Present Thinking About the Future of Intellectual Property: A Literature Review
49 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2014 Last revised: 24 Apr 2014
Date Written: April 17, 2014
This article presents the results of a systematic review and analysis of the way that “the future” is addressed in intellectual property literature. Iterative methodical searches in key databases of published materials and targeted reviews of grey literature revealed a limited number of relevant works pertaining to the future. These works were analysed and classified according to our original taxonomy, considering for example: whether the future was conceived as predictable or uncertain; whether the analysis was issue-specific, IP-categorical, or systemic; and whether the work considered legal, economic, technological, social, environmental, or ethical factors driving change. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the literature demonstrates very few works that consider multiple factors driving systemic changes in an uncertain future. The article describes and recommends the use of distinct research tools, specifically foresight and scenarios methods, capable of addressing this gap in our present thinking about the future of intellectual property.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Future, Foresight, Futures Studies, Literature Review
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