Vitor Ido presentation: Modernity and Nation Building: The politics of patents “with Chinese characteristics” [video]

Vitor Ido’s presentation ‘Modernity and Nation Building: The politics of patents “with Chinese characteristics”’ offered a rich analysis of the entanglements between patents, nationalisms and intellectual property politics of the Chinese government and legal institutions, both domestically and internationally.

The analysis pointed to the need to disaggregate a monolithic understanding of the Chinese state by focusing on specific bureaucratic practices and policies that reveal an ambiguous relationship between patents and practices of nation building and reveal patents as “spectres of modernity”.  Ido traced patents’ mobilisation and adaptation for Chinese domestic patenting policies, international diplomacy and industrial development. Whilst China is invested in the international patent legal order as its biggest user and performs its commitment both domestically and internationally, the analysis pointed to the differential value of capital afforded to Chinese patents because they are presumed to be of lower quality and hence are afforded a different degree of credibility. International legal rules materialise in uneven ways, as the question of what a patent is worth is influenced by economic and political nationalisms.

The ensuing discussion explored diverse adjacent issues, such as sources of nation-building with patents; historical parallels to Switzerland’s introduction of patent law; the suitability or non-applicability of historical comparisons for analysing nation building practices and IP strategies; the use of structural analysis for identifying different manifestations of patent cosmology; the question of temporality assumed in patents in relation to imaginaries of modernism and techno-futurism; and the role of translation (incl. AI automated software) in patent information dissemination and administration.

Vitor Ido works at the South Centre Geneva: He holds a PhD in Law from Universidade de São Paulo.

Video by LiU communications officer Per Wistbo Nibell. Text by Hyo Yoon Kang who also chaired the event.

Welcome to “Patents as Capital” and a brief presentation of the PASSIM-project with PI Eva Hemmungs Wirtén [video]

In 2019, we hosted the first of the altogether three workshops we have planned during the lifetime of the project. Intellectual Property for the Un-disciplined took place in Norrköping between September 10-12 and was devoted to an interdisciplinary dialogue on “doing”  intellectual property scholarship. During 2020 and 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the PASSIM team to rethink and reschedule the project’s planned activities, resulting in workshop two, “Patents as Capital,” and workshop three, “Patents in the Service of War and Peace,” being organized as back-to-back events at Louis De Geer Konsert and Kongress in Norrköping between May 11-13 and May 17-18, 2022. And, here we are now, finally. The video below shows PI Eva Hemmungs Wirtén opening “Patents as Capital”. Over the course of the coming day we will publish video material from the of invited speakers respective talks:

  • Susi Geiger, University College Dublin: “Transparency as a flank movement to patent activism in pharmaceutical markets”
  • Vitor Ido, South Centre Geneva: “Modernity and Nation Building: The politics of patents “with Chinese characteristics
  • Janice Denoncourt, Nottingham Trent University: “Patents as Capital:  Prioritising business model, intangibles and IP rights records and ownership information to support legally mandated corporate reporting”
  • Erkan Gürpınar, University of Ankara: “Thorstein Veblen on Capital as Knowledge: Some Implications for the Knowledge Economy”

We would like to thank LiU communications officer and camera wizard Per Wistobo Nibell for taping and producing the material.

Welcome to our back-to-back workshops!

We’re now just a few days away from hosting our back-to-back workshops: “Patents as Capital” and “Patents in the Service of War and Peace.” “Patents as Capital,” was originally scheduled to take place at the Nobel Museum in September 2020, but of course this proved impossible because of the Covid-19 pandemic. So, we had to postpone, and then postpone again. And while the ERC have granted PASSIM an extension that will enable us to do what we initially promised to do, there came a point when the third workshop “Patents in the Service of War and Peace,” also needed to take place. Time between the two seemed to shrink with alarming speed. That’s when we decided to do them back-to-back (on our home turf in Norrköping) and give our participants the opportunity to take part in one or both workshops. On Wednesday, May 11, we begin! And after two years of hybrid events and zoom-seminars, we’re actually back doing everything IRL – in the room. It feels enormously gratifying to meet everybody face to face, to be able to organize a social program and to kick-start, in a weird sort of way, our final year in the project.

PASSIMer of the month (Mattis)

Mattis Karlsson is PASSIM’s research assistant and a much recent PhD at the Department of Culture and Society, and he is also our most recent PASSIMer of the month.

