Stepping off the Shoulders of Giants: Nonlinear Innovation in Intellectual Property Law


Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 202, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

McGill's Centre for Intellectual Property Policy presents Professor Michal Shur-Ofry of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Faculty of Law.


“Contemporary IP theory concentrates on the cumulative and incremental nature of innovation and creation. A prevalent image in this context depicts authors and inventors as "standing on the shoulders of giants". This talk highlights an additional type of innovation that has been largely overlooked in IP discourse: innovation that breaks up with convention, disputes existing paradigms, or in other words--"steps-off" the shoulders of giants. Drawing on multi-disciplinary literature, from the history and philosophy of science to studies of creativity, it explores nonlinear innovations across various cultural, artistic and scientific domains. It then proceeds to examine whether intellectual property policy and doctrine, particularly patent and copyright law, can foster nonlinear innovations and facilitate stepping-off giants' shoulders.”

This event is free to the public, but lawyers seeking accreditation for the Barreau du Québec (1.5 hours) must bring a $30 cheque made out to "McGill University - Faculty of Law" to receive credits.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact david.groves [at]