Patents as Scientific Information 1895-2010 (PASSIM)

Old fashioned light bulbs.

A European Research Council Advanced Grant project 2017-2022.

ERC European Research Council

About

"Patents as Scientific Information, 1895-2020," (PASSIM) is a five-year project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement ERC-AdG-741095).

PASSIM's objective is to unpack the multifaceted relationships featured in the patent bargain, recombine them in unexpected and creative ways and develop from that conceptualization a new narrative of patents and intellectual property. Anchored in historical knowledge but designed to accommodate interdisciplinary dialogue on theory and method, PASSIM stretches across past, present, and even into future knowledge infrastructures. Tracing the longue durée of the dynamics of scientific information from the end of the nineteenth-century to the first decades of the twenty-first tells an untold story of the networks of people, artifacts and money that shaped the current knowledge infrastructure into its present form. Transgressing the traditional divide between the natural sciences and the humanities, PASSIM delivers an innovative new framework for understanding of how information is disseminated and used (or not), within contemporary knowledge infrastructures. 

The PI

PASSIM runs between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2022 and is funded through an ERC Advanced Grant awarded to Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirtén at Linköping University, Sweden. Professor Hemmungs Wirtén is a recognized scholar in the international field of interdisciplinary intellectual property research and has published widely on the history of international copyright and the history and theory of the intellectual commons. Her latest book is Making Marie Curie: Intellectual Property and Celebrity Culture in an Age of Information (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and she is currently the Co-Director of ISHTIP (the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property. A two-page abbreviated CV can be downloaded as PDF here.

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén

Photo credit: Anders Norderman

Activities

PASSIM will organize a number of activities during 2017-2022, activities that aim to expand our research and facilitate further collaboration with other networks and scholars working on intellectual property. 

Three workshops are planned: Patents as Scientific Information in War and Peace, focusing on the connection between patents and scientific information both in war and peace; Patents as Capital, considering the different ways in which evaluation, indicators, and metrics interact with patents in the context of traditional scientific norms; and finally Patents as Interdisciplinary Work, querying the theoretical and methodological challenges and benefits of doing interdisciplinary intellectual property research. Our first workshop will take place in 2019 and we end the project with a major conference in 2022: Patent Futures: A History.

If you want to stay in touch with us and keep updated on activities, publications and other possible collaborations, please e-mail contact@passim.se or follow us on twitter @passimproject.

Updates

The team

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén

Professor of Mediated Culture at Linköping University, Sweden.

In addition to managing and leading PASSIM's different activities, the PI's own work in the project will be a study on the multifaceted ways by which patents have evolved within a history of information order, focusing on the networks and technologies that have formed patents into "boundary objects" traveling across the borders of law, science and information.

José Bellido

Senior lecturer in Law, University of Kent, United Kingdom
 
My current research focus is on the history of character merchandising but I am also interested in the links between industry and intellectual property and the changes in patent offices throughout the twentieth century.

In PASSIM I will explore the question of copyright of patent specifications, which raised questions of authorship, technologies of copying and transfer as paper documents. 

Johanna Dahlin

Postdoctoral fellow in Culture Studies at Linköping University, Sweden.
 
My main research interests are heritage and memory work, and more recently the enclosure and privatization of common resources. 

My contribution to PASSIM will be a study on secrecy and securitization in relation to scientific discoveries in the Soviet Union.

Martin Fredriksson

Associate Professor in Culture Studies at Linköping University, Sweden.

My research has mainly been on piracy and the history of copyright, and I am currently researching biopiracy and traditional knowledge. 

Within PASSIM, I will be looking at how counter-discourses to patent expansionism are formulated in relation to the global political agenda shifts from the new utopias of the 1970s to the cementation of a globalized economic order in the 1990s.

Björn Hammarfelt

Senior Lecturer in Library and Information Science at the University of Borås and Researcher at Linköping University, Sweden

My current research is situated in the intersection between information studies and sociology of science, with the organization and communication of knowledge in focus.  

In PASSIM I will work on an historically informed study on the concept of 'citation' in two main scientific/technical documents, the patent and the scientific paper.

Hyo Yoon Kang

Senior Lecturer in Law at Kent Law School, University of Kent, United Kingdom.

My primary research focus is on intellectual property law, especially patents, scientific and legal knowledge techniques, the value and valuation of intellectual property.

As part of the PASSIM project, I will examine scientists’ use of patent documents and information contained in them.  The question of patent value will be elucidated from the point of view of the intended users.

Mattis Karlsson

Ph.D. Candidate in Culture Studies at Linköping University, Sweden.

Primarily interested in how science and scientific knowledge is made and mediated, I am currently working on a dissertation project on the discovery of the prehistoric human species Denisova Hominin.

In PASSIM I work as a Research Assistant, responsible for administrative coordination, running our website and Twitter account.

Gustav Källstrand

PhD, Senior Curator, Nobel Center and Researcher at Linköping University, Sweden

I am interested in the cultural history of science; how science is ascribed meaning in culture and society, particularly in the history of the Nobel Prize.

My PASSIM-project will look at which forms of information was granted the most importance by the scientific Nobel Committees - papers, patents or personal recommendations.

Isabelle Strömstedt

Ph.D. Candidate in Culture Studies at Linköping University, Sweden.

I am particularly interested in the mediation of innovation and science and knowledge in popular culture.

My contribution to PASSIM will be in the shape of my thesis, which will focus on the display of innovation at the New York World Fair 1939, “The World of Tomorrow.” By considering how the fair administration dealt with legal protection of the exhibited innovations, I explore tensions between the object and the text, between modes of secrecy and disclosure. 

 

Media and articles

Contact information

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén

Professor of Mediated Culture

  • Linköping University
To presentation
José Bellido

José Bellido 

Senior Lecturer in Law

  • University of Kent
To presentation
Johanna Dahlin

Johanna Dahlin

Postdoctoral fellow in Culture Studies

  • Linköping University
To presentation
Martin Fredriksson

Martin Fredriksson

Associate Professor in Culture Studies

  • Linköping University
To presentation
Björn Hammarfelt

Björn Hammarfelt

Senior Lecturer and Researcher

Senior lecturer in Library and Information Science at the University of Borås, and Researcher at Linköping University.

  • University of Borås
To presentation
Hyo Yoon Kang

Hyo Yoon Kang

Senior Lecturer in Law

  • University of Kent
To presentation
Mattis Karlsson

Mattis Karlsson

Ph.D. Candidate in Culture Studies

  • Linköping University
To presentation
Gustav Kallstrand

Gustav Källstrand

PhD, Senior Curator and Researcher

PhD, Senior Curator, Nobel Center and Researcher at Linköping University

  • Nobel Center
To presentation
Isabelle Strömstedt

Isabelle Strömstedt

Ph.D. Candidate in Culture Studies

  • Linköping University
To presentation