Friday, May 23, 2014

The Comparative and Transnational History of IP Law

[Steven Wilf, Connecticut Law, has recently sent us the following report:]

Intellectual property in the last few years has taken an historical turn which has led to the emergence of a good deal of interesting work.  More recently, there has been an interest in the comparative history of intellectual property law.  This has emerged as a result of the shift from intellectual property as a metropolitan legal framework, varying considerably from one territory to another, to a form of virtual property that easily crosses global borders.  The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) spearheads a harmonization project that has prompted legal scholars to look towards history to understand the diversity of copyright, trademark, patent, and a variety of smaller regimes.

Two quite recent interesting comparative intellectual property law projects are:
  1. Rethinking Patent Cultures,  a UK Arts & Research Council (AHRC) funded project, hosted by the Centre for History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds and organized by Professor Graeme Gooday, hosted a conference as a first step towards understanding the comparative historical development of patent law. 
  2.  The WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Journal just published its special fifth anniversary issue, edited by Peter Yu, focusing on the historical development of intellectual property norms in a global perspective.  This issue (volume 5) is available [here].