Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property for the neurocentric age: towards a neuropolitics of IP

Jake Dunagan and Debora Halbert *

Keywords: neuropolitics, neuroscience, copyright, futures, intellectual property, brain science, creativity


In this article we seek to expand the conversation about the possible new relationships and dilemmas that arise at the nexus between neuroscience, creativity, authorship and intellectual property. This article does not use traditional legal argumentation to understand the future of intellectual property, but rather deploys a scenario-based interrogation of possible future trajectories, a method derived from the discipline of futures studies. Instead, we draw upon a mix of social, legal, political, and technological trends to generate different alternative possibilities. Taken together, emerging insights from the brain sciences and the shifting dynamics of IP law point to a need for a new analytical framework – a neuropolitics of IP law. We ultimately conclude that without a fundamental transformation in how we understand intellectual property and its ownership, the mechanisms in place for expanding corporate control of IP at the expense of the individual should be of serious concern.

Author Notes

We would like to thank the conference organizers of ISHTIP for allowing us to present our paper, the discussant at ISHTIP, Robin Williams and Chris Dent, who provided extensive feedback on an earlier draft. A revised version of this paper was also presented at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, August 2014.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information