Each year the World Intellectual Property Organisation celebrates creativity and ingenuity which is demonstrated by registering new trademarks and patents around the world. This year’s theme focuses on the celebration of innovative and creative women who have developed many life-changing inventions.
Some examples include Mary Anderson, who designed and registered her patent in 1903 for windscreen wipers on cars, or Stephanie Kwolek who invented Kevlar in 1965 (the material used in bullet-proof vests and body armour which is said to be five times stronger than steel). Another interesting invention which many families around the country know and love is the board game Monopoly. The rules for Monopoly, which was originally called The Landlord’s Game, were registered as a patent in 1904 by Elizabeth Magie who then sold the patent to the Parker Brothers in 1935 who published the game under the name Monopoly.
Many other historic inventions by women include the fire escape on buildings, life rafts, the medical syringe which can be used with one hand, CCTV, the electric refrigerator and the dishwasher. Even central heating was first registered as a patent by Alice Parker in 1919 and, although her design was never built, it was the first time that anyone had designed a system whereby natural gas would supply heat to an entire home.
In the month running up to World IP Day, there will be many interesting discussions taking place as to ways in which women have made significant contributions to many industries. To get involved you can follow the event on Facebook or on Twitter by following #WorldIPDay.
If you have any questions in relation to your own intellectual property rights, please contact our Corporate Law Department – call us or email by using the form to the right.The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of April 2018.