PASSIMer of the month (Martin)

Academically speaking, I consider myself an interdisciplinary street breed with master’s degrees in comparative literature and art history, a PhD from the Department for Culture and Society at Linköping University, and a subsequent research trajectory that spans from legal history to studies of social movements. I have, however, maintained a consistent focus on IPR. I wrote my dissertation on the cultural history of Swedish copyright law, where I traced the concepts of authorship, creativity and the public interest through a series of copyrights act from 1810 to 1960. Since then, the balance between property rights and public interests have been an underlying theme in my research. I have worked extensively with issues of copyright and media piracy: for three years I travelled the world, interviewing Pirate Party members from North America, Europe and Australia in order to understand the ideology of piracy. It struck me that the conflicts around piracy largely concern whether cultural expressions are to be defined as common resources or private property. In a subsequent project, entitled ‘Commons and Commodities’ (funded by the EU Marie Skldowska Curie Actions under Grant E0633901), I pursued that line of thought and explored conflicts around other types of resources that are in the grey zone between private property and commons. This included controversial mining projects and other forms of extraction of natural resources, but also the appropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge through so called biopiracy.

Questions of indigenous rights and biopiracy have brought patents into the focus of my research and I am now thrilled to delve deeper into the world of patent law within the Passim project. Next stop on my geographic and academic route is India as my contribution to the Passim project will be an analysis of India’s National Intellectual Property Rights Policy from 2016, with special focus on its relation to India’s postcolonial patent history. Read more about this study here.

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