The Future of Intellectual Property

The futures of intellectual property is a topic I’ve done a fair bit of thinking about. Some of my publications are summarized and linked at the bottom of this post. I have also been speaking about IP futures more often lately.

For example, at the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada’s 90th Annual Meeting, I had the chance to share some of my thoughts with IP practitioners from Canada and around the world. At a seminar in Sydney, hosted by leading international firm Bird & Bird, I’m sharing my insights with the IP Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Together with my research team, we have created an inforgraphic summarizing key insights. We start by laying out some “laws” of the futures (note the plural), including this one by the legendary Jim Dator: “Any useful idea about the futures should appear to be ridiculous.”  And then we introduce Vorvos‘ “Futures Cone” as a helpful way to conceptualize foresight research.

The heart of the presentation applies these ideas by brainstorming some possible drivers of change, and then constructing a matrix of plausible scenarios based on two of these drives. Check out the infographic below to learn more.

Future's So Bright

For further reading, check out some of my articles. Together with a few of my former students, I’ve published a thorough literature review on how IP lawyers and scholars think about the future of IP, “Presenting Thinking About the Future of Intellectual Property.” I’ve also done work on the future of WIPO and the Development Agenda. And most comprehensively, I’ve spend several years working with a team of dozens of researchers associated with the Open African Innovation Research network on Knowledge and Innovation in Africa: Scenarios for the Future.

Get in touch with me if you’re interested in this topic. I’ve love to discuss ideas together.