World Intellectual Property Day: Spotlight on Young Entrepreneurs

April 26, 2022

Michelle Sara King is ITA’s Intellectual Property Team Lead and Jessica Pomper is an International Trade Specialist.

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On April 26, inventors, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and intellectual property (IP) experts alike come together to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day. Each year, the World Intellectual Property Organization pursues a unique theme to celebrate and increase education, awareness and outreach about intellectual property. This year’s theme is “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future,” focusing on our youngest inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Graphic that states "IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future: World Intellectual Property Day: April 26." The graphic includes a collage featuring a young man and woman surrounded by various items to represent objects or environments, such as wind turbines, water droplets, flowers, food, laptop, bicycle, small robot, house, and birds. Image courtesy of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

As youth utilize their curiosity to solve problems around them, they should also learn about intellectual property to protect their work. Intellectual property is an ever-changing field and here at ITA, our Office of Standards and Intellectual Property manages the STOPfakes program which provides resources for entrepreneurs of all ages. The STOPfakes team hears from inventors from all walks of life about what to do next with their invention. Our response is similar for adults and kids alike: it depends on what you want to do with your invention!

For example, if you want to bring your product to market, it’s time to think about intellectual property (IP) protection in every country the product may be shared or sold in. IP protection is integral to the success of an inventor because it helps protect the work and attributes it back to its creator. Securing IP rights can help protect inventions, just as it can also protect literary and artistic works, ideas, designs, sound recordings, software, symbols, names, and images. IP rights often differ by market and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) website offers more information about both the patent and trademark process including how to secure patent and trademark protection.

When IP is protected by law in the United States, with a patent, copyright, or trademark, creators can earn recognition and perhaps even financially benefit from using their invention/creation. Additionally, protecting IP by law means that it cannot be used to benefit unauthorized users.

The STOPfakes website and Twitter account are great places for all generations of inventors to start their research into IP. STOPfakes helps users find the resources they may need from ITA and other U.S. Government agencies. Additionally, you can explore copyright protection in the United States by visiting U.S. Copyright Office’s website.

When in doubt, we encourage innovators to come to STOPfakes, where we’re happy to point innovators of all ages in the right direction! Happy World Intellectual Property Day!

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