Monday, March 16, 2015

Innovation Law Beyond IP 2: Introducing the Blog Symposium

Guest Blogger

Gabriel J. Michael

For the Innovation Law Beyond IP 2 conference, March 28-29 at Yale Law School

On the weekend of March 28-29, the Yale Law School Information Society Project is hosting its second conference on Innovation Law Beyond IP. To expand the discussion beyond our one weekend in New Haven, panelists and commentators will be guest blogging here at Balkinization over the coming weeks with some initial thoughts on the conference papers, and more broadly on how we should define our field as scholars of innovation.

This year's conference focuses on the role of the state, and the state's relationship to innovation. While the state is of course central to intellectual property rights, it also acts to promote and hinder innovation in myriad other ways: e.g., tax incentives, grants, prizes, regulation of innovation and its sustaining institutions, education and immigration policy, tort law, and more. In our call for papers, we asked panelists to take up these issues, and we're pleased with the response we received.

Together, our participants will be discussing innovation outside the traditional framework of intellectual property. For example, Amy Kapczynski argues that open science presents a workable alternative to conventional intellectual property law in facilitating information production, and presents a case study of the flu network as an example

Several panelists consider empirical examples of innovation and production in the absence of intellectual property: Kevin Collins examines architectural innovation before the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act, and Lea Shaver will be presenting early research on commons-based social publishing.

Others point out important lacunae in current innovation institutions. Michal Shur-Ofry notes that much innovation is driven by failure and error, but that extant regimes often discourage disclosure of such information. Sofia Ranchordás argues that regulators ought to be willing to adopt experimental approaches when dealing with innovative products and services.

We'll be hearing from the entire crop of panelists and commentators over the next several days, and we encourage you to link to these posts, share them, and continue the discussion. Registration for the conference is open and free, so there's still time to join us in person if you're able.

This conference is made possible by generous support from Thomson Reuters and the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund.

Gabriel J. Michael is a resident fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project. He can be reached at gabriel.michael at


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