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April 26th: World Intellectual Property Day

By: Natascha Ballestero

April 25, 2023

Every year our calendar marks April 26th as an opportunity for us to reflect on the contribution of intellectual property to technological development and creativity. Without an intellectual property system, it would not be possible to ensure the rights over the exploitation and enjoyment of brands, patents, industrial designs, artistic works, and other creations that greatly benefit and boost human evolution.

Intellectual Property Day this year continues to offer us the concerns, and challenges imposed on the system operators in the face of new technologies, and the expansion of the uses of artificial intelligence, including the metaverse, ChatGPT, Web3.0, and the reach of Copyrights over the commercial use of the NFT (non-fungible token). Thus, the business models and secrecies, which have remained unchanged for generations, are forcibly adapting to the current consumer appeals that have since long gone beyond physical or natural boundaries for achieving the buying or service user experience.

The first concern that has approached the Intellectual Property Law is the fact that artificial intelligence is capable of creating original artworks from a collection of millions of other previously existing works, be they paintings, poems, or any other type of creative manifestations already produced by mankind. Therefore, legal authorities seek to strengthen the discussions about the author’s rights to be protected by Copyright, its legal framework, and the possible repercussions on third parties.

Another challenging issue is the classification of the uses of non-fungible tokens within the Law framework. The NFT has emerged as an interesting solution for creators of digital works against unauthorized reproduction of their works since it has provided a method to confer uniqueness and immutability on digital work.  From this, a need arises to delimit the rights and assurances arising from the use of NFT in the context of Intellectual Property, including a possible registration function, and proof of authorship, among others.

What about the metaverse, Web 3.0, and its possibly enchantingly attractive developments for the brands? The new possibilities for brands to connect with consumers’ desires and the imminent decentralization of data causes companies to seek to fill all digital spaces. Thus, the use of virtual influencers, hybrid consumer experiences, and other ways of using the brands in the virtual environment are also in vogue. Simultaneously, the older issues regarding the standardized technologies and licensing of essential patents are not abandoned, because for the technologies to be widely accessible, the exclusivity rights assured by patents have to be observed.

Like every other commemorative date, April 26 carries a historical context, with its traditional structures. However, the world no longer fits in itself, at least not as it used to. Fluid, dynamic, and parallel spaces (or should that be realities instead?) overlap. Therefore, the traditional bases of the intellectual property protection system must be analyzed and rethought in order to integrate them within society’s current demands.  And, precisely for this very reason, we have to continuously promote the strengthening of this protective system, because, with it, society will benefit from the inestimable contributions of intellectual property to technological development and creativity.

Happy day!

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