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Workshop - Blockchain Technologies And Their Application In The IP Space

When: Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 09:00 to 12:00
Venue: SMU School of Law Level 5, Meeting room 5.04 55 Armenian Street Singapore 179943


If one is to believe the business press and a series technical writings, blockchains will create a perfect transactional environment and obviate the need for traditional intermediaries, such as financial institutions or publishing companies. The latter will soon be replaced by code: unbiased and infallible computer programs that create decentralized marketplaces that empower both content creators and content consumers. Blockchains are hailed as the perfect technology for the registration, transfer, distribution, control and monetization of digital content and, in some instances, of physical art. Multiple blockchain start-ups focus on the management of IP rights and promise services ranging from the provision of certificates of authenticity and real-time verification of provenance to the creation of peer-to-peer markets for digital content. The workshop evaluates the suitability of blockchains for the registration, transfer and distribution of digital content and confronts the claims that blockchains provide a the “perfect platform” for a decentralized market in digital content or that the transfer of IP rights is reducible to the transfer of a private key or crypto-token. While blockchains may provide a near-perfect and permanent record or events, they are equipped with very limited transacting capabilities, which may significantly affect their ability to manage any form of online content distribution. Balancing enthusiasm and criticism, it is necessary to take a realistic look at both the technology and the law. 



Alexandra Sims is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law and Head of Department of Commercial Law in the Business School at the University of Auckland. She teaches a wide range of commercial law subjects. Alex’s primary areas of research and publication are blockchain technology, consumer law, and intellectual property law (in particular, copyright law). Alex has published in extensively in both New Zealand and internationally, including in the European Intellectual Property Review, International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Intellectual Property Quarterly and is co-author of E-commerce and the law (2014, Thomson Reuters). Alex is the New Zealand Chair of ALTA (Australasian Law Teachers’ Association) and has been President of the Asian Pacific Copyright Association. Alex is on the Governing Council of TDR (Telecommunications Dispute Resolution) and was on the board of Consumer NZ for six years.  Alex is currently leading a project funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation looking at the regulation of cryptocurrencies in New Zealand and Australia.


Simon de la Rouviere is a full-stack engineer that builds decentralized applications for use in the music industry & online communities. He has been in the blockchain space since 2011, and has been doing Ethereum-based development at ConsenSys for more than 2,5 years. During this time he helped co-found Ujo and develop the first smart-contract driven rights management prototype with Imogen Heap. He is also a co-designer of COALA IP (a standard to represent IP on blockchains), and was a key co-designer of the ERC20 token standard used to secure more than a $1B worth of cryptographic assets on the Ethereum blockchain. Before joining ConsenSys he completed an MA in Socio-Informatics (researching sustainable online community design) which has formed the basis of new work related to curation markets & the attention web.


Eliza Mik has worked in-house in a number of software companies, Internet start-ups and telecommunication providers in Australia, Poland, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates advising on e-commerce, payment systems, software licensing and technology procurement. Her roles included the drafting and negotiation of contracts relating to the sale or purchase of software and to DBOT agreements relating to voice and data networks. fixed and mobile.   She also served as the primary legal contact for all departments dealing with customer privacy and network security.  Throughout her professional career Eliza maintained a keen interest in all developments (both legal and technical) pertaining to the Internet and its use as an enabler of commerce. Since joining SMU, she has published in the areas of contract, e-commerce and internet law. Eliza is involved in two ongoing research projects, one relating to the legal implications of blockchains (focusing on smart contracts), the other relating to the use of the Internet-of-Things in retail environments.



Kung-Chung LIU holds LLB and LLM degree from National Taiwan University and a Doctor of Law degree from the Ludwig Maximilian Universitaet (University of Munich). He was a Research Fellow at Academia Sinica, Taiwan between 1992/1-2017/1. In 2003, he was a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore and  Visiting Senior Research Fellow for the IP Academy of Singapore. Professor Liu has served as one of the founding Commissioners of the National Communications Commission in Taiwan between 2006 and 2007. In 2014/4-15/7, he was a Visiting Professor at the School of Law, Singapore Management University, and the Founding Director of the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia (ARCIALA). He is currently the Director of ARCIALA, Lee Kong Chian Professor of Law (Practice). In addition, Professor Liu has been co-appointed Professor of the Renmin University of China (2017), and of the Graduate Institute of Technology, Innovation & Intellectual Property Management, National Chengchi University, Taiwan (since 2010).


This event is by invitation only. Click here for the newseltter.

Last updated on 24 Aug 2017 .