What We Do

World Intellectual Property Day – 26 April 2023

Women and intellectual property: Accelerating innovation and creativity

We celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April in order to highlight the role that IP rights, such as patentstrademarksindustrial designs and copyright play in encouraging innovation and creativity. World IP Day provides an opportunity to join forces with people all around the world to consider how IP rights supports and rewards inventors and creators for their time, work and ingenuity in developing new technologies and new forms of creative expression that improve and enrich our lives.

The theme of World Intellectual Property Day 2023 is 'Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity'.

For generations, women have shaped our world with their ingenuity and creativity.  This year, we celebrate women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs around the world and their ground-breaking work.

Successful Irish female innovators and entrepreneurs

To celebrate World IP Day, the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland will showcase, on their social media platforms, five successful Irish female innovators and entrepreneurs who have recognised the importance of protecting their intellectual property as part of achieving their business strategy. 

These include Gráinne Mullins, founder of Grá Chocolates and Aine Kennedy founder of The Smooth Company. 

Gráinne Mullins is the creator of Grá Chocolates, a luxury, artisan brand of hand painted chocolates, produced sustainably from local ingredients. An award-winning pastry chef, Gráinne was recognised as one of Forbes 2023 “30 under 30 in Europe”. Based in Galway, her chocolates have won many awards and are stocked by some of the world’s leading hotels as well as Irish retailers Brown Thomas.

CEO and founder of The Smooth Company, Aine Kennedy was named as one of the Sunday Independent 30 under 30 Irish businesspeople to watch. Aine launched her successful business on TikTok in 2022 and is best known for her “Smooth Stick” product, a premium hair taming wand.

Check out the daily articles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and ipoi.gov.ie.

#worldipday #womenip

The intellectual property gender gap

Women make up nearly half of the global population and represent a huge pool of talent, which remains largely untapped because women often face significant challenges in accessing the knowledge, skills, resources and support they need to thrive.  Data suggests that there is an imbalance in gender participation when it comes to inventive and creative tasks. It is estimated that only 16.2% of inventors named in international patent applications in 2022 were women.

Research commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) identified many barriers that prevent women from using IP services.  In addition to the lack of IP knowledge, women often lack access to networks, mentors, sponsor, and role models; face difficulties in securing financial resources; confront negative bias and bear the burden of care responsibilities within their families.  Due to these obstacles, too few women are benefitting from the IP system.

WIPO is actively working towards gender equality and the full participation of women in the international intellectual property rights system, both through systematic gender mainstreaming and targeted activities.

These measures include:

  • the appointment of WIPO’s first IP and Gender Champion and IP and Gender Program to promote greater gender diversity in IP and innovation worldwide
  • the launch of an IP and Gender Action Plan. The Plan provides a strategic direction for WIPOs’ work in promoting and encouraging women’s engagement in IP and innovation ecosystems
  • ground-breaking data collection and analyses to determine women’s participation in the innovation ecosystem and improve the available knowledge base
  • the delivery of customized IP for business and commercialization programs to women entrepreneurs around the globe
  • work with national IP Offices to increase understanding and integration of gender considerations and to promote the exchange of good practices
  • developing policy and legislative advice and support for national policymakers aimed at helping bring more women and girls into innovative and creative activities

World IP Day 2023 highlights that it is now more crucial than ever to create favourable conditions to encourage more women to use the IP system to protect and add value to their work to drive business growth, create employment and power economic recovery. Let’s work towards gender parity in IP and unleash the ingenuity and creativity of women and girls everywhere.

Further information 

Further information on how to protect your intellectual property rights can be found on Intellectual Property Office of Ireland.

Further information on World IP Day 2023 can be found on WIPO: World Intellectual Property Day 2023 – Celebrating Creativity and Innovation.