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Anthony Humphreys

Research student

Lancaster University

Bowland North

LA1 4YN

Lancaster

Tel: +44 7908 841619

Research overview

I am interested in looking at different areas of law and how they interact. An alternative perspective can aid discussion of certain problems. I believe innovation is key to furthering legal research.

Currently studying towards a PhD in Intellectual Property Law, investigating the ways in which agrifirms shepherd and protect their Intellectual Property assets.

Thesis Outline

This study seeks to investigate and identify the ways in which agribusinesses shepherd and protect their Intellectual Property assets. Primary analysis is conducted with a view to Intellectual Property strategies and legal mechanisms which are engaged, although the study delves deeper into the functioning of firms to identify the behavioural and cultural practices as well as governance issues which feed into the overall ecosystem which surrounds and protects their interests. A key research question tackled by this study is in relation to the impact of these firms' methods in terms of economics and development.

A critical review of the state of the law in this area is undertaken through the lens of autopoeisis which assists in the analysis of Intellectual Property as a system and also its constituent subsystems which this study will show operate as their own entities worthy of individual analysis.

This study employs analysis of written materials (corporate and legal) as well as undertaking and interpreting case studies of agribusiness as well as an SME and a large technology corporation. These subjects were identified and subsequently positioned on a spectrum which would support and develop an understanding of the range of practices employed by firms at various scales and stages of growth.

In terms of method, this study includes analysis of written materials (corporate and legal), including policy statements, memoranda, cases and journals as well as undertaking and interpreting case studies of a market leading agribusiness, an SME and a large technology corporation. These subject firms were identified to fit on a spectrum which would allow understanding of the range of practices employed by firms at various scales and stages of growth.

Having identified key strategies and methodologies employed by firms these are then viewed through the lens of autopoeisis which grants a valuable perspective on the functioning of the systems and the nature of the communications between them. This lens aids thorough understanding and development of potential areas for reform by drawing together the practical and theoretical considerations into a coherent form.