Category Archives: News

REGISTRATION IS OPEN for the 2024 15th ISHTIP Annual Workshop

Please register and save the date for the 15th Annual Workshop of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property, which will take place in Boston on 26 and 27 June 2024. This year’s theme will be “Intellectual Property and the Anthropocene”.

More information can be found here:

Speaking participants include:

Veronique Pouillard (University of Oslo, Norway)

Kristin Ranestad (University of Oslo, Norway)

Hyo Yoon Kang (University of Warwick, UK)

Desmond Oriakhogba (University of Western Cape, South Africa)

Zachary Mondesire (Boston University, USA)

Anna Saunders, (University College of London, UK)

Caoimhe Ring (University of Bristol, UK)

Jessica Lai (University of Wellington, New Zealand)

Kara Swanson (Northeastern University, USA)

Danilo Mandic (University of Westminster, UK)

Kaushalya Madugalla, (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)

Aisling McMahon (Maynooth University, Ireland)

Christopher Robertson (Boston University, USA)

Brad Sherman (University of Queensland, Australia)

Gabriel Galvez-Behar (University of Lille, France)

Myrian Christmann (University of London, UK)

Peng (Alex) Zhou (University of Hong Kong, China)

Jean-Baptiste Scherer (University of Freiberg, Germany/ University of Paris, France)

Stacey Lantagne (Western New England University, USA)

Jeffrey Omari, (Gonzaga University, USA)

Cathay Smith(University of Montana, USA)

Jiarong Zhang (Trinity College, Ireland)

Adriana Craciun (Boston University, USA)

David Jefferson (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

Rosemary Coombe (York University, Canada) 

Hamish MacDonald (University Queensland, Australia)

Martin Kretschmer (University of Glasgow, Scotland)

Andrea Wallace (University of Exeter, UK)

Ruth Catlow (, UK)

Lindsay Stern (Harvard University, USA)

Vitor Ido (University of Sao Paolo, Brazil)

Alexandra Mogyoros (Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada)

The Program is still being finalised.

Accommodation: Early booking of accommodation is advised, as the prices in the Boston area in this period can be high.

ISHTIP is grateful to Professor Jessica Silbey and Boston University School of Law for their organisation and hosting.




23 Nov 2023 GMT 16:30-18:00; CET 17:30-19:00; EDT 11:30-13:00: PST 8:30-10:00 am; AEST 24 Nov 3:00-4.30am

Chaired by ISHTIP Governing Board Member, Cristina Martinez

Professor Tawfik’s new book, For the Encouragement of Learning, addresses the contested history of copyright law in Canada, where the economic and reputational interests of authors and the commercial interests of publishers often conflict with the public interest in access to knowledge. It chronicles Canada’s earliest copyright law to explain how pre-Confederation policy-makers understood copyright’s normative purpose. Using methodologies at the intersection of legal history and book history, For the Encouragement of Learning embeds the copyright legal framework within the history of Canada’s book and print culture.

Professor Myra Tawfik is the Don Rodzik Family Chair in Law and Entrepreneurship and Distinguished University, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor.

Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse is Associate Professor at the McGill Faculty of Law and a former Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Policy (2011-2021). His research ranges from colonial copyright to obsolescence and new technology in intellectual property theory.

Michael Everton is Associate Professor of English, Simon Fraser University. His research interests include the history of copyright in the United States and the history of Anglo-American publishing.

Isabella Alexander, a Professor in the Faculty of Law at UTS, is a legal historian and intellectual property scholar, whose research explores how laws inform and regulate the creation, circulation and reception of knowledge and culture from an historical perspective. Her most recent book is Copyright and Cartography. History, Law, and the Circulation of Geographical Knowledge (Bloomsbury, 2023).


Fifteen Years of Primary Sources on Copyright 1450-1900

Glasgow 16-17 October 2023

It is fifteen years since the launch of the Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), the (AHRC funded) digital archive edited by Lionel Bently and Martin Kretschmer .

