About Scenarios

There is no roadmap for the future, but there are always faint signals that indicate possible change.

The power of scenarios lies in the collective nature of this process of exploring uncertainty. By drawing on the ideas of a diverse group with different worldviews and specialties, it is possible to build a collective picture of what the forces driving change might be and their likely impact.

The result is a set of stories – a jigsaw of multiple perspectives about the future. This provides a template with which to develop and test alternative ways to anticipate and adapt services, products and policy responses to the risks and opportunities that might materialise.

In Scenarios for the Future...our aim was to understand the context in which the patent system functions, identify the right questions for input into the policymaking process, encourage reflection and promote an effort to enhance the understanding of the patent system. And in this regard, it was a very interesting and successful exercise, bordering on prescience, as some of the hypotheses considered have already come to pass.

Alison Brimelow,
President, European Patent Office, 2010 Francis Gurry Intellectual Property Lecture, Melbourne Law School

Whilst no one can predict with one-hundred percent certainty what the future entails, these scenarios provide key illustrations as to what we can expect based on current trends and conceptions.

Donal O'Connell,
"Inside the Patent Factory", John Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Alain Pompidou – his legacy has been France's decision to ratify the London Agreement and also the publication of the Scenarios Project; this will inform patent policy making in Europe and beyond for years to come.

Joff Wild,
Editor Intellectual Asset Management, The famous nine for 2007 of IAM blog

The EPO Report is an excellent and inspiring example of creative thinking by a regional intergovernmental agency and a first large-scale effort applying SP to the IP field. The success of the end product demonstrates the value of a scenario planning process in IP policy.

Study by Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors (PIIPA),

What is your strategic vision for WIPO in addressing the challenges for IP regimes in the 21st century, for example, those elaborated by the European Patent Office in "Scenarios for the Future Compendium"?

Civil Society Letter to the Chair of the WIPO Coordination Committee,
19 March 2008

Scenarios for the Future: grand report about the current state of the patent system and predictions for the next 20 years.

FFII blog

This is a very valuable exercise in gathering a large body of evidence and opinions in order to open space for creative thinking. In practice, the report highlights the desirability of an increasing range of choices and models through which knowledge and resources might be made available to serve a variety of purposes.

Paul Oldham,
"Biodiversity and the Patent System: Towards International Indicators", CESAGen Report