Peter A Allard School of Law

Workshop: Future of the Global IP System

Event Description

Defined broadly, the global intellectual property (IP) system comprises the network of international and regional treaties, constitutional documents, national laws, court decisions, and local practices that make up the substantive and procedural body of IP law worldwide.

The past few decades have been witness to a number of important developments with respect to the global IP system, including a shift in focus from multilateralism to bilateralism/regionalism and back again; growing recognition of the various ways in which IP intersects with and impacts areas including human rights, development, trade, and social justice; broad acknowledgement of the economic value of many IP rights; and important theoretical interventions that have challenged the values underlying the global IP system, including through critical IP theory and the theory of new constitutionalism.

These developments have occurred alongside a number of other events, changes, and crises, among them climate change; armed conflicts; the COVID-19 pandemic; economic changes to work; technological shifts including those relating to the internet and artificial intelligence, and their role in society; and growing recognition of the inequities that exist within and between societies as well as the ways in which these inequities are reinforced and maintained through systemic discrimination and ongoing colonialism.

In light of these developments, events, changes, and crises, what is the future of the global IP system? To what extent will the enactment of new treaties (or the reform or implementation of existing treaties) shape IP laws over the coming years? What role if any should constitutional documents (including bills of rights) play in the context of the global IP system? Will the events, changes, and crises noted above lead to substantive reform of areas of IP law including copyright, trademark, and patents, and if so what reforms should be pursued? What values should animate the global IP system moving forward?

We invite all scholars whose work engages with IP to join us to engage with these and other topics related to the workshop theme. We particularly welcome proposals from scholars who identify as members of equity deserving groups, scholars from the Global South, and from graduate students.

This workshop will take place at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia (Vancouver campus), which is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. We are seeking to publish expanded versions of conference papers as chapters in an edited text published with a peer reviewed, academic publisher. Workshop attendees are responsible for their own travel expenses. As well, a workshop fee of $200 will be charged to in-person attendees to cover the cost of food and refreshments for participants. 

Subject to any COVID-19 restrictions, this workshop will take place as an in-person event. However, we recognize that there are many reasons (including those related to child care, health, financial considerations, or other work obligations) why someone might not be in a position to travel to Vancouver at the end of June. As a result, we will be offering a remote option for participation for individuals whose proposals are accepted but who are unable to travel to Vancouver for the workshop. Under this remote option, individuals will have the opportunity to present their work as part of the workshop, and to receive feedback from workshop participants. Remote participants will also be able to listen to and comment on others’ presentations to the extent possible given technological constraints. Remote participation will not be possible for all workshop events. There will be no workshop fee for remote participation.

Visit our website for more information.

Organization Information

Please direct questions to the Workshop Co-organizers, Professors Graham Reynolds (Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia), Alexandra Mogyoros (Lincoln Alexander School of Law, Toronto Metropolitan University), and Teshager Dagne (Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University) by email at, and As well, please check back to this website periodically for more workshop details as they come available, including the workshop schedule, speaker bios, accommodation options, a brief guide to Vancouver, and more.


  • Allard School of Law
  • Faculty
  • Graduate Students
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