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.