Following an open call, selected EPIP Themed Sessions include sessions dealing with specific topics proposed by the sessions’ organizers and reviewed by the Organizing Committee.

  • « On invitation themed sessions» host submissions made by authors who have been previously contacted by the session organisers. There will be three themed sessions in this category at EPIP2020, two proposed by academics, on the themes of ‘IP and international trade’ and ‘IP for sustainability transitions’ and one proposed jointly by the EPO Chief Economist Unit and the EPO Academy to present results of the ‘EPO Academic Research Programme’.
  • « Open themed sessions» aim to attract contributions on a specific topic with an open call for contributions. EPIP2020 will have one themed session in this category with participation sponsored by WIPO, on the topic of ‘Innovation, IP and Gender’.Travel and registration fees of the authors of the four selected papers will be covered by WIPO.

The submission portal and deadline for contributions to be presented at the Themed Sessions are the same as for general submissions, namely: ; All the authors of the themed sessions, of any kind, will need to pay fees and register as indicated by the Organising Committe.

On invitation themed sessions

Organizers: Yann Ménière, EPO Chief Economist, Giovanna Oddo, EPO Academy

Summary: The purpose of this EPO-sponsored session is to present the final results of four research projects which have benefited from a grant of the EPO Academic Research Programme: i) Insights from product-patent correspondence, by G. de Rassenfosse (EPFL); ii) Approximating the standard essentiality of patents – a semantics-based analysis, by D. Harhoff (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich); iii) CAPPA – Career paths of patent attorneys, by K. Menzel (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); iv) Knowledge spillovers from product and process inventions and their impact on firm performance, by M. Wörter (ETH Zurich).

Organizers: Marco Grazzi, Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano (Italy) and Daniele Moschella, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy)

Summary: Intellectual Property (IP) rights and trade flows are deeply intertwined. This is supported both on the basis of theoretical and empirical ground. The direction of causality is not always easy to be singled out and most likely it runs in both directions over different time horizon. On the one side, higher IP protection in the destination countries of export might foster larger trade flows, as exporting firms bear a smaller risk of being imitated. On the other side, and probably on a longer time span, an increase in the size of the market, both in a given destination as well globally, is likely to increase the incentive of firms to invest in R&D, introduce new products and resort to IP. The works gathered in this proposed session contribute to the debate in different but complementary manners, by combining theoretical and empirical analyses on the relation between IP (both trademarks and patents) and international trade.The invited contributions are i) International trademarking and exports: A predictive analysis, by Stephen Petrie, Trevor Kollmann, Alexandru Codoreanu, Russell Thomson and Elizabeth Webster (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia); ii) Intellectual Property Enforcement, Exports and Productivity of Heterogeneous Firms in Developing Countries: Evidence from China, by Huiwen Lai (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Faculty of Business), Keith E. Maskus (U of Colorado Boulder, Department of Economics) and Lei Yang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Faculty of Business); iii) International Patenting with Heterogeneous Firms, by Nikolas Zolas (U.S. Census Bureau); iv) The effect of international patent protection on trade, by Gaétan de Rassenfosse (EPFL, Lausanne), Marco Grazzi (Univ. Cattolica, Milano), Daniele Moschella (Sant’Anna School, Pisa), Gabriele Pellegrino (EPFL, Lausanne).

Organizers: Dr Frank Tietze, Innovation and IP Management (IIPM) Lab, University of Cambridge (UK), Prof. Anjula Gurtoo, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (India), Dr. juris Viola Prifti, University of Applied Sciences Berlin (Germany), Dr Roberto Hernández Chea, IIIEE, Lund University (Sweden), Dr Pratheeba Vimalnath, Innovation and IP Management (IIPM) Lab, University of Cambridge (UK).

Summary: The transition to global sustainable development is an urgent challenge. In 2015, countries globally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Effective transitions to sustainability require innovations with complex diffusion and adoption processes. The accompanied evolutionary technology development processes involve complex and intertwined IP related issues. The role of IP for effective transitions to sustainability however remains insufficiently understood. This session brings together partners from the IPACST project – IP Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions ( involving leading IP and sustainability researchers from UK, German, Swedish and Indian universities. IPACST is a major, three-year international and interdisciplinary research project that started in 2018 and brings together the fields of sustainability, IP and innovation management, together with political sciences and engineering to transform our understanding of the role played by different Intellectual Property (IP) models in sustainability transitions. This project contributes to the integration of these fields through frameworks that conceptualize (i) which, (ii) how and under (iii) what conditions IP models accelerate sustainable transitions, in connection with sustainable business models and empirical analysis.

Open themed sessions

Organizers: Carsten Fink (, Intan Hamdan-Livramento, Julio Raffo, YIN Deyun and Maryam Zehtabchi 

Summary: Understanding how both women and men could equally access and use the intellectual property (IP) system is paramount for promoting how their creativity can be transformed into economic, social, and cultural development. However, the gender gap in the IP system is likely the result of a long social process that accumulates balances and imbalances from previous institutional settings.  Arguably, how the gender balance evolves in the different scientific fields, higher education institutions and most innovative industries around the world will shape the gender balance of the IP system. This session aims to bring together new empirical research shedding light on the gender unbalances throughout the stages of the inventors’ career.  Topics of interest relevant to this session include but are not limited to:

Gender balance in the IP system;
Gender gap in scientific or patent productivity (or other knowledge outputs);
Gender gap in entrepreneurship;
Women participation in the skilled labor market;
Gender attrition throughout the advanced education system (i.e. enrollment and graduation rates);
Determinants of gender gap in different industries or scientific fields;
Impact of institutional environments to the scientific/technological gender gap; and,
Impact of corporate and societal cultures in gender gap.

Call for contributions: Participation in this session is sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Authors whose contributions (full papers or extended abstracts) are selected for this session will be eligible to receive financial support from WIPO for their travel to and from the conference. When submitting a contribution via the general submission platform of EPIP2020, and with the same deadline as for the general call for papers for the conference, please mark ‘IP and gender’ on the topic to be considered for this session.