Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property Law

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Conference, in Washington, DC, USA


The global intellectual property landscape has witnessed important changes in recent years. Most notably, the public interest dimension of intellectual property has emerged as a paramount concern. Though there seems to be now a fairly broad agreement on the need for a more balanced intellectual property system which effectively promotes innovation, views diverge on how to best achieve it.

At the same time, an international intellectual property enforcement agenda has been actively pursued, particularly during the past decade, with possible far reaching effects on the existing balance between public interest and private rights. This agenda is coming under increasing scrutiny from a wide range of actors and stakeholders including public interest advocates and independent researchers. Evidence based research such as the recently released Media Piracy in Emerging Economies report ( are contributing to a better understanding of the complexities surrounding piracy and enforcement and point to the need to apprehend them in their broader societal context beyond narrow legal approaches.

Against this background, the Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property will serve as a site for the sharing of research, ideas and policy proposals for how international intellectual property law and policy should be constructed to better protect the full range of global public interest concerns.

The goal of the meeting is to foster a broad dialogue concerning policy options and action oriented proposals in support of the formation of positive agendas for public interest intellectual property law on the global stage.

Topics to be discussed at the meeting will include open access to data and research, access to educational materials, open internet, the role of libraries in the digital age, development and intellectual property, new thinking on penalties and enforcement, limitations and exceptions, open business models, facilitating public participation in global intellectual property policy making, expanding and protecting the public domain, promoting research and development and the role of publicly funded research, and access to its products, use of competition law and other policy mechanisms from in relation to possible abuses of intellectual property rights and lessons from national and international experiences and efforts in reforming intellectual property law.