Last January, WIPO Director Francis Gurry Presented a Global Leader In Intellectual Property award to the King of Thailand: King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This is a great recognition for Thailand, and provides an opportunity for WIPO to develop ties and assist Thailand in developing their IP and IP management regimes. 

King Adulyadej is an accomplished inventor and artist. He holds copyrights in over 1,000 artistic works, and holds 20 patents and 19 trademarks. His copyrighted works include visual, musical and literary works. His patents are generally directed to innovations that help rural Thai citizens such as a water aerator which can conserve and purify water, and artificial rainmaking technology.
By presenting this award, WIPO publicly acknowledges the value of innovation and intellectual property in Thailand. This award showcases The King’s leading by example. His works, intellectual property and the corresponding award sends a positive message to other Thai inventors that it is important to patent, utilize and commercialize their innovations to encourage technological development. WIPO Director Gurry stated: “In sharing the fruits of your creativity in the form of invention and musical and artistic works, Your Majesty has not only demonstrated the power of intellectual property to enrich and enhance the quality of daily life and work but has also encouraged people everywhere to create, respect and protect it.”  

The presentation of this award to the Thai King was also a wonderful opportunity for WIPO to have an audience with the Thai King, Prime Minister and other government officials to discuss intellectual property capacity goals, the role of IP in development, and how these goals can be implemented. Thailand has committed to using IP to further their economic development, and to implement the WIPO Development Agenda. 
Thailand is certainly on the right path by committing to developing their IP programs and increasing their IP management capacity. This is an exciting time in their development.
The press release can be seen at: http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2009/article_0001.html