International Research Collaboratives

Critical Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Intellectual Property


Andrew Ventimiglia, Allison Fish, Rosemary Coombe, David Jefferson, Sajjad Ali Malik, Anjali Vats

This IRC brings together scholars that investigate the diverse forms that intellectual property law assumes as well as the links between these forms and local configurations of governance and power. In doing so, the collaboration seeks to understand the foundational role that intellectual property plays in alternately securing or restricting access to knowledge, material and immaterial resources, and human labor around the world. With a commitment to rectifying inequalities and injustices in the law, this IRC will focus on two overarching and interrelated topics. First, we investigate the deeper ideological and historical roots of intellectual property in order to understand how intellectual property law facilitates the extraction of value from communal/ collaborative knowledge and biocultural resources while also, at times, becoming a tool for local empowerment. Second, we consider how we might reimagine proprietary relations to enhance distributive justice in the future. We ask what methods are available to effect a rebalancing of different forms of intellectual property from conventional forms such as copyright, trademark, and patent through to trade secret, open access, geographical indications, and plant variety protections in order to subvert the impulse of possessive accumulation by dispossession that underpins this late capitalist order.


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