David TILT - Tokyo College
Postdoctoral Fellow

David TILT

Research interests Intellectual Property
01 Description of Research

My project at Tokyo College is an investigation into how we understand ‘value’ in universities as complex social, political, and legal institutions. Given this multifaceted nature, how do we decide on the appropriate scope and role of the university in society? While individual researchers or faculties may be driven by the academic dimension of research, recent years have shown how the economic aspects of research (and particularly the issue of funding) have become increasingly contentious. Crucially for my project and academic background, this shift towards economic language and a narrow understanding of university research has been supported by legislation around the world.

But how did we get to a position where this economic perspective became so dominant? What would it look like if we reinterpreted ‘value’ more radically? My monograph project covers three time periods, looking at the different ways in which universities have produced value to reimagine how they could function in the future. Even if we reorient research towards social or environmental value at a legislative or political level, how would universities reflect that in their day-to-day functioning? My project incorporates a strong comparative perspective and a variety of methodologies to answer these questions, emphasising exploration and self-reflection over linear understandings or narratives.

We are in a time in which the value of not just university research is being questioned, but the structure and the role of the university itself is being fundamentally challenged. Recent years have seen the growth of legislation that emphasises monetary value, political actors have advocated for the banning of specific subjects, and a more social dissonance has emerged between the academic aspects of a university and the practical reality of a workplace. All of these suggest that there is a sense that certain universities, or certain disciplines, are not producing the right type of ‘value’ for society. And yet, value is very contextually dependent. The comparative perspective of my project seeks to question the completeness of any singular approach to understanding universities and to imagine how, as educational institutions, they can contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future.

02 Short Biography

2023: SJD in International Business Law, Central European University (Vienna)

2019-2020: Foreign Invited Research, Institute of Intellectual Property (Japan)

2019: Global Teaching Fellow, University of Mandalay (Myanmar)

2015: LLM in International Economic and Business Law, Kyushu University (Japan)

2014: LLB in Law, Durham University (UK)

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

‘Exploring Bifurcation in the Unified Patent Court from a Comparative Perspective: Japan and the EU’ (2022) 14(2) Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property 470–484.

‘Comparative Perspectives on Specialized Intellectual Property Courts: Understanding   Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court Through the Lens of the US Federal Circuit’ (2021) 16(2) Asian Journal of Comparative Law 238–258.

‘Understanding Intellectual Property and the Partial Transformation of Universities in Japan: Comparative Perspectives from the US on the Commercialisation of Research’ 23(1) Australian Journal of Asian Law 93–115.