[A2k] Register for Global Congress on Public Interest IP

Sean Flynn sflynn at wcl.american.edu
Wed Apr 27 13:54:52 PDT 2011

Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property Law

Call for Applications to Participate


August 25-27, 2011
American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington DC, 20016

Registration is now open to participate in one of the most important meetings on international intellectual property law and policy of the year. http://infojustice.org/registration


American University Washington College of Law (WCL) will host the inaugural Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property August 25-27, 2011. The Global Congress will be co-hosted by WCL's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Fundação Getulio Vargas's Center for Technology and Society (Brazil), the American Assembly at Columbia University and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (Geneva). Sponsors include Google Inc., the Institute for Global and International Studies at George Washington University, Seattle University School of Law and the American University International Law Review (the sponsoring journal for symposium publications). Other sponsors are currently being solicited.


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 (http://piracy.ssrc.org/the-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.


August 25, 2pm-6pm

Keynote Addresses: Framing the Current Moment

Keynote addresses will be open to the public (registration required) and webcast live. The addresses will be followed by a gala welcoming reception open to all registered participants.

August 26, 9am-6pm

Public Interest Intellectual Property Workshops: Building the Knowledge Base

The second day of the meeting will be limited to workshop participants based on completed applications for participation. To facilitate active deliberation, participation for this day will be strictly limited to presenters, workshop chairs and expert discussants.

The day will feature discussion of works-in-progress papers and other presentations on the themes of promoting new thinking on international public interest intellectual property and mapping a range of best practices and policy options to ensure that national and international intellectual property systems protect and serve a broad range of public interest objectives. In addition to contributions analyzing options from within intellectual property doctrine, contributions will be sought from parallel fields such as competition law, consumer protection law, price control regimes, etc. Tentative workshop topics include:

*	Open Access to Research
*	Education
*	Open Internet
*	Libraries
*	Penalties and Enforcement
*	Limitations and Exceptions
*	The Development Agenda
*	Open Business Models
*	Promoting Public Participation
*	Use of Competition and Other Consumer Protection Policies
*	Promoting Research and Development/ The Role of Publicly Funded Research
*	Public Domain
*	Lessons from National and International Reform Experiences
*	Global Intellectual Property Architecture, the Public Interest and Development

These topics are tentative. Applications for participation may propose a workshop topic they would like to sponsor during the meeting.

August 26, 7-10pm

Dinner cruise on the Potomac river.

August 27, 10am-1pm

Thematic Workshops: Exploring Institutional Levels

Morning discussions will explore strategies and opportunities for promoting positive agendas at the major institutional levels of policy deliberation: private ordering; national policy; bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements; multilateral norm setting.

August 27, 1-4pm

Roundtable Discussion

Congress delegates will be invited to deliberate over policy proposals and action plans that chart a positive future for international intellectual property law.

August 27, 4pm

Closing Remarks

August 27, 5pm



Participation in the Global Congress is being recruited from scholars, policy advocates, public officials, IGO representatives, media, technology companies and other stakeholders from across the globe, with a particular emphasis on representatives from developing countries.


Through the generous support of financial sponsors of the Congress, a limited number of partial and full travel scholarships will be available for selected participants. As funding is limited, travel scholarships will be awarded with preferences for applicants who lack sufficient institutional funding to otherwise participate and with preferences for applicants from developing countries and those who raise contributing funds from other sources. In general, participation for U.S. academics in full time teaching positions will be limited to the provision of hotel accommodation and the provision of all meals and costs at the event.


Finalized papers will be considered for publication in the PIJIP digital commons working paper series (http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/research/) in the fall of 2011 as well as for a symposium issue of the American University International Law Review to be published in the Spring of 2012 (final papers due to journal in early February 2012).


Priority applications to participate in Congress workshops and to be considered for travel funding are due June 6, 2011.

The final date for applications to participate in Congress workshops request travel funding will be July 1, 2011. Applications after July 1 to receive travel assistance will be considered only under exceptional circumstances.

General registration to attend the keynote presentations on August 26 will be due by August 10, 2011.


All applications will be accepted via an online form available at http://infojustice.org/registration.

Questions and inquiries can be addressed to sflynn at wcl.american.edu and mpalmedo at wcl.american.edu.




Sean M Fiil Flynn

Associate Director

Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) 

American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW 
Washington, D.C. 20016
(202) 274-4157            

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