Spring Public Lecture Series 2022

Our public lectures series on topical issues of intellectual property law and policy is open to anyone to attend, but registration is required.

During 2022 Public Lectures will be in hybrid format with online attendance made possible. Attendance is free, but, registration is required. If you wish to attend, please e-mail Prof. Dinusha Mendis at dmendis@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

Martin Kretschmer (University of Glasgow): The Emergence of Platform Regulation in the UK – An Empirical Legal Study

3rd February 2022, 18.00, Room EB206

Platforms have emerged as a new kind of regulatory object. In this article, we empirically map the emergence of the regulatory field of platform regulation in one country, the United Kingdom. We focus on the 18-month period between September 2018 and February 2020 when an upsurge of regulatory activism reflected increasing sensitivity for regulatory sovereignty in the context of Brexit. Through a legal-empirical content analysis of eight official reports issued by the UK government, parliamentary committees and regulatory agencies, we code online harms to which regulation is being asked to respond; identify areas of law (such as data protection and privacy, competition, education, media and broadcasting, consumer protection, tax law and financial regulation, intellectual property law, security law); analyse agencies mentioned in the reports for their statutory and accountability status in law, and identify their centrality in the regulatory network and regulatory powers (advisory, investigatory, enforcement).

We show how online platforms are becoming proxies for the exercise of regulatory and state power. We argue that a focus on ‘online harms’ and a small number of Big Tech companies has engendered an epistemic blind spot regarding the processual questions that should be at the core of rule-governed regulation: how to monitor, trigger intervention, remove and prevent. Filtering and recommendation technologies, processes of notification, redress mechanisms, transparency and audit requirements lack sufficient public analysis.

Prof. Martin Kretschmer is Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Director of CREATe, the UK Copyright and Creative Economy Centre at the University of Glasgow.

 

Jean-Marc Deltorn (CEIPI, University of Strasbourg): The Patentability of Artificial Intelligence Applications

3rd March 2022, 18.00, Room EB206

A new generation of artificial intelligence (AI) tools are at the heart of an increasing number of applications. From automating the control of vehicles to recognising speech and classifying images at levels comparable to – or even higher than – human capabilities, these processes are now spearheading an unprecedented wave of technical developments… as well as fostering significant investments. In this context, securing legal protection for such objects is of the utmost strategic and economic importance. Patents are one of the principal tools that can offer protection to innovators for their technical contribution and, as such, constitute an essential means to promote and incentivise technical progress. After having introduced the essential characteristics of the latest generations of artificial intelligence inventions, we will address the patentability of computer-implemented AI inventions and of the products generated through the use of AI applications. Examples derived from the applicable European case law will be used to illustrate this presentation.

Dr. Jean-Marc Deltorn is Assistant Professor and Senior Researcher at the International Centre for the Study of Intellectual Property (CEIPI), University of Strasbourg.

 

Olga Gurgula (Brunel University): Strategic Patenting by Pharmaceutical Companies: Should Competition Law Intervene?

31st March 2022, 18.00, Room EB206

As the COVID-19 pandemic is affects the lives of thousands of people worldwide, the problem of timely access to affordable medicines has intensified significantly. One of the reasons that typically leads to high prices is strategic patenting employed by pharmaceutical companies. While this practice is currently considered lawful, this paper argues that strategic patenting requires a long-overdue intervention by competition authorities to attract their attention to its harmful effects. This is because along with a more immediate negative effect in the form of high drug prices, strategic patenting affects dynamic competition by stifling innovation of both originators and generic companies. The presentation will outline the current approach to strategic patenting and will provide arguments for the intervention of competition law. This, in turn, will open the possibility for competition authorities to investigate this practice and prevent its harmful effect on drug prices and pharmaceutical innovation, for the benefit of consumer welfare.

Dr Olga Gurgula is Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law (Patents) at Brunel University.