I defended my PhD thesis just recently. Therefore, this seems an appropriate moment to look back on my time as a PhD student and, of course, the important role that PASSIM has had in it.

When I was first enrolled as a PhD student at Linköping University in 2015 I was placed under the supervision of PASSIM PI, professor Eva Hemmungs Wirtén. At the time PASSIM was still in its most early stages. When in October 2015 Eva organised a workshop at the impressive Mundaneum in Mons Belgium, she kindly asked me to join. The workshop would function as a brainstorm, Eva would present the project (to be) for a carefully selected group of people and gather their input and discusses their potential roles in the project. And so, at this workshop I was introduced to a group of skilled scholars and sharp intellectuals, but more importantly, genuinely nice people. As a part of PASSIM I would come to work closely with some of these scholars, and throughout my time as a PhD student the project PASSIM and the people within it has meant a great deal. While my own research has not formally been a part of PASSIM, it is hard to imagine what it would look like had I not been involved in the project.

PASSIM has been immensely stimulating from an intellectual point of view, however it has also been a practical learning experience because of all the hands-on chores that a large and international project involves. In my role as research assistant, I have booked hotel rooms and restaurants, flights, and trains. I have organised symposiums and workshops, read and assessed abstracts and proposals, as well as managed the project project’s external communications, such as the websites, social media, blog, streams and video content. But, PASSIM has also helped me broaden my own research horizons. Last year I presented a paper at the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) annual meeting. The paper explored the use of patents as (mis)information by flat earth agitators. It was the first time that patents featured in my own work, but I hardly think it will be the last. My thesis From Fossil to Fact: The Denisova Discovery as Science in Action concerns the 2010 discovery of the Denisovans, a previously unknown type of humans discovered through the mapping of ancient DNA. The thesis deals with the Denisova discovery as a case of science in the making, and illustrates how the Denisova human was made, and made to fit the major paradigms and narratives of ancient DNA and evolutionary science. The thesis actualises questions about social influence in science, problematising imaginaries of science/non-science divides, and highlights how the authority of genetic science is subject to and dependent on dramatisation.

Having now finished my PhD and returned fully to the service of PASSIM I am helping to organise our two upcoming workshops, ”Patents as Capital” and “Patents in the Service of War and Peace”, both to be held in Norrköping in May this year. And suitably, in April next year we plan to go back to Mundaneum, it will be a moment of full circle for PASSIM, and for me.


Mattis Karlsson and Gustav Källstrand making

Mattis Karlsson and Gustav Källstrand.

Mattis Karlsson’s PhD thesis From Fossil to Fact

Call for papers: 2022 Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Global Studies: ‘Intellectual Property, Technology, Culture and Health’

Deadline extended to April 30!

We invite contributions to the 2022 Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Global Studies, a collaborative project between the department of Culture and Society at Linköping University and the project PASSIM.

Dates: September 12-13, 2022

Venue: Arbetets Museum, Norrköping, Sweden

Call Closes: April 30, 2022

Proposal format: 500-word abstract/200-word bio

Submit to:

Questions? Contact:



The 2022 (Inaugural) Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Global Studies aims at bringing together researchers from different scientific perspectives to present and discuss their research with an interdisciplinary audience. The symposium welcomes papers with a connection to contemporary global issues, focussed on one or more of this year’s selected fields of interest in ‘intellectual property, technology, culture, or health’. The symposium particularly aims to explore the interrelatedness between the chosen fields. Potential submissions thus can address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Intellectual property and global health
  • Culture and global health
  • Technology, artificial intelligence, intellectual property, and culture
  • Technology, artificial intelligence, and public health
  • Traditional knowledge, technology, and well-being
  • Indigenous populations, marginalised groups, poverty, and access to (health) technology

Submissions are invited from researchers of all levels, including PhD students, early-career researchers, and senior scholars as well as members of professional organisations and NGOs. We are particularly encouraging contributions offering interdisciplinary perspectives. Successful candidates are kindly asked to submit a working draft of their paper by 22 August 2022 and can expect to present their research in a stimulating and generous milieu. The symposium features a Keynote Address by Prof. Graham Dutfield (Leeds University) as well as two workshops held by invited international experts in their fields.


PASSIM (Patents as Scientific Information, 1895–2020) is a five-year (2017–2022) project funded by an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant to Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, Linköping University, Sweden. PASSIM focuses on the “openness” aspect of patents, considering their role as technoscientific documents in the history of information and intellectual property. For more information, send us an e-mail:, follow us on twitter @passimproject or visit our website