Special Sessions

Together with themed sessions which may be proposed by applicants through the regular submission process, EPIP 2024 invites submissions for 4 Special Sessions. You will find more information by clicking on the banners below.

Note that for WIPO Sponsored EPIP 2024 Special Sessions, accepted submissions might be eligible for conference participation support (e.g., travel and conference fees). Support will be given on a limited budget basis and giving priority to contribution from developing countries.

Please submit your contribution through the EPIP 2024 submission form by 30 April 2024, indicating the Special Session you are applying for.

WIPO sponsored EPIP 2024 Special Session “How can IP contribute to industrial and innovation policymaking?”

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WIPO Sponsored EPIP 2024 Special Session
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How can IP contribute to industrial and innovation policymaking?

Organizers: WIPO Department of Economics and Data Analytics (DEDA)

The recent world crises – e.g., pandemic and war conflicts – have resulted in global financial tightening paired with disruptions in international trade and the functioning of global value chains. In this context, several regions and countries are increasingly pursuing industrial and innovation policies seeking to stimulate and promote local capabilities and industries.

As a result, many policymakers and entrepreneurs turn to innovation as a potential solution for increasing the innovativeness of companies, industries, regions and countries in order to build economic resilience when facing current and future crises.

How can countries or regions design innovation policies that are impactful in attaining more sophisticated innovations? Companies or regions differ in their production capabilities, hence, the direction they should follow will vary accordingly. Innovation economists advocate for countries and regions to pursue “smart specialization” strategies. Smart specialization strategies aim to encourage investments that complement the local existing productive or technological assets in order to create future local capability and competitive advantages. Given the importance of priority selection in smart specialization strategies and regional innovation policy more broadly, scholars assert that there is a need to develop better tools to inform regions’ priority choices.

How can policymakers prioritize technologies or industries when designing innovation and industrial policies that build on their local innovation ecosystem?

Economies and regions can benefit greatly from any guidance on where to focus their limited resources to clear the innovation roadblocks between science and innovation. In particular, this guidance could inform what the role the IP system can play in assisting the innovation policies.

We invite submissions that relate to topics such as:

  • The role of the IP system in industrial and innovation policies
  • Smart specialization and regional innovation policies and IP rights
  • The use of IP data to inform industrial and innovation policymaking
  • Mapping regions and countries innovation dynamism with IP data
  • Measuring innovation relatedness and complexity with IP data
WIPO sponsored EPIP 2024 Special Session “The impact on new technologies on creativity and new content supply in the age of AI”

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WIPO Sponsored EPIP 2024 Special Session
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The impact on new technologies on creativity and new content supply in the age of AI

Organizers: WIPO Department of Economics and Data Analytics (DEDA)

Creative industries have a long-standing tradition of pioneering new technology development, including new ‘methods to create’ works using artificial intelligence. This special session invites submissions from the wider academic community and industry stakeholders on “New Technology Impact on Creativity and New Content Supply in the Age of AI”. It is jointly organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Chief Economist at the U.S. Copyright Office and encourages submission of new empirical and theoretical research on the topic. So far, little is known on the expected economic impact of the latest digital technologies and how to best support their development and govern use from an economic, firm strategic and public policy perspective.

We invite submissions that relate to topics such as:

  • Economic welfare implications and new technology impact on content supply, reuse, and creativity
  • Impact on labor markets and adoption of new technology by creators, firms and services
  • Supply and demand for AI-assisted or generated creative works vis-à-vis human created works
  • AI-enabled prediction capabilities and decision-making in creative sectors
  • Technology access and representation bias of minority groups and less developed world regions in new technology use and development
  • Human capital, skills and training demand and supply
  • The role of training data, liability and transparency rules in AI use and development
  • Experimentation, discovery of new applications and technology accessibility in AI use and development
  • Economic impact of existing IP rules
  • Development of new and exploratory data sources informing evidence-based policies and legal framework design.
Special Session “The uneven geography of standards” (organizers: Emilio Raiteri and Carolina Castaldi)

Special Session
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The uneven geography of standards

Organizers: Emilio Raiteri (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Carolina Castaldi (Utrecht University)

Technical standards are essential in modern economies as they facilitate the interoperability and compatibility of goods and services. They influence economic activities, such as production processes and innovation, and are crucial to coordinate adaptation to environmental challenges, such as rising temperatures and sea levels. However, standards can lead to uneven spatial development on many levels. The impact of standards on regional economic development and innovation activities can vary greatly between spatial contexts. Regional difference might arise for instance due to disparities in knowledge production and IP ownership. Some countries may lack the resources to contribute to the creation of standard-relevant knowledge, while others may struggle to appropriate the benefits of investing in basic research. Moreover, standards can lead to winner- takes-all outcomes, where dominant firms capture most of the value of innovation, leading to skewed distribution of benefits. Particularly actors from global south countries such as China face the standardization gap, which describes difficulties to contribute to global standard setting based on origin.

