Category Archives: News

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.

Identity and IP: how who we are informs our work

ISHTIP Online Discussion. 19/20 July 2021

A discussion of personal and identity-based perspectives exploring how these connect in some way with IP writing and research.

Attendees: Fady Aoun, Kathy Bowrey, Veit Erlmann, Susy Frankel, Hyo Yoon Kang, Jessica Lai, Sharon Le Gall, Toni Lester, Charleston Thomas, Hai-Yuean Tualima, Andrew Ventimiglia, Andrea Wallace.

Academic Open Letter in Support of the TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver Proposal

July 2021

ISHTIP members Prof Graham Dutfield (University of Leeds), Dr Hyo Yoon Kang (Kent Law School), Dr Luke McDonagh (London School of Economics), along with Dr Aisling McMahon (Maynooth University) and Dr Siva Thambisetty (London School of Economics) have drafted an open letter signed by over 100 IP academics in support of the Indian and South African proposal for temporary TRIPS waiver “as a necessary and proportionate legal measure towards the clearing of existing intellectual property barriers to scaling up of production of COVID-19 health technologies in a direct, consistent and effective fashion”.

Drawing upon the history and theory of intellectual property, the letter acknowledges that patents have never been absolute rights. They are monopoly rights granted to serve the public interest. Patents “ must not be allowed to stand in the way of measures designed to make accessible the health technologies needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, where universal global access is essential for the global public good.”

Monopolies over tacit and informal information, are also implicated in the current lack of global capacity for vaccine production and other health technologies, as well as in enabling their inequitable distribution.

The letter calls on the governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the European Union to drop their opposition at the World Trade Organisation and to support the TRIPS waiver proposal.

You can read the full letter and list of signatories here:

Panel Discussion on Intellectual Property Law Scholarship and Pedagogy 
in Times of Covid-19 Pandemic

Co-hosted by 
Center for Social Critiques of Law, Kent Law School and 

International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP)

Graham Dutfield (Leeds)
Hyo Yoon Kang (Kent)
Fiona Macmillan (Birkbeck)
Luke McDonagh (LSE)
Aisling McMahon (Maynooth)
Alain Pottage (Kent/ SciencesPo)
Els Torreele (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) 

Traditionally IP law, and patent law in particular, had been regarded a legal technical and technocratic subfield. This panel discussion intends to review and discuss the state of the IP scholarship and pedagogy in light of the fissures within the field that have been laid bare at least since the so-called “TRIPS IP waiver” discussion. 

Over the course of the pandemic, issues around intellectual property law, especially regarding monopoly rights and trade secrets around the Covid-19 vaccine, have been problematised in general media. These have often centered around the ongoing battle for TRIPS IP waiver since October 2020. 

Amidst the ongoing discussions, intellectual property law and particularly patent law, have been catapulted into the public eye. After US threw in its limited support, there has been a divergence of perspectives on the Waiver proposal argued by IP scholars, both in favour and against the proposal and its significance. 

Diverse approaches to IP law and its purpose within the scholarship are not new. The current crystallisation of IP law’s current role in the prolonging of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, affords an apt opportunity to take review the scholarly field of of intellectual property law itself and its political and social role. 

The panel will discuss existing IP law scholarship and pedagogy, identifying their epistemological and ontological foundations, methodologies, and their relation to the current political economy. It will critically assess the past and present of the IP scholarly field and offer some thoughts for its improvement. 

Free registration:

Passim Workshop 2020


Call for Papers

We invite contributions to the workshop “Patents as Capital,” which forms the 2nd 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).

Dates: 8-10 September 2020
Venue: Nobel Museum, Stockholm, SWEDEN
Call closes: 14 February 2020
Proposal format: 500 Word proposal/200 Word bio
Submit to:

Patents are regarded as central techniques and indicators of value in the ‘knowledge economy’ by linking immaterial knowledge to capital. In intellectual property scholarship, particularly that approaches law as economics or as a regulatory tool, patents are commonly studied as means of commercial and economic strategies. But this focus leaves out the other ways in which patents act as both instruments and representations of diverse kinds of capital: intellectual, cultural, scientific and financial capital(s). The concrete processes by which patents are implicated in and give rise to various practices of capitalisation and valuation remain relatively underexplored. Rather than equating patent with value, or presuming that patents generate intellectual capital, this workshop aims to examine and delineate the workings of patents as capital in their multiple manifestations: as personal privilege, scientific credit, cultural symbol, instrument of credibility and as financial proxies. These are only examples of the queries that we would like to discuss.We welcome cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary contributions that problematise and analyse the promises and failings of patents as capital and that study the role of patents in such capitalisation processes.

