rights provide women with equal inheritance rights and access to land and credit. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to admit the fact, “Empowering women means giving them equal Intellectual Property Rights.” Protecting IP Rights is a win-win for all nations. Protection of these rights will make sure that economic incentives always exist to invest and innovate. It would also lead to worldwide economic growth and prosperity. Everyone should celebrate the role of women by not only counting their past achievements but also encouraging them for future endeavors, advancement, and growth.