8th International Conference on Information Law and Ethics
Modern Intellectual Property Governance and Openness in Europe:
A Long and Winding Road?
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8th International Conference
on Information Law and Ethics ΙCIL

Modern Intellectual Property Governance and Openness in Europe: A Long and Winding Road?
December 13th-14th, 2018
University of Antwerp

The last decade a trend towards more “openness” in terms of collaborations and access to knowledge can be observed in many different sectors and contexts. Along the spectrum of openness one can find many different varieties, such as open innovation, co-creation, open science (combined with open access and open data) and open source. Even traditionally rather “closed” actors, such as publishing houses and the pharmaceutical industry, are gradually catching up and are trying to develop mechanisms to cope with this trend towards openness.

Both public and private actors encounter challenges in combining this trend towards openness with the management of intellectual property rights (IPRs). Although a strong willingness may exist to collaborate, open up and share knowledge and data, IPRs often create boundaries and limitations towards cutting-edge collaborations and initiatives for openness and sharing. Over time companies, universities, public research organizations, etc. have developed certain models to allow for openness while safeguarding ways to protect their IPRs.

Yet, the legal framework is often lagging behind and does not appear to reflect the socio-economic trend towards openness; in many jurisdictions changes to IP legislation rather focusing on strengthening of rights of IP owners. But perhaps this is not necessarily a problem as stakeholders tend to find workarounds in their day-to-day practice.

Aim Conference
The conference aims to further the discussion about modern governance of IPRs in Europe and to explore different perspectives on how openness could be operationalized within the context of IP protection.

Topic Conference
The conference will examine the challenges of digitalization, collaboration, data sharing and innovation within the context of IP protection (incl. copyright protection, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, designs, etc.

The focus will be on Europe, but comparative perspectives are very welcome as well.

Suggested paper topics: access to information, access to knowledge, open innovation, co-creation, open source, open science, open access, open data, data sharing, Nagoya Protocol, artificial intelligence & IPRs, openness and blockchain technology (non-exhaustive list).

Organization Conference
The conference will consist of three main sessions with keynote speakers, reflection panels and discussion with the audience and four parallel sessions. For the parallel sessions a call will be launched end of Spring 2018. The deadline for abstracts will be just before summer and researchers will be informed end of August whether their abstract has been selected.

Who should participate?
Scholars from different disciplines (e.g. political sciences, law, economics, exact sciences) from all over the world are invited to discuss more theoretical/philosophical/conceptual work, empirical research and/or more doctrinal research.

For several parts of the program stakeholders will be invited, including industry representatives, policymakers, think tank researchers, technology transfer officers, etc. as a way to inform them, reflect together on key policy implications, engage all in the debate and translate (provisional) research to practice.

Keynote Speakers
Peter Drahos
Séverine Dusollier
Bernt Hugenholtz

Organizing Committee
Maria Botti, Ionian University (ICIL Founder)
Esther van Zimmeren & Nikos Koutras, University of Antwerp
Marie-Christine Janssens, KU Leuven
Hein Vanhees, University of Ghent/Antwerp