BUCERIUS IP CONFERENCE 2013: INNOVATION, COMPETITION AND COLLABORATION

Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany
October 11, 2013


Professor Dr. Séverine Dusollier (University of Namur)
Designing a Positive Status for the Public Domain


In intellectual property, the public domain is defined negatively: it is composed of what is not protected by copyright or patent or not anymore. This negative approach entails some significant consequences for ensuring a free access or use of the public domain and preserving it from encroachments and regained exclusivity (e.g. by other rights, by a perpetual moral right, by technological measures or contracts).

The lack of exclusivity that characterizes the public domain could however be reversed to give a positive meaning and status to this situation of non-exclusivity, that would be defined by inclusion and collectiveness. Such a positive status would build an available and sustainable public domain.