To celebrate this event a conference will be held on 16-17 October in the University of Glasgow’s Advanced Research Centre on a hybrid basis (allowing for online or in person attendance). This CREATe event is supported by ISHTIP, CIPIL & University of Cambridge.

The event comprises two key elements.

First, a number of national editors will present their new material for the digital archive. Patricia Akester (GPI-IPO) and Victor Drummond (Universidade Gama Filho) will launch their section covering Portugal and Brazil, Marius Buning (University of Oslo), Magne Klasson  (University of Oslo) and Martin Fredriksson (Linköping University) will speak about the forthcoming Scandinavian section, and further material for three existing sections – the Vatican, France and German speaking countries – will be presented by Jane Ginsburg (Columbia Law School), Katie Scott (The Courtauld), Frédéric Rideau (Université de Poitiers) and Friedemann Kawohl (CREATe Fellow). These talks are open to all scholars, including research students, of any discipline or jurisdiction and can be attended in person or online. If you would like to attend, in person or online, please email

Secondly, in the evening of Monday 16th October, we will be hosting an event that is open to the public, and also forms part of the CREATe Public Lectures series: Lionel Bently and  Martin Kretschmer, accompanied by a panel of national editors, will discuss ‘Fifteen Years of Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900): Changing world views and what comes next’. Everyone is welcome to join, either in person or on-line. Booking for the public lecture is available via Bookitbee here.

For the full conference program see here.


‘Copyright and Cartography. History, Law, and the Circulation of Geographical Knowledge’

Isabella Alexander (UTS) in Conversation with Will Slauter (Sorbonne) & Kathy Bowrey (UNSW). Chaired by Jose Bellido (Kent)

12 Oct 2023

BST 16:00; CET 17:00; EDT 11:00: PDT 8:00; AEST 13th Sept 2:00am

This open access book explores the intertwined histories of mapmaking and copyright law in Britain from the early modern period up to World War 1, focusing chiefly on the 18th and 19th centuries. Taking a multidisciplinary approach and making extensive use of the archival record, this is the first detailed, historical account of the relationship between maps and copyright. As such, it examines how the emergence and development of copyright law affected mapmakers and the map trade and how the application of copyright law to the field of mapmaking affected the development of copyright doctrine. Its explorations cast new light on the circulation of geographical knowledge, different cultures of authorship and creativity, and connections between copyright law, print culture, technology, and society.

The book’s investigations end in the first decades of the 20th century, but the tensions it identifies persist in the 21st century, although today paper maps have been largely replaced by web-based mapping platforms and digital geospatial data.

Isabella Alexander, a Professor in the Faculty of Law at UTS, is a legal historian and intellectual property scholar, whose research explores how laws inform and regulate the creation, circulation and reception of knowledge and culture from an historical perspective. She researches and teaches in intellectual property law and legal history, specialising in the law of copyright.

Will Slauter is Professor of American history and civilization, Sorbonne University. His research interests include the history of publishing, the history of news and journalism, and the history of copyright law in the United Kingdom and the United States. He is the author of Who Owns the News? A History of Copyright (Stanford University Press 2019).

Kathy Bowrey is a Professor in the School of Law, Society and Criminology, Faculty of Law & Justice, University of New South Wales. Her most recent books are Jose Bellido & Kathy Bowrey, Adventures in Childhood. Intellectual Property, Imagination and the Business of Play (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and Copyright, Creativity, Big Media & Cultural Value (Routledge, 2021)

ZOOM link for registration:

Intellectual Property, Past and Present: An Interdisciplinary Conversation

22 September 2023

Hosted by HDEA (Histoire et dynamique des espaces anglophones), Sorbonne Université, ISHTIP is supporting a great forthcoming book discussion, organised by Will Slauter:

« Intellectual Property, Past and Present: An Interdisciplinary Conversation », 22 September 2023, 14:00-17:00 Central European Time, Sorbonne Université and on Zoom (hybrid event, in English)

Featuring a discussion of two recent books :

•       Jessica Silbey, Professor of Law, Boston University, author of Against Progress: Intellectual Property and Fundamental Values in the Internet Age (Stanford University Press, 2022), with comments by Séverine Dusollier, Professor of Law, Sciences Po Paris

•       Gabriel Galvez-Behar, Professor of History, Université de Lille, author of Histoire de la propriété intellectuelle (La Découverte, 2022), with comments by Will Slauter, Professor of English studies, Sorbonne Université

The seminar will take place in the Bibliothèque d’UFR d’Études anglophones, Sorbonne Université, 17 rue de la Sorbonne 75005 Paris. 

