10th Annual Conference of the European Policy for Intellectual Property Association (EPIP 2015).

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The CREATe Centre, School of Law will host an important event from 1-3 September 2015: The 10th annual conference of the European Policy for Intellectual Property Association (EPIP 2015).
The conference programme and companion is now available for download.

Close to 200 delegates from all over the world will attend.

Two sessions will be open to all graduates and postgraduate students of the Law School, and interested academics across the University.

1. The Principal of the University of Glasgow, Professor Anton Muscatelli will open the conference on Wednesday, 2 September at 8.30 – 9.30am in the University Chapel, followed by a keynote by Professor Ian Hargreaves (author of the UK government’s Hargreaves Review of IP & Growth), and a response from Julia Reda (Pirate Party MEP, and rapporteur of the European Parliament’s review of the 2001 Copyright Directive).
2. A second semi-public session takes place on Thursday, 3 September, 4.45pm – 6.15pm in Bute Hall. Four chief economists (European Commission, World Intellectual Property Organization, UKIPO, OHIM) will respond to a keynote from Joel Waldfogel on “Data Needs for Assessing the Function of Copyright”.

Then the conference closes with a reflective keynote from Pamela Samuelson (University of California, Berkeley, one of the leading US IP law academics), and some words from Rick Rylance (chief executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council AHRC and chair of Research Councils UK).

Welcome to EPIP 2015
The European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) Association was founded in 2005 with the aim “to promote research regarding economic, legal, social, political and historical aspects of intellectual property rights at national, European and international levels”. This interdisciplinary approach was visionary. It is not an overstatement to say that EPIP’s annual conferences opened a new field of enquiry. Intellectual Property Law left the back office. The difficult questions how to promote innovation, creativity, productivity were now exposed to empirical research.

From the beginning, the EPIP Association intended to make a difference beyond academe, by contributing “ideas, concepts and discussions that will promote innovation” and “inform and encourage policy-oriented discussion”. As the 10th Annual Conference arrives in Glasgow (and for the first time in the UK), EPIP is well established as a forum where the best new research meets a wide range of policy makers, from international organisations and governments, to industry and trade bodies.

We are very pleased that our now regular collaboration with the European Commission is continuing, involving pre-discussion of topical issues that feed into our call for papers and panels. If you look through the list of delegates and speakers, you will also notice an extraordinarily diverse range of representation, from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), OECD, the European Trade Marks and Designs Office (OHIM), to think tanks, law firms, and stakeholders such as the British Film Institute, Society of Authors, UK Music and Fundación Autor SGAE. The UK IP Office contributed as conference sponsor, as did Microsoft and NESTA for specific panels. There are not many conferences where academics mix that easily with Members of Parliament, government officials and firms.

Will we make a difference? This year, we are focussing on the Creative Economy and copyright law. Here, evidence based policy continues to be a particular struggle. We have facilitated a cross-pollination with the SERCI Congress, the annual event of the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues, including joint keynotes, panels and mutually free attendance. We are also pursuing our traditional topics, with some excellent plenaries and sessions, ranging from the role of disclosure in patent systems, to 3D printing, big data, and a panel on trade dress (the visual characteristics of a product that signal its origin – which will take a more central role at the conference in Oxford next year).

We had to turn down many paper submissions, and are reaching the limits of what can be accommodated in a two-day conference. I believe it is important that, as an Association, we take our responsibility seriously for the next generation of researchers. If we want interdisciplinary academics who can shape policy in this important field (and we need them), we must offer development opportunities, even a job market for economists, social scientists and lawyers with a focus on innovation. During my tenure as president of EPIP, creating such opportunities through links between innovation centres will be a particular priority, building on our successful pre-conference PhD workshops.

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