We are delighted to present you with the launch edition of The Women’s IP World Annual 2019/2020, celebrating women at all levels working in IP Law and Innovation. From the very beginning, the response and feedback we had was amazing, and we would like to thank all of the incredible women involved. Our aim was to celebrate a group of diverse women, from all over the globe, showcasing their achievements and also their personalities to inspire and inform. We have taken an unbiased approach and kept the articles & profiles as authentic as possible, to keep the author's own personal style. This has resulted in a cocktail of inspirational women coming together to share thoughts, ideas, and experience positively. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.
Letter from AIPPI OLGA SIRAKOVA - SECRETARY GENERAL OF AIPPI My name is Olga Sirakova, and I am writing this opening letter in my capacity as Secretary General of AIPPI. It has been my honour and pleasure to serve AIPPI in different roles, including as Secretary and President of the Bulgarian group of AIPPI, four years as a member and four years as Chair of the Nominating Committee, and the last five years as Bureau member. These roles have been voluntary, limited in term, and which I perform alongside my daily professional engagements. I am a Bulgarian patent and trademark attorney, Bulgarian attorney at law, European patent attorney, European Trademark and Design Attorney, and partner of Bulgarian law firm Interius. Most importantly, I am a mother of two wonderful grown-up children. Trying to combine all these roles, I am no exception from the other IP professionals. It takes a lot of passion to reconcile these different roles and social responsibilities; none of us could do it alone. We are grateful to our teachers for all lessons learned – easy and difficult ones. We work together with our partners and colleagues from all over the world to best protect and help our clients, across different cultures, jurisdictions, and time zones. We discuss, negotiate, and fight. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, and every time we get a little bit stronger. This is the daily routine for IP lawyers. For us, women, the choice is not whether you pursue a complicated case with the help of a man, or of a woman. As long as you have a reliable and trustworthy partner to work together with, you will be strong and successful. My experience shows that the reverse is also correct - male colleagues are looking for professional support – men or women, and this is what matters. However, has it always been like that? Is it like that all over the world? Maybe not, as this publication is launching only now. Maybe women still need to share their success stories to encourage others. All women may still need to express the challenges they experience and get inspired by how others face them and deal with them. Northon’s Media, PR & Marketing’s publication“, Women’s IPWorld,” is a platform. A platform for women to demonstrate their achievements, to learn and get a shared creative impulse from each other. It is also a platform where women could receive recognition for their work showing their professional experience and their unique personalities. AIPPI is happy that this publication is launching at the occasion of the AIPPI World Congress in London and that we could support this endeavour. AIPPI is an organisation which was once regarded as a “men’s club.” These times are long gone. Our bylaws explicitly require gender diversity for all positions in all the institutional bodies of the association. Therefore, the current Bureau comprises of 15 members, 7 of which are female, including the President and the Secretary General. Women mostly do the day-to-day work at the General Secretariat of AIPPI. The composition of our membership, as well as our committees, (which are the cornerstones of AIPPI), show true balance and commitment of both men and women. This makes this organisation one of the most influential and respected non-governmental IP organisations in the world. We are all engaged in this volunteer work in the best way we can be. Diversity and equal rights need to be practiced in our daily work environment, not only in the IP profession. Tremendous progress has been made, and we see it all around; however, there are things to be improved. I am therefore confident that this publication will find an interested audience in the IPWorld. What keeps us all together is the shared passion for what we do. We will be successful if we continue sharing it. Share it with us! Genius, Creativity, and Endurance: all in the long journey of women’s recognition. The ‘names’ of our ancestors of which we are aware of are disproportionately male names, remembered, regardless of the specific reasons why. Of course, all of us know the names of some powerful women; for example, empresses or queens, and the names of a few outstanding creators, poetesses, and artists. However, the more we go back through the centuries, the more difficult it is to find memories and traces of the contribution of women to the development of knowledge, inventiveness, and understanding. As discussed by Renata Righetti Pelosi, President of AIPPI www.aippi.org All along with the entire human history we women were always, approximately, half of the total number of human beings. However, recognition of the female contribution to the development of culture and society has always been neglected. No need to recall Bertoldt Brecht to recognise that most of the ‘History,’ as we know it, did not report the names of those who were not so powerful, women or men, but against ‘the other side of Heavens’ damnatio memoriae worked even more efficiently. Too often, when a female scientist or scholar proved herself to be outstanding, the social and political environment cut her off. An example is the well-known case of Hypathia, the very first notable woman in mathematics and astronomy, who was murdered by insurgent Christians, in Alexandria, Egypt, during the second half of the IV century AD. Furthermore, let us remember the thousands of women who, many centuries later, were burnt at the stake in Europe and America as witches and who were probably the only healers in their communities who took advantage of the traditional female knowledge of herbs and plants. Closer to our times and moreover, as we are mentioning names, it is essential also to remember the name of Maria Sklodowska. She was twice a winner of the Nobel Prize for two different scientific fields; her name 04 05 05