To attend by Zoom, please register here:

To attend in person please contact in advance of the event as access to the building may require an invitation. 

Event organized by the research center HDEA (Histoire et dynamique des espaces anglophones), Sorbonne Université, with the support of ISHTIP (International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property). 

For more information please contact Will Slauter,  

CFP: Patent Futures. A History

“Patent Futures: A History,” is the fourth and final workshop of the ERC-funded project “Patents as Scientific Information, 1895-2020,” ( in collaboration with The International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP

Call For Papers: Patent Futures. A History

Dates: April 26-28, 2023.

Venue: Mundaneum, Mons, Belgium.

Call closes: November 15, 2022.

Proposal format: 500 Word proposal/200 Word bio.

Submit to:

Co-founded by the two Belgian lawyers Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and Henri LaFontaine (1854-1943), Mundaneum, has played a crucial role for PASSIM, both in terms of its structure and design, but also because it was here the project was first conceived. As PASSIM draws to a close, we return to “the scene of the crime” for a workshop on the past, present, and future of patents.
Patents tend to be associated with progress, modernity, and future usefulness. At the same time, we know that they are profoundly contextual, situated in specific historical eras and traditions. Time and various temporalities therefore occupy crucial points of departure when researching the history of patents.
We now invite Ph.D. candidates or recent Ph.D.’s (degree awarded no earlier than during 2022) to submit proposals on topics that include but are not limited to: questions of memory and regimes of remembrance in the patent system; legal temporality in general, especially in relation to the construction of value and capital; efficiency and speed as elements of bureaucratic time inside the Patent Office. In line with Otlet and LaFontaine’s Mundaneum legacy and their visionary work on knowledge circulation, we also invite contributions that focus on the visualization of patents and knowledge in general. Finally, we encourage submissions that consider the various formats and temporalities of patent records and/or engage critically with the archives and sources of interdisciplinary patent scholarship.
PASSIM will cover the travel and accommodation cost of the selected participants.
Come and meet the entire PASSIM team and our special invitees: David Pretel, Assistant Professor of History and Economic Institutions, Autonomous University of Madrid; Katarina Nordqvist, Associate Professor and Head of Section, Swedish Ministry of Education and Research.
Follow us on @passimproject as we announce more invited commentators!

Any questions can be directed to the organizers of the workshop:
Jesper Alkarp
Isabelle Strömstedt
Johan Larson Lindal



23 May 2022 BST 11am; CET 12pm; EST 6am: PST 3am; AEST 8pm

‘Paris to New York: The Transatlantic Fashion Industry in the Twentieth Century’

Véronique Pouillard (Oslo) in conversation with Stina Teilman-Lock (CBS) and Johanna Gibson (QMUL).

Chaired by ISHTIP Co-Director, Kathy Bowrey (UNSW).

Fashion is one of the most dynamic industries in the world, with an annual retail value of $3 trillion and globally recognized icons like Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent. How did this industry generate such economic and symbolic capital?

Focusing on the roles of entrepreneurs, designers, and institutions in fashion’s two most important twentieth-century centers, Paris to New York tells the history of the industry as a negotiation between art and commerce. In the late nineteenth century, Paris-based firms set the tone for a global fashion culture nurtured by artistic visionaries. In the burgeoning New York industry, however, the focus was on mass production. American buyers, trend scouts, and designers crossed the Atlantic to attend couture openings, where they were inspired by, and often accused of counterfeiting, designs made in Paris. For their part, Paris couturiers traveled to New York to understand what American consumers wanted and to make deals with local manufacturers for whom they designed exclusive garments and accessories. The cooperation and competition between the two continents transformed the fashion industry in the early and mid-twentieth century, producing a hybrid of art and commodity.

