Director General - WIPO

The world of tomorrow is being imagined by creative innovators of today. Creativity is common to all humanity. It is this human creativity and inventiveness that is responsible for improving our quality of life in every sphere: our medical care, our transport, our communication, our entertainment.

My message to the next generation is keep creating; keep innovating. And keep thinking about how IP should fulfill its role in the future social management of creativity and innovation."

Among this year's events, the Geneva-based WIPO organized an exhibit and panel discussion featuring three dimensional (3D) printing. 3-D printing is both a manufacturing and a digital technology and as such, it makes the unauthorized copying of objects easier, raising a number of challenges to intellectual property protection.

3-D printing is relatively recent, the first patent relating to 3-D technology was filed in 1971, and a patent granted in 1977. Visitors to the 3-D exhibit saw a foldable seat made of plastic that, once folded, vaguely resembles an umbrella, a pair of improbable antique lace high heels plastic shoes and an accurate model of the wiring of the human brain that resembled a bit underwater coral.

There is a certain genius in intellectual property "by creating a mechanism for buying, selling and sharing access to the benefits of innovation and cultural creation."

WIPO's challenge is to ensure that the conditions for access are fair and balanced, so that the benefits are widespread, and so that it fosters a truly dynamic, creative global society in which the next generation will thrive.