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


Want to Contribute 2-3 Paragraphs on Research Priorities?

Take me there now!

Primary Investigator(s) and/or Person Who Reported ItResearch VenueProject TitleTopic(s)Geographical FocusDescription
Susan SellGeorge Washington University, USACat and Mouse: The Battle over Intellectual Property Protection and EnforcementGovernance
Trade Agreements
Global"Cat and Mouse" is a book project that addresses both the proliferation of negotiating forums and the strategic shifting of forums (both horizontally and vertically) that have characterized global IP policy debates.
Nicola LucchiJonkoping International Business School, SwedenGoverning the Global Access to Information Resources: Policy, Politics and Strategy for a Better Regulation of Knowledge-Based Assets.’Governance
GlobalThe proposed research intends to investigate the conflict between technology and human rights principles proposing a new model of governance based on criteria of equity, efficiency and sustainability.
Gabriel J. MichaelGeorge Washington University, USAGovernance
Access to Medicines
Traditional Knowledge
GlobalMy dissertation studies the spread of intellectual property law around the globe, by applying theories of policy diffusion. Specifically, I examine the spread of data exclusivity protection for pharmaceutical clinical trials, which is an instance of policy diffusion from developed, Western, industrial nations to the rest of the world; another chapter focuses on the spread of national legislation on traditional knowledge, which is an instance of policy diffusion originating and spreading in the global South. One aim of my dissertation is to provide solid evidence, at both the macro and micro levels, that national adoption of intellectual property law frequently has little to do with cost/benefit analysis of the policy itself.
Sean Flynn
Mike Palmedo
American University Washington College of Law, USAPublic Interest IP & Trade Advocacy at PIJIPTrade Agreements
GlobalPIJIP, at American University, is involved in ongoing efforts to engage with IP negotiators involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, including organizing side meetings, stakeholder presentations, and analyses of the leaked provisions ( We also provide legal and technical assistance to public health organizations on the impact of trade agreement provisions on pharmaceutical pricing programs.
Andrew BridgesFenwick & West LLP, USATrade AgreementsGlobalI normally conduct litigation and engage in strategic business plan advice for commercial clients, so my work often reacts to client demand. But I am also independently studying a variety of issues including the relationship between foreign trade policy and domestic legislation regarding intellectual property, specifically copyright law and trademark law. One area of inquiry is what room international trade policy gives individual countries for the use of intellectual property law to express their own particular cultural values, given the "black letter law" statement that intellectual property laws are purely national. In whose interest is it for international trade agreements to harmonize the regulatory frameworks the express national cultural values? What is the purpose for conducting secret treaty and trade agreement negotiations that may either require or restrict national legislation, when the legislative process is normally public and (relatively) transparent? In whose interest is it for the creation of new intellectual property norms to be opaque or transparent?
J. Carlos LaraDerechos Digitales, ChileTrade AgreementsGlobalI have been conduct research in order to provide two-page documents regarding TPP issues, mostly concerning copyright provisions, TPMs, exceptions and limitations, enforcement, parallel importation, neighboring rights, intermediary liability. The aim was to provide national and foreign negotiators with further information concerning (leaked) TPP proposals; and also to provide with updated information. While seemingly small-scale, these efforts go hand in hand with regular advocacy among politicians and civil society aiming at the rejection TPP, ensuring safeguards against its worst provisions, or at the very least opening up the process. The hoped-for impact is rejection of IP clauses in TPP.
Chikosa BandaUniversity of Malawi, MalawiPatents and Promotion of Biomedical Research into Diseases Prevalent in Developing CountriesPublic Health
Access to Medicines
GlobalThis study considers the role of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the promotion of biomedical research for the prevention and treatment of diseases that disproportionately affect impoverished countries using as a case study. I intend to examine global and domestic factors that contribute to the inequitable distribution of research resources/benefits between the developed world and poor countries.
