gc2015 logo-400pxThe User Rights track of the Fourth Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest[1], to take place in Delhi, India, December 15-17, 2016, seeks research contributions. The User Rights track will focus on how law and policy can play a key role in breaking down barriers to full participation in the digital economy through expansions of user rights — the rights of users to access, use and transform digital content to further social, economic, cultural and political purposes. User rights can be found in diverse fields of law, including in human rights (e.g. the right to freedom of expression and opinion, the right to participate in cultural heritage, the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress, the right to privacy, the right to health), in limitations and exceptions and enforcement policies in intellectual property laws, in net neutrality and other communication industry regulation, in consumer and competition protection, in privacy rights — including those related to the capturing of user data, in contracts and terms of service, and through other laws that protect the rights of users of the digital economy and the content shared through it.

The Track seeks research for presentation and publication that contribute to understanding of the role of user rights in enabling social, economic, cultural and political development, including promoting participation by marginalized groups in society.

Topics of particular interest include:

  • Comparative experiences with the consideration, adoption or interpretation of user rights in domestic legal systems.
  • Empirical, qualitative or methodological studies on the social, economic, cultural and political impact of user rights, including on the inclusion of marginalized groups in society.
  • Comparative treatment of user rights in international agreements, including multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements.
  • Comparative or normative studies on the impact of internet regulation in the formation of user rights, including exploration of tensions between such regulation and intellectual property exclusivity rights.
  • Comparative or normative analysis of the role of human rights in the digital economy, including in bounding the excesses of the growing “enforcement agenda” in global intellectual property law.


Accepted paper proposals will be given opportunities to present and seek feedback on their draft work at the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest December 14-17, 2015.

Opportunities for publication will be available in the PIJIP Research Paper Series.

New publications international and comparative law dimensions will be considered for publication in the American University International Law Review (Spring 2016). Selected submissions will be invited for presentation and feedback at a Symposium at American University Washington College of Law in Washington D.C. on March 18, 2016.


A limited fund for partial travel scholarships is available for selected applicants. Funding will be prioritized for applicants selected for publication, for applicants from developing countries, and for applicants with partial organizational funding to support travel and expenses.



To apply to present at the Global Congress and for consideration for a travel grant, apply by August 1 at http://form.jotformpro.com/form/50854976184973

To apply for consideration for publication in the American University International Law Review and the March 18, 2016, symposium WITHOUT presenting at the Global Congress, apply by August 1 at http://www.jotformpro.com/pijip/Call4Papers

SEPTEMBER 1, 2015: Decisions on paper acceptances for Global Congress presentation.

DECEMBER 14-17: Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, Delhi, India.

FEBRUARY 1, 2016: Draft papers due for consideration for American University International Law Review publication.

MARCH 18, 2016. Workshop for paper presentation and feedback at American University Washington College of Law’s new campus in Washington D.C. Only for papers accepted for American University International Law Review publication and for which timely drafts are submitted.

APRIL 4, 2015: Final papers for publication due.


PIJIP’s online working paper series publishes draft and final papers that examine the promotion of the public interest in intellectual property law. The working paper series does not take any copyright in posted papers other than a non-exclusive license to post the work on our site. Authors are free to republish works from the series in other online or print forums. Each paper is edited for form and citation style by a team of student editors before publication. Edited drafts are returned to the author. Our quick-response editing teams can normally edit and publish a paper in less than four weeks from its approval for publication, giving authors a speedy outlet to publish their works.


The American University International Law Review (“AUILR”) is one of the most frequently cited student-run international law publications in the United States. AUILR publishes articles, critical essays, comments, and case notes on a wide variety of international law topics, including public and private international law, the law of international organizations, international trade law, international arbitration, and international human rights. AUILR also publishes pieces on topics of foreign and comparative law that are of particular interest to the international legal community. AUILR publishes an annual volume featuring articles on international intellectual property law.



[1]The 4th edition of the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest (“the Congress”), will bring research, civil society, industry and regulatory and policy-making communities together for active, intense engagement on key public-interest intellectual property issues. The theme for the 2015 Congress is Three Decades of Openness; Two Decades of TRIPS-comes at a pivotal time for reflection, revision, and further strategizing. Specifically, the 2015 Congress seeks to produce three outcomes- first, the mobilization of existing scholarly research directly into the hands of civil society advocates, business leaders and policy makers, leading to evidence-based policies and practices; second, the collaborative identification of urgent, global and local research priorities and generation of a joint research/advocacy agenda; and third, the solidification of an inter-disciplinary, cross-sector and global networked community of experts and practitioners focused on public interest aspects of IP policy and practice.