Centre for Postgraduate Studies

Conference Report: Fifth IP & Innovation Researchers of Asia Conference
By Manisah Sarujee (IIUM)

The conference circuit for the international Intellectual Property (IP) researchers kick-off this year with the Fifth IPIRA Conference 2023 at Nanyang Technology University, Singapore between 1 to 3 March 2023. The hybrid event was organized by the IP & Innovation Research of Asia (IPIRA) Network in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Academy, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the following academic institutions: Division of Business Law, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University; the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM); Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia; Texas A&M University School of Law; and the Faculty of Law, University of Geneva. The Conference was additionally supported by a group of distinguished academic institutions in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

Group Photo 1 (In Person)

IPIRA is an initiative created to provide a forum for IP academics and researchers to present and discuss their papers and works-in-progress. This year the IPIRA Conference continues to provide researchers from all nationalities and levels of seniority a forum for intellectual exchanges between researchers interested in IP and Innovation law.  

The three day conference kicked off with the opening keynote by Daren Tang,  Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) with his opening keynote on “The Role of WIPO in Building IP Ecosystems That Promote Innovation and Creativity Everywhere”. This was followed by the keynote presentation by Annabel Gonzalez, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization (WTO) on “Strengthening the Links between Public Health, Trade and IP: Applying the Lessons from the Pandemic”.


Keynote presentation by Daren Tang, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Keynote presentation by Annabel Gonzalez, , Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Welcoming Remarks by Christina Soh, Vice President (Strategy & Leadership), Nanyang Technological University and Dean, College of Business (Nanyang Business School)

Introduction by Organizers

With more than 130 presenters online and 130 in person presenters, scholars reviewed and debated various topics of research during the parallel sessions chaired by renowned and distinguished IP scholars and officials from WIPO and WTO.  Presenters had the opportunity to present under many exciting broad themes in IP. The topics covered research into specific aspects of copyright, patent, trademark and competition. The IPIRA network also saw various aspects of IP in technology being presented. Artificial Intelligence (AI), AI authorship,  regulation of deep fakes, Virtual Reality, NFTs, Blockchain and Big Data are just a few examples. In intellectual property management, the IPIRA network also saw efforts to apply Shariah principles to Islamic finance and collaborative commercialization. Sharing the best practices across the different countries and sectors allowed the participants to expand their horizons.

Various presentations of research and work-in-progress.


The Fifth IPIRA Conference also featured two plenary sessions, one focusing on “Intellectual Property as Engine for Innovation: How To Implement A Balanced Approach?” and the other, “The Role of Intellectual Property For A Green and Sustainable Future”. Marco Aleman, Assistant Director General of the IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector at WIPO participated in the first plenary, and Mr. Edward Kwakwa, Assistant Director General of the Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector at WIPO, participated in the second plenary.

Plenary Session 1

Plenary Session 2

The full program of the Fourth IPIRA Conference can be found here (https://ipresearchersasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Fifth-IPIRA-2023-Final-Program-To-Post-01.03.2023.pdf) and the abstracts here (https://ipresearchersasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Fifth-IPIRA-2023-Conference-Abstracts-File.pdf). The bios of the conference speakers can be found here (https://ipresearchersasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Fifth-IPIRA-2023-Conference-Bios-File.pdf)

The networking breaks are always the highlight of the conference for the participants of the in person event. The intellectual discourse continued across the networking breaks with sharing of feedback and experience between the participants. Sharing of research areas and specialization between the researchers allowed them to explore more ideas and support from each other. The IPIRA network hopes that participants of the online session could join the in-person events to take advantage of the networking opportunities.

Networking Breaks

Networking Breaks

The Fifth IPIRA was the first hybrid event that has been held since the MCO. For the usual suspects of the IP conference circuit, the annual IPIRA has now become a reunion of old friends. For those attending the conference for the first time, they would have to try really hard not to express the overwhelming excitement of being able to present their work-in-progress to such an international mix of distinguished IP scholars. What is sure, is that all the presenters left the conference with both broader perspectives of their work and opportunities to collaborate with other researchers which are relevant to theirs.

The IPIRA Network very much looks forward to hosting everyone again, at the Sixth IPIRA Conference in 2024! Information and venue will follow in late summer.

Photos by Prof. Irene Calboli