The 2013 ‘Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest’ Research Survey


Between July and September, 2013, we surveyed members of the Global Congress community to learn more about their projects and priorities. We invited participation through email lists and solicited anyone who had either been to a Global Congress, been invited to one, or expressed interest in coming.  We received around 90 responses.

Rather than create an agenda document, we’ve decided to let the responses speak mostly for themselves.  We’ve split them into two parts: a searchable, sortable database for Current Projects (below) and a series of posts on Research Priorities (forthcoming on Infojustice) that compile perspectives on research opportunities and its relationship to policymaking in the next several years.

Here are the caveats: The responses are drawn from–but do not exhaustively reproduce–the responses we received.  Responses have been cherry picked, edited, and loosely organized under primary themes.  We favored detailed responses over lists of projects or statements of general interests or concerns.  The list is also quite limited: it attributes projects to the person or persons who reported it–not necessarily to all contributors to a project.   We can, of course, make adjustments where the attribution is clearly inadequate (let us know if that’s the case).  But we are not aiming for a rigorous accounting of the research field, just a useful one given the usual constraints on time and resources.  If this proves popular, we can discuss expanding it as part of future Global Congresses.

View all survey results


Governance, Participation, Trade Agreements

Public Health, Access to Medicines

Practices and Attitudes, Piracy / Informality, Public Understanding of Copyright

Tech Innovation Systems and Patents, Open Innovation, Tech Patents, Patent SystemUniversity Tech Transfer, Biological Patents

Creative Incentives and Remuneration, Collecting Societies, Licensing, Copyright’s Incentives, Remuneration, Creative IndustriesAlternative Business Models

Copyright Reform, Users’ Rights, Access to Cultural Goods, Educational Materials, Libraries

Enforcement, Privacy and Surveillance

Trademark, Geographical Indicators, Traditional Knowledge

IP/A2K Social Movements and Activism, Capacity Building

Adjacent Issues

Geographical Focus

Global, Latin America, Africa, MENA, Europe, South Asia, USA, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Poland, China, Russia, South Africa, India, Ethiopia


Priorities for Future Research

Intro and International Comparison and Cases
Copyright Reform, Users’ Rights, and Enforcement
Trade, Patents, and Health
Cultural Economies
Methods, Communication, and Social Movements


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Primary Investigator(s) and/or Person Who Reported ItResearch VenueProject TitleTopic(s)Geographical FocusDescription
Andrew RensDuke University, USAIntellectual property standard setting in AfricaGovernance
AfricaThis project considers constraints under which African countries engaging in regional standard setting operate. Hope for impact: to frame the policy debate on standard setting by the proposed pan African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO).
Seble BarakiJustice and Legal Systems Research Institute, EthiopiaUsers' RightsEthiopia
I plan to do research on the implications of WIPO's international treaty on limitations and exceptions for visually impaired persons and people with print disabilities in Ethiopia. Particularly in light of improving the current copyright legislation of Ethiopia (Copyright and Neighboring rights protection Proclamation No. 410/2004) which does not include a specific limitations for blind people and others with print disabilities. This work will be focused on providing a suggestions on how to improve our copyright legislation so as to enable this group access to information including up-to-date learning and teaching materials.
Carolyn NcubeUniversity of Capetown, South AfricaTech Innovation Systems and Patents
University Tech Transfer
South Africa
South Africa recently enacted Bayh-Dole like legislation encouraging the commercialization of university-based research. As part of the OpenAir project, I’m working on a case study on the benefits of publicly funded research, focusing on tech transfer practices at two universities.
Ana SantosDuke Law School, USAIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
AfricaI am researching the impact of IP on creative industries in developing countries. My current main focus is sub-Saharan Africa, and I have been studying the music industry in selected African countries. I have field work planned in Senegal and Ghana later on this year. I am also planning to look at other creative industries (especially the film industry) and to connect patterns of IP and developmental policies in selected countries to existing economic literature on creative clustering.
Nagla RizkAmerican University, EgyptIndependent Musicians in EgyptIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Alternative Business Models
AfricaPart of ‘A2K4D,’ the North Africa Hub of the Open African Innovation Research Project (Open AIR). The research is intended to help develop hybrid business models for production and delivery of creative content, and alternative ways of dealing with IP in ways that empower authors and expand access to users.
Joe Karaganis
Lawrence Liang
Pedro Mizukami
Eve Grey
Miroslaw Filiciak
Pablo Arrieta
Evelin Heidel
Alek Tarkowski
The Ecology of Access to Educational Materials in UniversitiesAccess to Knowledge and Cultural Goods
Access to Educational Materials
South Africa
A large 7-country comparative study of how students and faculty get the materials they need for their work, focusing on Brazil, India, South Africa, Poland, Argentina, Colombia, and the US. Our ‘ecological’ approach links ‘bottom-up’ accounts of student and classroom activity with institutional strategies and public policy on access and educational limitations and exceptions.
Nagla RizkAmerican University, EgyptGlobal Censorship and Access to KnowledgePrivacy and SurveillanceEgypt
Writing a chapter in 'Global Censorship and Access to Knowledge' on the economic losses to the internet shutdown in Egypt in 2011, focusing on the asymmetry in handling political and economic liberties in the Middle East and showing the economic losses as collateral damage to censoring freedom of expression.
Seble BarakiJustice and Legal Systems Research institute, EthiopiaCapacity BuildingEthiopia
As one can imagine Ethiopia (one of the World's LDC), is among the countries where IP is totally ignored. This is despite some efforts undertaken by Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office. I work in a research institute that is capable of influencing government policy. I have recommended that the Institute take up work focused on building a balanced IP system in Ethiopia. In addition to research, this would involve creating an Ethiopian IP Professionals association, which would work to increase the importance/contribution of IP in Ethiopia and also allow IP professionals in Ethiopia to contribute in the development process of the Country. Second, we are trying to organizing a National Conference on Copyright.
Esther NgomOpen Air Project, AfricaGeographical IndicatorsAfricaI am working especially on Collective Agricultural Branding Strategies, mainly Geographical Indications (GIs) and Collective and Certification Trademarks for agricultural products. The specific question is how their use can help the local farmers in the member states of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) increase their incomes from specific agricultural products.
Jeremy de Beer
Tobias Schonwetter
Nagla Rizk
Carolyn Ncube
Many Others
University of Ottawa
University of Cape Town
Open AIRCopyright Reform
Traditional Knowledge
Tech Innovation Systems and Patents
AfricaThe Open AIR project is right now building toward its finale -- the book capturing current realities, the scenarios for the future, and outreach and engagement activities -- which will be marked by the December conference(s) in Cape Town. A 6-month wind-down and transition phase will follow, with all activities complete by mid-2014.