The Second Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
"That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." - Thomas Jefferson
In December 2012, The American Assembly co-organized the 2nd Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The Congress brought together 250 participants from 40 countries to promote the development of a "positive agenda" for public-interest intellectual property policy. In March, the Global Congress group released a report summarizing research and public interest agendas for the next year. In March, the Global Congress group released a report summarizing research and public interest agendas for the next year. The next Congress will be held in December 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Co-sponsors for this semi-annual meeting included American University in Washington, DC, Open A.I.R., The Centre for Internet and Society, and The International Centre for Trade and Sustainble Development. Sessions covered issues as diverse as Access to Medicines; Enforcement, IP and Development; Copyright Exceptions and Limitations; Business Models; and Open Educational Resources.
The First Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest
was convened in 2011 to define a positive agenda for policy reform, build a global network of scholars and advocates to promote the agenda and provide opportunities for the sharing of research and strategies. The meeting was co-sponsored by The American Assembly, The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University, the Center for Technology and Society at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), and the Center for International Trade and Sustainable Development (Geneva).
The nearly 200 inaugural participants from over 30 countries and 6 continents deliberated over three days through in-person meetings and web-based collaboration to produce the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest — an action agenda for promoting the public interest in intellectual property and information law reform around the world. So far 175 participants have endorsed the document, which is open for further endorsements and comments here.
The 2011 Congress theme was "Setting the positive agenda in motion," focusing on developments and opportunities in the so-called "BRICS" group of emerging economies. A key output was a public Research and Action Agenda, recording research and analysis needs for promoting a positive agenda in intellectual property policy and identifying commitments to work toward filling the gaps.