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Call for Participation: Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

We are pleased to announce the call for participation for the fourth edition of the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest (“Global Congress”), being hosted at New Delhi from December 15 to 17, 2015.

The theme for this year’s Congress will be “Three Decades of Openness; Two Decades of TRIPS.” We are now inviting applications to participate in the Congress, including session participation and presentations. We are also welcoming proposals for panels and workshops.

The application form is available now at [] Please note that this form is for application purposes, and does not amount to confirmation of participation. The registrations for the plenary sessions, which are open to the public, will open closer to the date of the Global Congress.


August 1st: Priority Deadline for Applications- Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis, with applications made by August 1st being given first consideration. Applications after August 1st to receive travel assistance will be considered only under exceptional circumstances (these details will be collected in a subsequent form).

November 1st: All applications for session participation and paper submissions will close on November 1st.

Application Information

For applications to participate/host: Applications to present or host workshops shall be considered based on the proposals to be submitted in the form.

For applications to attend sessions: Applications to attend sessions as discussants will be considered based on the statement of purpose and/or any other relevant information provided by the applicant.

Limited travel grants to cover accommodation and/or travel to the Congress will be available, with priority to those from developing countries.

Background, Theme and Expected Outcomes

The Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest is the most significant event on the calendar for scholars and policy advocates working on intellectual property from a public interest perspective. By sharing their research and strategies, the network of experts and activists supported by the Global Congress are empowered to put forward a positive agenda for policy reform. The Global Congress began in Washington D.C. in 2011, moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2012, and was held in Cape Town in 2013. The fourth Global Congress will now be held in New Delhi, in December 2015. The event would be the largest convening of public interest-oriented intellectual property practitioners ever held in Asia, and would help link in the world's most populous region to these global debates around how intellectual property policy can best serve the public interest.

The fourth edition of the Global Congress brings research, civil society, industry and regulatory and policy-making communities together for active, intense engagement on key public-interest intellectual property issues. Opportunities for these groups to interact are rare but valuable; and have been proven to lead to successful policy outcomes. The 4th edition of the Congress, slated to be held in December, 2015 in New Delhi seeks to be one such opportunity.

The theme for the 2015 Congress is Three Decades of Openness; Two Decades of TRIPS-coming at a pivotal time for reflection, revision, and further strategizing. Specifically, the 2015 Congress seeks to produce three outcomes- first, the mobilization of existing scholarly research directly into the hands of civil society advocates, business leaders and policy makers, leading to evidence-based policies and practices; second, the collaborative identification of urgent, global and local research priorities and generation of a joint research/advocacy agenda; and third, the solidification of an inter-disciplinary, cross-sector and global networked community of experts focused on public interest aspects of IP policy and practice.

Participation Opportunities

Discussions at the Global Congress will be carried out in the form of plenary sessions, thematic tracks, cross-track sessions, and the room of scholars. Participation is invited for the thematic track sessions, cross-track sessions and the room of scholars.

The thematic tracks at the Global Congress are: 1) Openness, 2) Access to Medicines, 3) User Rights, 4) IP and Development. Cross-track sessions will feature research that cuts across tracks in order to facilitate engagement between tracks on themes of mutual interest.

The Room of Scholars will feature presentations of research outputs such as draft works or white papers that may not fit directly within the thematic tracks but fall within the overall theme of the Global Congress.

Participation could be in the form of presenting / discussing conference papers or policy briefs, or by conducting workshops where they may share their own work and solicit feedback from peers, during the aforementioned sessions.

The application form for participation is available now at Please forward this invitation to interested lists and individuals. For more information or questions, you may contact [email protected].


The 4th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and Public Interest, is being organised in cooperation with National Law University, Delhi, by the American Assembly at Columbia University, the Centre for Internet and Society, Open A.I.R., and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University Washington College of Law.