Overall, standards influence the location of economic activities, the coordination of technologies across borders, and the emergence of global value chains. However, there is yet only little research on standards and standardization processes from a geographical perspective. The link between standards and intellectual property rights is also a crucial one, for instance through the role of standard essential patents but also in relation to trademarks and copyrights.

We invite submissions that relate to topics such as:

  • Spatially uneven participation in global standard-setting
  • Regional disparities in producing knowledge for standards
  • Socio-spatial impacts of regional and global standards
  • Differences in national and regional standard setting
  • Regional differences in innovation and standardization
  • Geography and its role across different types of standards

Special issue: This special session is connected to a special issue in the Journal of Economic Geography organized by Kerstin Schaefer, Emilio Raiteri and Carolina Castaldi.

Special Session “Lawful access in EU (copyright) law” (organizers: Martin Kretschmer, Thomas Margoni and Tatiana Synodinou)

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Lawful access in EU (copyright) law

This open themed session is set to explore the issue of lawful access in EU copyright law and beyond. In a data driven technological framework increasingly characterized by the substitution of ownership of physical copies with access to digital services, the role of lawful uses, sources and access may need fundamental rethinking. Some initial openings of the recognition of this need might be seen in the case law of the CJEU on communication to the public, where the stricter approach characteristic of cases like ACI Adam in relation to the right of reproduction is replaced by a softer knowledge (and presumption) based model. Yet, this may not be sufficient in the face of the latest technological advancements, such as training generative AI systems on protected works and/or data. A possible solution could be separating the concepts of (lawful) access (e.g., Arts. 3&4 CDSMD) from that of (lawful) sources. Another possible solution could be to distinguish the purpose: lawful access could be easier to attain in particularly deserving cases, such as scientific research, or journalistic work. Other solutions could even be identified in technological standards or business models. The goal of this panel is to take stock of the existing literature and proposals in this field and hopefully start a line of discussion and/or enquiry on the fundamental concept of lawful access.

We invite submissions that relate to topics such as:

  • The role of access in an access-based creative environment
  • How to conceptualize access as an autonomous regulatory concept
  • Access and accessions: works, information, and (personal and non-personal) data
  • Access and uses: from private copy to generative AI remuneration
  • Creativity between datafication and platformization
Special Session “Putting IP Policy into practice – from IP Policy to IP and innovation management i 21st century” (organizer: Alfred Radauer)

Special Session
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Putting IP Policy into practice – from IP Policy to IP and innovation management in the 21st century

Organizers: Alfred Radauer (IMC University of Applied Sciences, Krems)

This session concerns the way how firms, research organizations and other institutions of an innovation system take up IP policy actions and implement them into their strategic and operational activities. IP policy – seen as a set of regulations and law, as well as other intervention such as in the form of support – have an implicit goal of changing firm behaviors in line with their goals. The session therefore looks at IP policy from the end opposite that of policymakers.

Against this backdrop, for regulations, the EU has put in place a regulatory toolbox to assess the effects of regulations on the target groups of policy actions. Amongst others, it distinguishes between the dimensions of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and European value added. Evaluation literature has, over time, built frameworks along similar dimensions – to note is here also the concept of behavioral additionality, which translates into lasting effects in the behavior of actors because of a policy intervention.

The core questions for this session therefore are: How do firms, research organizations and other institutions of an innovation session change their behaviors – mostly in terms of their IP, R&D and innovation management practices – in light of IP policy actions? How do they change their organizational set-ups and processes? What are key critical success factors for such change?

With respect to the last question, one critical issue is to understand to what extent IP policy has (succeeded to) to impact and change management areas beyond that of the core activities of IP professionals. This covers areas such as a) the extent to which general innovation manager(s) or R&D manager(s) have understood to incorporate IP management organically as a core issue in innovation and R&D management or b) to what extent C-level executives incorporate IP into the overall business strategies. While there is an understanding that IP should be seen as an integral part of adjacent management areas, such as innovation management, one can often observe the creation of organization-institutional silos. IP professionals are in one such silo discussing IP issues, while R&D and innovation managers (as well as policy makers) are in another silo, and both groups/communities do not communicate adequately with each other.

We invite submissions that relate to topics such as:

  • Future challenges for IP and innovation managers in firms and research organisations, with respect to
    • Handling of new IP developments and legal reform
    • Handling of data as new to be valorized/protected asset
    • Usage of new technologies to improve IP management
    • Adapting organizational set-ups and processes
    • Integrating IP in appropriate ways in other management areas
    • Monitoring IP activities for management control purposes
  • Resulting implications for the design of policy interventions
    • Implications for regulatory reform and changes
    • Implications for the design of IP-related support programs and services, public and private
    • Implications for monitoring and evaluating respective policy interventions
    • Implications for integrating IP with other policy areas (such as innovation policy, industrial policies, etc.

Special issue: This special session is connected to a special issue in the Journal “World Patent Information” (WPI)