100th anniversary of the Baltic States commemorated at WIPO headquarters in Geneva


2018 09 25


A commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Baltic States was held at the headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

In her speech, Lithuanian Minister of Culture Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson noted that after World War I Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania cleverly used the historical opportunity to return to the map of Europe.

‘The three Baltic States have created a democratic society, a free market. Not only were they free to use their own language and traditions, they also respected and nourished national diversity, made every effort to contribute to the political, economic, cultural, scientific and technological progress of Europe and the world’, said Minister of Culture.

According to the minister, at that time Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were already committed to innovate and seek technological advancement. One of the most courageous Lithuanian examples was the transatlantic flight of Lithuanian pilots Darius and Girėnas, and Latvians and Estonians became famous for the development of cameras and telescopes.

WIPO’s Director General Francis Gurry, Ambassadors of Latvia and Estonia to Switzerland also gave speeches in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Baltic States.

Lithuania’s first steps in creating a system for the protection of intellectual property also began almost one hundred years ago. The 1925 saw the first ‘Law on the Protection of Trademarks’ in Lithuania’s history, signed by President of the Republic of Lithuania Aleksandras Stulginskis, and in 1928 the Law on the Protection of Inventions and Improvements was adopted, which established the official numbering and issuance of the first Lithuanian patents. During 1925–1940 Lithuania signed ten bilateral treaties on the protection of international trademarks: with Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, the USA, France, the Soviet Union, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Estonia. The current protection of intellectual property in Lithuania, as well as other issues of international cooperation, is based on the foundation laid in 1918–1940. Lithuania became a member of the WIPO in 1992.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of statehood of the Baltic states, the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian cultures were presented by a team of Baltic artists led by Saulius Petreikis, who performed a musical programme ‘Three Winds’. Guests of the event could also taste the culinary heritage of the Baltic states. The exhibition ‘Creativity and Innovation Inspired by Nature’, which will take place throughout the WIPO assembly, presents the innovations and design of all three countries.