April 26th marks the 24th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day! This celebration was founded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and celebrates Intellectual Property (IP) rights in various forms (e.g. patents, trademarks and copyrights). Some past themes include Women and IP and IP and Youth. This year’s theme honors IP rights and how IP supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are 17 goals that the international community has adopted and endeavors to achieve by 2030. 

The SDGs include the following initiatives:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  2. End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
  15. Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.  

According to the WIPO, 31.4% of patents now relate to the SDGs. WIPO Magazine’s 2024 World IP Day issue has an “IP at Work” section detailing the interplay between IP and the SDGs. One story details the experience of German Santillán, founder of Oaxacanita Chocolate. Santillán recalls the impact IP has had on his brand – upon creating the company, the first thing he did was register its trademark name. Currently, the company cultivates 5,000 cocoa trees in five towns across Oaxaca. It is the first Mexican indigenous chocolate company to establish an international presence, and it is currently expanding its online presence in Canada and the United States.  

Similarly, Nigerian author Chidera Okolie works to inspire young creators and is passionate about IP rights. She explains that “IP allows you to protect your creative work from exploitation, illegal reproduction or misuse… it also ensures the preservation of your economic rights” (p. 25). 

Celebrating Intellectual Property Across Disciplines Display

Be sure to visit Keeping the Rhythm of Creativity: Celebrating the Performing Arts and Intellectual Property, the inaugural book display for our brand-new annual exhibition, Celebrating Intellectual Property Across Disciplines. Topics explored in this exhibition include copyright and dance choreography, music copyright, and copyright in American musical theatre.

Keeping the Rhythm of Creativity inspires dialogue, learning, and enrichment through engagement with the performing arts and the legal frameworks that protect creative endeavors. This display is located in the Leatherby Libraries’ First Floor Lobby and includes a bibliography that can be found here. The display and bibliography were curated by Isabella Piechota ’25, Arianna Tillman ’25, and Kalea Brown ’26 in collaboration with our Copyright Librarian, Katherine Roth.

Roth’s appreciation for Intellectual Property Rights awareness inspired the creation of this project. She was inspired to celebrate the creativity that moves us by exploring how IP can be used to better the world. She is excited to continue this annual exhibit to show the Chapman community how IP can change the world across various disciplines.