UN intellectual property agency provides books to develop child inventors

UN intellectual property agency provides books to develop child inventors

Combining facts with fun, games and graphics, the United Nations intellectual property agency is producing new books for children showing them how to proceed from ideas, to IP protection, to commercialization of their inventions as the young “creators of the future.”

The UN World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) free series for children aged 8 to 14 is called "Learn from the Past, Create the Future" and the first book in the series, sub-titled “Inventions and Patents,” was launched this week.

Young people “are the creators – and the consumers – of tomorrow. Developing a sustainable IP culture must include providing them with positive and informative messages about IP. This new series is a major step in that direction,” WIPO Deputy Director General Rita Hayes said.

The book has easy-to-follow explanations of how patents work, why they are needed and how they contribute to scientific and technological progress, along with the stories behind several successful inventions and thumbnail biographies of some young inventors who have patented and commercialized their ideas.

The series responds to requests from Member States, WIPO said. Buttressing those requests, leading academics, intellectual property policy advisers and practitioners attending a WIPO International Symposium on Intellectual Property and Education and Research in Geneva last week called on Governments to “start IP education at an early stage, with a view to fostering a culture which respects creativity and which strives to curb IP abuses.”

The Symposium also recommended strengthening governmental support for IP education and research in the context of socio-economic development and fostering the inter-disciplinary nature of IP in curricula, bringing in economics, business management, engineering, science and technology, culture, environment and sociology.

With IP issues spreading from law through economic, cultural and social areas, WIPO Executive Director Yo Takagi told the symposium, “IP education and research are relatively new areas to the international community and academic institutions. In the past, intellectual property was generally limited to the field of law and handled by specialists and corporate lawyers.”

Intellectual assets now need to be crafted in such a way that the right balance is struck between providing incentives for those who hold IP rights and fulfilling a society’s public policy objectives, he said.