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Bounded Openness: The Future Political Economy of Knowledge Management

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Published

Journal publication date1/08/2011
JournalEuropean Intellectual Property Review
Journal number8
Volume33
Pages477-480
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

n this opinion piece, I briefly review a set of predictions from the European Patent Office regarding the future of the global market for and in IPRs: this view of the future is largely based on the notion that the (commercial) management of knowledge will stay the same. However, this assumption may be seriously mistaken: current forms of intellectual property and knowledge management are being challenged by the development and acceleration of what we might call ‘openness’. To some extent this has been driven by a clear set of technical and organisational developments, but it is also the result of socio-political pressures in the realm of knowledge management. Here, I do not predict the decline and eventual failure of IPRs; rather recalling the historical processes of balancing private rights and public interest, I posit the development of bounded openness as a new moment in the ongoing history of managing knowledge in human (global) society.