Sean Flynn
Meredith Jacob
American University Washington College of Law, USAThe Global Network on Copyright User Rights Users' RightsGlobalA group of copyright experts assembled by PIJIP at American University to generate policy options and expert guidance on the protection of users’ rights through flexible limitations and exceptions in national copyright laws. The network has drafted a Model Flexible Copyright Exception for legislators in countries considering copyright reform, which can be adapted to most copyright laws. This framework and other papers are available at
Jeremy MalcolmDepartment of Economics, American University, USA
American University Washington College of Law, USA
Consumers International, USA
Measuring the Economic Effects of Flexible Use Exceptions in Copyright LawUsers' Rights
Copyright Reform
GlobalThis is a collaboration between Consumers International and American University to develop empirical and quantitative accounts of the value of limitations and exceptions to copyright. The study will have several components, including the creation of an index of copyright flexibility -- led by Walter Park, the creator of the Park Index of Patent Rights, consumer and producer surveys, and research and research funds to promote empirical, including econometric and case study, analysis of the impacts of copyright flexibility on social and economic development goals.
Niva Elkin-KorenUniversity of Haifa, IsraelUsers' Rights
GlobalI am currently involved in two projects on user rights. One seeks to articulate exceptions and limitations as rights, as the rights of online users are increasingly under siege due to the shift to digital and the expansion of copyright protection. Against this background, I seek to offer a legal framework that moves beyond exceptions to copyright and articulate permissible uses as rights. Another study seeks to define the legal status of Fair Use Best Practices and to identify the practical implications.
Greg LastowkaRutgers University, USAUsers' RightsGlobalI'm currently researching the nature of user-generated content creation on a variety of online platforms, with a particular focus on copyright infringement and fair use issues. The work includes some research into demographics of UGC creation, as well as genres, motivations, and other factors.
Centre for Internet and Society, IndiaGreater Access to Published Works by Impaired Persons and Persons with Print DisabilitiesUsers' RightsIndia
Following up CIS’ intervention in support of the Treaty for the Visually Impaired, CIS is now studying the implementation of the WIPO Treaty in India and other jurisdictions.
Julian Thomas
Ramon Lobato
Swindburne University, AustraliaAn Analysis of Pirate Media Markets in Relation to Theories of the Informal EconomyBehavior and Attitudes
Piracy / Informal Circulation and Distribution
GlobalOur aim is to establish an alternative framework for analyzing pirate media markets, drawing on a rubric of informality. To this end, we are building a conceptual framework that brings together social science research on informal economies with current IP debates, and explains the parallels. This is primarily a conceptual/theoretical project rather than an empirical study. We hope that the results may help to provide alternative vocabularies for discussing IP issues, beyond the deadlocked property-vs-liberty positions, while also providing a possible synthetic framework to tie together transnational case studies of IP conflict.
Amy KapczynskiYale Law School, USATech Innovation Systems and Patents
Prospects and Models of Open Innovation
GlobalI'm working on an empirical qualitative project about the WHO's influenza virus sharing network, as part of a larger account of science without IP. I have several other projects in the works or under submission, including an article on the First Amendment and the regulation of off-label marketing (focusing on the scary Caronia case), and another about using regulatory "sticks" to promote innovation. The main aim is to try to move beyond IP in the legal literature, to develop a concept of "intellectual propertIES" and innovation modes beyond the market.
Andrew RensDuke University, USARe-Imagining Scientific Knowledge as a Global CommonsTech Innovation Systems and Patents
Prospects and Models of Open Innovation
GlobalThe current theoretical model of international trade that characterizes publicly funded scientific research as private goods hinders the resolution of global collective action problems such as climate change; food, energy and water security and global pandemics. I’m exploring how these problems might be better addressed by characterizing publicly-funded scientific knowledge as part of a global commons.
Jorge ContrerasAmerican University Washington College of Law, USARegistry of Non-SDO Patent CommitmentsTech Innovation Systems and Patents
Tech patents
GlobalPIJIP has begun a registry of publicly-available statements and commitments made with respect to patents and patent licensing outside of formal standards-development organizations (SDOs). Some of these statements and commitments relate to the use of patents essential to standards, but others relate to uses in open source software and other contexts.
Jorge ContrerasAmerican University Washington College of Law, USANarratives of Gene PatentingTech Innovation Systems and Patents
Biological Patents
Examination of narrative strains in the debate over gene patenting in the US and worldwide.
Elizabeth Townsend GardTulane University, USAThe Durationator' Copyright ExperimentIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
GlobalThe Durationator is an experimental software tool that tries to determine the copyright status of any type of work in any jurisdiction in the world.
