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Institutional Amnesia? Non-Records and Archival Invisibility in the Patent Office

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Date: Friday 12 July
Venue: Hawthorn Campus

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Google Patents and the ESPACENET are familiar resources to anyone researching the history of innovation and patents. But what if major database-initiatives of this kind not only preserves (or rather, translates) the patent into a new form, but also helps privilege the patent as the definitive archival record, the definitive output of the patent office? It would be an unfortunate side-effect of having all eyes on the document if we forget that the patent office is a memory institution in its own right, that it too produces its own documents, records, memories and proof, intertwined with but also independent from the record with which it seems increasingly confounded.

In her talk, Professor Hemmungs Wirtén will suggest a few ideas around the study of patent offices as institutions that tend to forget, rather than remember, looking at examples of non-records and silences in the practices of patent office administration and bureaucracy.

This research seminar is co-hosted with the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA), Melbourne Law School.

Contact Information: Kelli Larson