We will give preference to unpublished papers that seek substantive feedback from participants of the workshop. PASSIM will cover the travel and accommodation cost of the selected participants.

Any questions can be directed to the organizers of the workshop:

Björn Hammarfelt (
Gustav Källstrand (
Hyo Yoon Kang (

PASSIM is a five-year (2017-2022) project funded by an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant (741095) to Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, Linköping University, Sweden, PASSIM focuses on the “openness” aspect of patents, considering their role as technoscientific documents in the history of information and intellectual property. For more information on the project and the team, send us an e-mail:, follow us on twitter @passimproject or visit our website

Details of last year’s PASSIM workshop can be found here.

Twelfth Annual ISHTIP Workshop

Please note: The 12th ISHTIP Annual Workshop will be held at Bournemouth University, UK, 12-16 July 2021.

This will be an online event.

More details and final program to come shortly.

The 13th workshop is now scheduled to be held at Gothenberg University in 2022.

12th Annual ISHTIP Workshop

Landmarks of Intellectual Property

Bournemouth University, UK 12-16 July 2021

Landmark noun, often attributive

land·mark | \ land-märk \

  1. An object (such as a stone or tree) that marks the boundary of land
  2. A conspicuous object on land that marks a locality (originally and esp. as a guide to sailors in navigation)
  3. An event or development that marks a turning point or a stage
  4. A structure (such as a building) of unusual historical and usually aesthetic interest especially: one that is officially designated and set aside for preservation

After hosting its annual workshop in 2019 in the location that is home to the largest natural harbour in the world, Sydney, the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property will host its 12th annual workshop in the second largest natural harbour in the world: Poole, UK—home to Bournemouth University. This year’s theme, Landmarks of Intellectual Property, is inspired by its county Dorset, which is known for the Jurassic Coast, World Heritage Site on the English Channel southern coast of England, which stretches across 95 miles, and which features the natural limestone landmark Durdle Door.

The Landmarks workshop will explore the contemporary relevance of the landmarks of intellectual property. Proposals are invited to consider the different ways in which a place, a time, a personality, a case, or a particular year has become a landmark of IP. These might include challenging or questioning (the idea of) certain landmarks of IP; proposing new ones; or highlighting unsung ones, be they milestones, vantage points, beacons, breakthroughs, events, turning points, or anniversaries. Contributions may also critique dominant frameworks or theories, thus putting into perspective the significance of such turning points by highlighting the role of historical contingencies, discontinuities and cultural difference.

The final panel will be dedicated to the work of Prof Martha Woodmansee who founded ISHTIP in 2008, and who has recently retired.

The workshop is hosted by CIPPM / Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for European Intellectual Property and Information Rights, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. Organising Committee: Maurizio Borghi, Claudy Op den Kamp, and Ruth Towse

PASSIM Workshop


The first workshop from 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).

 Dates: September 10-13, 2019 
Venue: Norrköping, SWEDEN   
Call closes: January 31, 2019 Acceptance by: February 15, 2019 
Proposal format: 500 Word proposal/200 Word bio 
 Submit to:

Research on copyright, patents and trademarks engage scholars across a wide spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. No longer reserved for law and legal scholarship, a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches now inform and drive interdisciplinary intellectual property scholarship.

Together with ISHTIP (the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property, the ERC-funded project “Patents as Scientific Information, 1895-2020” (PASSIM) now invite proposals to its first workshop, “Intellectual Property for the Un-Discipline(d).” The goal of the workshop is to foster an innovative dialogue on the limits and possibilities of interdisciplinary intellectual property scholarship. In the “high-risk, high-gain” spirit of the ERC grants, we invite papers that creatively engage with intellectual property as research experience, that explore the dynamics of new and unexpected topics and perspectives, and that open up to self-reflexivity in respect to choices of material, methods, narration and (inter)disciplinary infidelities. We especially encourage submissions focused on the “doing of” intellectual property scholarship as boundary work, exploring the assumptions and challenges involved in your own research. Successful candidates (4-5 scholars) will have travel and lodging paid for by PASSIM and can expect to present their research in a stimulating and generous milieu, consisting not only of the PASSIM team but of specially invited, experienced researchers in the field: Fiona Macmillan (co-Director of ISHTIP, Birkbeck Law and Roma Tre); Gabriel Galvez-Behar (Economic History, Université de Lille); Evan Hepler-Smith (History of Science, Boston College) and Shobita Parthasarathy (Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, University of Michigan). For more information about the call and funding scheme, please e-mail

PASSIM is a five-year (2017-2022) project funded by an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant (741095) to Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, Linköping University, Sweden, PASSIM focuses on the “openness” aspect of patents, considering their role as technoscientific documents in the history of information and intellectual property. For more information on the project and the team, please visit