Miguel CaetanoCenter for the Study and Research of Sociology, ISCTE-IUL, PortugalUsers and distributors. Networked Communication and European Cinema in P2P NetworksIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Creative Industries
GlobalThis is a collaborative project at our center made up of three parts: (1) an assessment of the state of the European film industry in the context of the global movie business and the importance of Hollywood, from development to financing, production, distribution, and exhibition/consumption; (2) Analysis of the effects and impacts of digitization on the European film industry again from the same chain value perspective; (3) results of a survey of online consumption habits among Portuguese Internet users. With this report, we hope to open up policy and media discussions of access to culture and knowledge in Portugal.
Volker GrassmuckCentre for Digital Culture (CDC), Leuphana University GermanyWikiVision.euIncentives and Remuneration for Creative Work
Alternative Business Models
GlobalThis project starts from (1) the perception of the video revolution that brings forth numerous works that deserve a seal of quality on a par with the productions of the public service media, and (2) the enduring astonishment that the Wikipedia is possible, i.e. that out of the cooperation of free and equal peers an encyclopedia, one of the most import knowledge infrastructures of our times can emerge. Adding one and two together leads to the obvious, yet megalomaniac question whether we could not in the same manner create a high-quality audio-visual self-observation of society.
Rebecca Giblin
Kimberlee Weatherall
Monash University, Australia
University of Sydney, Australia
Copyright Law in the Public InterestCopyright ReformGlobalA project led by Rebecca Giblin looking at what global copyright law would look like if formulated in the public interest. A workshop is planned for 2014 (involving a small number of academics in the area) with a view to producing a book in mid-2015 with chapters on different issues in copyright law. Akin to Samuelson's Copyright Principles Project but from an angle more akin to Jessica Litman's old thought experiment, which asked: 'if your client were the public, and copyright law were a contract, would you advise your client to sign it?
Joe KaraganisThe American Assembly, Columbia University, USAOER Demand IndicatorsAccess to Knowledge and Cultural Goods
Access to Educational Materials
Building on the new Open Syllabus Project, I think we’ll be able to provide demand indicators for open access materials in the US and in other countries where we can secure university-level participation. We will be looking for partners able to broker access to university syllabus repositories. Currently Sloan Foundation funded.
Laura CzerneiwiczUniversity of Capetown, South AfricaAcademics' Publishing Patterns and the Economics of the Most-Published in JournalsAccess to Knowledge and Cultural Goods
GlobalA case study of the most often-published in journals and the associated costs and legal requirements. The project is intended to surface the hidden costs and legal requirements of both traditional and open access publishing (including the tendency towards double dipping).
Lawrence LiangAlternative Law Forum, IndiaArchives, Access, AnxietiesAccess to Knowledge and Cultural Goods
GlobalWhile librarians have been at the forefront of copyright reform, archivists seem to have entered the debate relatively late. Because the traditional function of archives emphasized preservation, they were not bothered much by copyright restrictions. But as archives go digital, the line between preservation and dissemination begins to blur and we see many more archivists entering the IP debate. We are helping a number of new online archives which have emerged to create public domain materials to navigate the copyright system.
Sean Flynn
Mike Palmedo
American University Washington College of Law, USAThe IP Enforcement NetworkEnforcementGlobalA loose network of 450+ academics and advocates run by PIJIP at American University. The Network mobilizes public-interest interventions in international intellectual property policy debates, from ACTA to TPP and TTIP.
Natasha TusikovAustralian National UniversityPrivate Trademark Enforcement PracticesEnforcementGlobalMy dissertation examines how trademark owners are working with Internet intermediaries to remove infringing content (for marketplaces and trading platforms) and withdraw critical services (for infringing sites). These voluntary enforcement programs constitute global, extra-legal, private enforcement that in many cases is carried out secretly by intermediaries based on allegations, not proof of infringement, by rights holders. As there is little research, particularly in the scholarly realm, on private, online anti-counterfeiting efforts, my research will give an idea of how rights holders, state actors and intermediaries are working together in that area and some of the divergent and convergent interests shaping their involvement. More broadly, my research will demonstrate how state and private interests are converging in relation to private, voluntary regulation on the Internet.
