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Scenario planning on the future of intellectual property

Author: Michael A. Gollin, Gwen Hinze and Tzen Wong
Organisation: Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisor
Publish Date: 2011
Country: Global
Sector: Democracy & Governance, Legal & Civic Rights
Method: Scenarios
Theme: Strategic Thinking
Type: Other publication
Language: English
Tags: Intellectual property, IP, Scenario planning, Future scenarios, Patents, Public domain

This article summarizes scenario planning relating to intellectual property (IP). Future scenarios are stories created to describe alternative future outcomes, each a plausible example of what might happen under particular assumptions (see Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). Participants in scenario planning develop these stories of possible outcomes through a process of identifying the driving forces and uncertainties existing today (McNeely 2005, p. 62). The intention of scenarios is to consider a wide variety of possible futures rather than to focus on the accurate prediction of a single outcome (Evans et al. 2006, p. 6). Thus, future scenarios are not predictions, forecasts or projections. Projections need to be grounded in empirical evidence and accepted assumptions about trends. 2 Since IP comprises such a broad spectrum of legal rights, each subject to trends of uncertain duration and consistency, few credible projections relating to the future of IP exist. Given the complex driving forces and multiple stakeholders shaping IP and human development, scenario planning may present an interesting alterative tool for exploring the future.
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