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
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.
Sara BannermanMacMaster University, CanadaCopyright: A History of Access to KnowledgeGovernance
Traditional histories of international copyright have showcased France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. The relative absence of other countries from the dominant history leaves a story with significant blind spots. This project examines the history of international copyright by foregrounding the ‘emerging countries’ of various historical periods. It hypothesizes that emerging and developing countries have almost always been proponents of expanded access to knowledge, and that this can be traced through the international history of copyright.
Eduardo Villanueva MansillaPontificia Universidad Catolica del PeruGovernance
PeruI'm working to analyze from a political science perspective the way that IP debates and copyright are defining the reach and bounds of the State, specifically a State like mine. Peru is a country bound by international treaties and bilateral trade agreements, but at the same time has a very intense alternative or irregular market for IP-protected content. This raises political questions around both Digital Rights / A2K policy, as well as foreign and internal policy regarding how to use the digital resources available to our collective advantage. My main target is to establish the new characteristics that the State in emerging economies and to understand the limitations posed both by the web of treaties and agreements and local and foreign users of the Web.
Miranda ForsythAustralian National UniversityGovernance
Asia-PacificMy current research project investigates the impact of intellectual property laws on development in Pacific Island countries, many of which are currently considering whether to introduce new or amend existing intellectual property legislation. Among the drivers of this process are negotiations to join the World Trade Organization and to complete bilateral Trade Agreements, including EU-Australia and Australia-New Zealand agreements. Another is concern that the traditional knowledge of the country is currently not adequately protected from the risk of exploitation by third parties. The main goal of the research is to better inform the decisions that will need to be made concerning these issues in the next few years.
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).
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, USASpecial 301 Watch ProjectGovernance
USAThis project provides legal and technical assistance to civil society organizations seeking to make submissions in the annual USTR Special 301 Report process.