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
Pedro ParanaguaDuke University, USA
Fundação Vargas, Brazil
House of Representatives, Brazil
Brazilian Patent ReformTech Innovation Systems and PatentsBrazil
Latin America
This 400-page report was published in late August 2013 by the Brazilian House of Representatives, under the coordination of Rep. Newton Lima (Workers Party). The Report supports a number of reforms embedded in pending legislation, including limiting the patent term at 20 years maximum (the current Patent Act authorizes the extension for beyond 20 years under a number of common circumstances) and clarifying what is not considered to be inventions, such as second use patents and new forms of known substances. Here we draw parallels to the Indian Patent Act as revised in 2005.
Inyoung HwangThe Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST), South KoreaTech Innovation Systems and PatentsSouth Korea
I am involved in a study of the Korean knowledge ecosystem model in the Era of Creative Economy, based on semi-structured deep interviews, focused group interviews, simulation modeling, and case studies. There will be comparative dimension exploring parallels in Switzerland, Sweden, US, Germany, Japan, and Israel.
Jeremy de BeerUniversity of Ottawa, CanadaRethinking Intellectual Property Rights for Open InnovationTech Innovation Systems and Patents
Prospects and Models of Open Innovation
CanadaFocusing on tech sector innovation and IP management in Canada, with the aim of developing appropriate IP frameworks that make Canadian innovators globally competitive.
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.
Centre for Internet and Society, IndiaPervasive Technologies: Access to Knowledge in the MarketplaceTech Innovation Systems and Patents
Tech patents
South Asia
This project explores methodologies of providing greater access to knowledge in the marketplace via sub $100 mobile devices. The project examines hardware, software and content layers in the context of the national and international legal framework that govern Indian patent law, copyright law, standards policy, and competition law.
Centre for Internet and Society, IndiaPatentability of Computer Related InventionsTech Innovation Systems and Patents
Tech patents
South Asia
Work on this front explores options for and consequences excluding computer-related programs from patentability. We are now working with the Government regarding the interpretation of the relevant guidelines and laws around this issue.
Centre for Internet and Society, IndiaPatent Pools for ICT Technology Development in IndiaTech Innovation Systems and Patents
Tech patents
South Asia
CIS India, partnering with PIJIP, is leading a project examining patent pools as a solution to liberate ICT development that is already underway in India.
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.
Rochelle DreyfussNYU, USATech Innovation Systems and Patents
Patent Offices and Functioning of the Patent System
USAI’m writing series of articles on specialized adjudication of patent disputes in the United States. I have started to look at the effect of specialization on patent law as it is applied in other countries.
Arlene ZankWay Better Patents, USATech Innovation Systems and Patents
Patent Offices and Functioning of the Patent System
USAWe have undertaken a study of the impact of accelerated examination programs for patents. Do these programs meet their stated goals, who participates in them, and what are the outcomes. We have completed the first phase of work on the impact of the USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program (Analysis of the first 835 patents). We are looking at this program in light of the new authority granted to the Director of USPTO to grant accelerated examination for "economically important" innovations. We are looking at a variety of quantitative and qualitative issues to determine who is benefitting from these efforts.
Arlene ZankWay Better Patents, USATech Innovation Systems and Patents
Patent Offices and Functioning of the Patent System
USAWe are also trying to provide weekly box scores that identify the number of patents granted, the level of co-inventorship across geographic boundaries, and core information on patents in an accessible format. Much of the metrics here focus on assigning patents to countries based on the first named inventors. This information obscures much of the real information on where inventions are coming from because no detailed analysis of the geolocation of the teams is being undertaken.
Niva Elkin-KorenUniversity of Haifa, IsraelTech Innovation Systems and Patents
University Tech Transfer
I'm currently involved in a project on technology transfer and commercialization of government-sponsored research. The project explores whether changes in the legal regime affect R&D activity (as measured by the number of patent applications), focusing on stem cell research in Israel as a case study. A related project maps the practices of patenting and commercializing governmental funded research (sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Science).
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.
Arlene ZankWay Better Patents, USATech Innovation Systems and Patents
University Tech Transfer
USAI'm working on an econometric study of the rates at which patents granted to university and academic researchers/inventors are licensed—with licensing being an indicator that the inventions are being commercialized and made available to the public. Since many university patents cover basic research, we are attempting to gain insight into what is actually licensed and when in its patent lifecycle. We believe that this work will help policy makers frame the discussions on how the end products from publicly funded research transfer to the marketplace.
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.
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.