Call for papers


AIDA 2021 – Call for papers “General Clauses in Intellectual Property Law”

The Annual Law Review “Aida” issues a call for papers on the topic “General Clauses in Intellectual Property law”. “General clauses” referred here – a concept deeply developed in civil law that calls to mind the “standards” of common law – are normative provisions made of undetermined components thus requiring a heightened integrative role for the interpreter. This call is meant to unfold the fertile but complex role of general clauses in a field like Intellectual Property law, characterized by a restlessly evolving factual background and the inherent need to solve conflicts and balances.

Contributors may pursue any specific or broader research within the topic of the call, under international, European Union, or Italian law, of a substantive or a conflict of laws nature, by submitting a paper (between 40,000 and 70,000 characters, including spaces, in English or Italian) by 10.9.21, together with a final abstract (in English). The paper must be original and exclusively intended for Aida. Some of the authors who will have submitted their contributions by 20.8.21 may be invited to shortly present their contributions during next Aida conference scheduled on 10/11 September 2021.

In order to be eligible, authors are required to submit a 5,000 characters preliminary abstract (in English or Italian) and a short academic CV by 10.4.21 to The acceptance notification of the abstract will be given by 30.4.2021. The publication of the final papers in Aida 2021 will be subject to the acceptance by a double-blind peer review and the compliance to Aida Publication Rules (to be communicated to the accepted contributors).

Further indications on the topic are offered in the outline hereinbelow.

The expression “general clause” is here intended in a broad sense, evocative of a legislative drafting technique that envisages the formation of preceptive statements in which the presence of indeterminate elements imposes – in order to derive operational rules – an evaluative integration by the interpreter, however bound in his discretion to proceed along rational and generalizable lines of argument.

If understood in this broad meaning, standardization by general clauses seems to have found a place of choice in the discipline of intellectual property: that in setting itself the goal of governing the appropriation and circulation of innovations (technical, cultural, marketing) it typically has to deal with a very dynamic and changing pre-juridical datum; and on the other hand aims to reconcile the conflict between a wide variety of abstractly equal ordered interests, with articulations that are often not foreseeable by the legislator. This explains the frequent recourse to normative statements with particularly flexible formulations, generally located in the most delicate junctions of the discipline, such as for example the protection requirements (likelihood of confusion, unfair advantage, creative work, artistic value, non-evidence, individual character, and so on) or the coordination between antagonistic interests of primary rank (the illegal treatment of trade secrets, technical progress for compulsory licensing, professional fairness of atypical uses, and so on).

The essays destined for Aida 2021 will be able to address the theme with freedom of method, analytical technique and research approach. The interdisciplinary approach and the presence of comparative references, although not indispensable, will be appreciated. With this perspective, for example, the arguments that intertwine ideas of general theory with lines of systematic reconstruction of the discipline of intellectual property will be compatible, as well as contributions that focus the analysis on one or more general clauses among those provided for by internal or Euro-unitary standardization, by international treaty law or by foreign systems. There will be room for studies that aim to contextualize the application of general clauses of civil, commercial or private international law in the field of intellectual property, as well as contributions that offer a census and systematization of case law on general clauses specifically dedicated to disciplines on technological innovation, distinctive signs, intellectual works, design or trade secrets. Finally, reflection may concern general clauses already in place for some time, in order to re-read their application development in a diachronic perspective; or it could turn to recent regulatory changes, which in the absence of settled operations express more urgent needs for systematic reconstruction.