Alex DentGeorge Washington University, USAEnforcementGlobalMy work focuses on two general questions: (1) What are the "costs" of IP policing, where costs are conceived of not only in financial terms, but also in social and cultural terms? Put somewhat differently, what does it mean that the vast majority of the world`s population experiences IP as an interdiction? (2) What is the relationship between policy-making in DC and global policing practice? How does one translate into the other, and then back into policy once more? Specifically, I've been looking at the ways in which the Brazilian police integrate what they are doing with long-standing cultural discourses about objects and ideas, as well as their relationship with international NGOs. Despite the relative uniformity of international IP policies, I've found that its implementation needs to be looked at on a local basis. All my research is ethnographic and historical.
Kimberlee WeatherallUniversity of Sydney, AustraliaFair and Equitable EnforcementEnforcementGlobalWhat, if anything, is the content of the obligation to ensure that enforcement procedures are 'fair and equitable' (TRIPS 41.2; ACTA article 6; EU IP Enforcement Directive, Article 1). Having observed that trade negotiators argue that all the detailed enforcement provisions that we see in recent treaties are balanced by the inclusion of such general articles, the chapter will test the extent to which such obligation might have 'teeth'.
Inyoung HwangThe Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST), South KoreaLaw and Policy of Online Privacy in Korea: Current Regulation and Reform AgendaPrivacy and SurveillanceGlobalOur goal is to review the current regulatory system thoroughly and systematically, and to identify problem areas and propose reform. The project involves research cooperation among a group of academics and practicing lawyers, and will include case studies of the US and EU.
Information Society Project, Yale Law School, USA
A2K4D, American University, Egypt
Center for Technology and Society, Brazil
Global Censorship and Access to KnowledgePrivacy and SurveillanceGlobalA collaborative book project.
Tesh DagneThompson Rivers University, CanadaTraditional KnowledgeGlobalIn general, my goal for the next several years is to prepare articles and conduct research on the protection of traditional knowledge and biodiversity in reference to works in this area under the frameworks of WIPO, the CBD and FAO. My current work specifically looks at the feasibility of IP-based models for protecting traditional knowledge-related agricultural products such as Indian Basmati rice, Ethiopian coffee, Ghanaian cocoa, South African Rooibos tea,..etc. I will soon start a research project under the theme of "Implementing the Nagoya Protocol using the framework of food sovereignty” and am also planning work on the WIPO’s draft articles on the protection of Traditional Knowledge. As research method, I will adopt doctrinal legal analysis of the legal and policy issues in the area.
Talha SyedUniversity of California, Berkeley, USAAdjacent Issues
Copyright Reform
GlobalMy work touches on four areas: (1) Economic analysis of how factoring in differentiated competition dynamics affects the economic theory and policy of copyright law. (2) Examining when precisely "democratic" and "distributive" theories or values result in significant differences from economic analysis for copyright law and policy. (3) Exploring how non-economic normative considerations related to non-IP-based approaches to innovation policy. (4) Copyright and Inequality: exploring the interaction between copyright rules and online expressive activity in light of three values (a) economic equity, (b) political democracy and (c) social or community ties marked less by status hierarchy and more reciprocity and mutuality recognition.
Floriana FossatoCenter for the Study of New Media and Society, New Economic School, RussiaMedia Freedom and Online-Offline Dissimilarity IndicesAdjacent IssuesGlobalThe goal of this project is to construct an index that measures the difference in coverage of politics between offline media and blogs. In particular, we collect data on the frequency of mentions of different politicians in blogs, offline media, and online media in native languages of 40+ countries in the world. Using data from Bing, Google News/Blogs/Trends, Factiva, LexisNexis, and Wikipedia, we aim to construct indices for the differential coverage of politicians in different countries in the world. We also plan to look how well it predicts the quality of governance in different countries, as compared with existing media freedom indices and other explanatory variables, and whether this difference depends on global information environment.
J. Carlos LaraDerechos Digitales, ChileAdjacent IssuesGlobalResearch on cybercrime and crime through digital means, with a comprehensive final work that includes surveys and academic papers by people outside the organisation. The goal is to provide and publish a study hitherto inexistent.
Michel Bauwens
Nicolas Mendoza
Jose M. Ramos
Thomas Leif Olsen
Digial DemocracyAdjacent IssuesGlobalThe project will reconstruct the history of techniques for democratic deliberation and decision-making and comprehensively map the online tools currently in use. It will research various implementations of the liquid democracy concept, conduct a survey on attitudes and model a reference parliament.