Innovation Appropriation: A Role for IP in the Informal Sector?

Is there a role for intellectual property rights to play in the informal economy? What formal and informal strategies do informal sector actors use to appropriate benefits from their innovation? I’ve been exploring these questions through my co-leadership of the Open AIR project, and as an expert consultant on a path-breaking project implementing the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Development Agenda.

I was in Geneva recently to participate in a special session about innovation, IP, and the informal economy, held alongside meetings of WIPO’s Committee on Development and Intellectual Property. My remarks tied together the interdisciplinary conceptual framework developed by me, Kun Fu, and Sacha Wunsh-Vincent and recent empirical evidence from a series of real-world case studies.

Here’s video of the full session at WIPO headquarters: