Margaret Chon

is the Donald & Lynda Horowitz Professor for the Pursuit of Justice at Seattle University School of Law.  She explores dimensions of knowledge governance through international intellectual property law. Her current scholarship focuses on the relation of knowledge goods to the production of other global public goods necessary for human development and flourishing. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, she is also an alumna of the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Cornell University College of Arts and Science. Additional biographical information can be found here.

Research Project

Public-Private Partnerships in Global Intellectual Property

The knowledge goods incentivized and protected by intellectual property laws (IP) are public goods that can be more explicitly linked to the optimal production of other global public goods such as disease control, education, environmental sustainability and other aspects of human flourishing within a human development paradigm. IP can be tethered to these other public goods through the potentially more participatory and dynamic legal pathways promised by global governance models. In this research project, I plan to explore governance vectors that play increasingly significant roles in the multiple domains dependent upon knowledge goods. These include non-state actors such as non-profit or non-governmental organizations (NPOs and NGOs), as well as soft law mechanisms, such as licensing arrangements, recommendations or standards set by NPOs, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations. These case studies will build upon prior work examining global IP’s public law frameworks as they address global development goals, but will focus specifically upon the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and other civil society strategic alliances within global health (intersecting with the patent regime); global education (copyright); and global environmental and labor domains (trademark). Selected case studies will illuminate further the interplay among the proliferating number of private actors and stake-holders in the shaping of IP regimes for technology partners located in the global north (EU and US) and those in the global south.