April 27, 2017
Every April 26, World Intellectual Property Day educates the public on the importance of intellectual property rights. This year’s theme, Innovation – Improving Lives, focuses on inventions and technological advances, and how they continue to make our lives easier, healthier and safer. From wallpaper-thin TVs, to self-driving cars, home robots and drones that can dive underwater, there has been no shortage of innovativeness!
For example, have you ever taken an 8- or even 12-hour flight and wished there were a quicker way to get to your destination? If you have, Boom Technologies has the solution. The Colorado-based aeronautics startup has created the supersonic jumbo jet, “XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator”, designed to travel at up to 2,333kph, making it the fastest civil aircraft ever made! The XB-1 will fly up to 45 passengers from London to New York in under 3.5 hours. Amazing!
And every cyclist should be aware of the name “Jeff Woolf”, whose invention stemmed from a serious cycling accident that he believes might have killed him, had he not been wearing his helmet. After the accident, Woolf noticed that most riders refused to wear helmets – despite the fact that they could save their lives – so he commissioned a study to find out why. Most cyclists said that helmets were too difficult to carry around all day so Woolf figured that, as an engineer, this was a problem he could fix. Woolf then designed the “Morpher”, a bike helmet made from interwoven plastic that is just as strong as traditional helmets, but flexible enough to fold almost flat for easier transport. Morpher has since been patented worldwide.
From new medical procedures and medicines, to flat-pack refugee shelters (check out Ikea’s winning design for 2017) and new ways of connecting people through improved communication platforms, innovation has no limits. Inventions such as these will continue to be possible, so long as we continue to desire to make the world an easier, healthier and safer place to live. By providing technical solutions to everyday problems, inventions push boundaries and create new ways of living.
But to protect inventors’ rights, we must also explore the role of intellectual property in supporting innovation. By giving creators exclusive rights to their innovation, IP encourages investment. It recognises the effort, time, skill and money it takes to research and develop new and improved technologies, and encourages continued innovation while promoting economic growth in the creative industries.
Every year, people like you and I create new things and make new discoveries that improve life for the better – and 2017 is no exception. In celebration of World Intellectual Property Day, we encourage you to get creating, Cayman!
Published in www.caymaniantimes.ky