Véronique Pouillard shows how the Paris–New York connection gave way in the 1960s to a network of widely distributed design and manufacturing centers. Since then, fashion has diversified. Tastes are no longer set by elites alone, but come from the street and from countercultures, and the business of fashion has transformed into a global enterprise.

Véronique Pouillard is Professor of International History at the University of Oslo and Principal Investigator, ERC CoG 818523, CREATIVE IPR – The History of Intellectual Property Rights in the Creative Industries, 2018.

Stina Teilmann-Lock is Associate Professor at the  Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School.

Johanna Gibson is Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Deputy Director of the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London.

‘Performing Copyright’ : Luke McDonagh (LSE) in conversation with Jane Wessel (USNA) & Kathy Bowrey (UNSW)

27 April 2022 BST 1pm; CET 2pm; EST 8 am; PST 5am; AEST 10pm

Performing Copyright. Law, Theatre and Authorship.

Luke M. McDonagh (LSE) in conversation with Jane Wessel (USDA) and Kathy Bowrey (UNSW).

Chaired by ISHTIP Co-Director, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, (Linköping University) .

Based on empirical research, this innovative book explores issues of performativity and authorship in the theatre world under copyright law and addresses several inter-connected questions: who is the author and first owner of a dramatic work? Who gets the credit and the licensing rights? What rights do the performers of the work have? Given the nature of theatre as a medium reliant on the re-use of prior existing works, tropes, themes and plots, what happens if an allegation of copyright infringement is made against a playwright? Furthermore, who possesses moral rights over the work?

To evaluate these questions in the context of theatre, the first part of the book examines the history of the dramatic work both as text and as performative work. The second part explores the notions of authorship and joint authorship under copyright law as they apply to the actual process of creating plays, referring to legal and theatrical literature, as well as empirical research. The third part looks at the notion of copyright infringement in the context of theatre, noting that cases of alleged theatrical infringement reach the courts comparatively rarely in comparison with music cases, and assessing the reasons for this with respect to empirical research. The fourth part examines the way moral rights of attribution and integrity work in the context of theatre. The book concludes with a prescriptive comment on how law should respond to the challenges provided by the theatrical context, and how theatre should respond to law.

Luke McDonagh is Assistant Professor at the Law Department at the London School of Economics (LSE) where he undertakes research in the areas of Intellectual Property Law and Constitutional Law. His new book Performing Copyright. Law. Theatre and Copyright is published by Bloomsbury Press, 2021.

Jane Wessel is Assistant Professor of English at the US Naval Academy. Her forthcoming book is Owning Performance | Performing Ownership. Literary Property and the Eighteenth-Century British Stage (Michigan University Press, 2022).

Kathy Bowrey is a Professor in the School of Law, Society and Criminology, Faculty of Law and Justice, University of New South Wales, Australia and ISHTIP Co-Director.

CFP: Patents in the service of War And Peace

We invite contributions to the 3rd workshop of the ERC-funded project PASSIM (Patents as Scientific Information, 1895–2020), in collaboration with The International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP).

Deadline is soon: October 30, 2021

Dates: May 16–18, 2022
Venue: Norrköping, Sweden
Call closes: October 30, 2021
Proposal format: 500 Word proposal/200 Word bio
Submit to:

Although legal historians and humanities scholars have studied patent law and its histories beyond their economic effects, it is surprising that they have devoted less attention to their military entanglements. The workshop welcomes papers on patents, relating to the theme of ‘war and peace’. In this sense, patents are understood as both legal documents and property rights, and conceptualised in a variety of disciplinary ways, ranging from legal tools to secure economic monopolies, to ‘weapons’ protecting national interests. In so doing, the workshop aims to explore patents as devices that create and redistribute power, and as active protagonists fuelling and constituting so-called “patent wars”.

More about the workshop and how to submit papers (PDF)

Any questions can be directed to the organizers of the workshop: Johanna DahlinJosé BellidoMartin Fredriksson.