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About the project

"Creative IPR" aims to study the history of the intellectual property rights in the creative industries, from the Paris Convention (1883) and the Berne Convention (1886) to the present day, with a particular focus on Europe in the global world.

Picture of the weaving of tweed fabric.

Photo: Nick Wood, Unsplash

The research project examines the macro and the micro aspects of the history of intellectual property rights in the creative industries, with a focus on national and international institutions, and on the management of creativity. 

Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are a composite of laws that regulate the creations of the mind. These rights are of four types – patent, copyright, industrial property, and trademark – to which are often added trade secrets and fair competition.

Patent, which is considered to be a strong right, is dominant in scientific and technology-intensive innovation. Copyright occupies an important place in the protection of innovation in the creative industries. Creative workers and entrepreneurs usually rely on a composite of several of these varieties of law – to protect their creations. Throughout the modern period, technological innovation has increasingly impacted the creative industries.


Intellectual property rights have due to technological and economic change recently attracted significant scholarly interest. "Creative IPR" will contribute to clarify our conceptual framework in this field. Ultimately it will help us understand how societies can foster rich and diverse creative industries.

Project illustration of Creative intellectual property rights


"Creative IPR" consists of four work packages, see project illustration above:

  1. History of intellectual property rights
  2. History of the international organization of intellectual property rights (BIRPI, WIPO)
  3. History of intellectual property rights with a focus on the French authors’ rights societies (music and the arts of the stage)
  4. History of intellectual property rights in the design, fashion, and luxury industries

These four work packages will be informed by the five following cross-cutting themes:

  1. Authorship and creativity
  2. Firms
  3. The impact of technological change
  4. National, transnational, and global legal frameworks
  5. The place of the commons


Creative IPR’s approach to the history of intellectual property rights is a historical study based on empirical research in the archives. Legal, business, and economic history will inform the analysis of empirical data, contextualization, and writing of research results.


September 2019 to August 2024.


EU-flag and ERC-logo

This project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818523 (ERC Consolidator Grant 2019). 


Published Aug. 19, 2019 1:27 PM - Last modified Jan. 4, 2020 8:56 AM