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Hyo Yoon Kang


Intellectual Property; Political Economy; History of Science; Science and Technology Studies; Legal Theory; Social Theory; Literary Theory; Media Theory

School of Law
B1.12, Social Sciences Building
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

024 765 74784

Hyo Yoon Kang's research is multi-disciplinary and focuses on intellectual property, knowledge techniques, transmissions and practices, construction of values and valuation practices, concepts of novelty and innovation, and legal and social theory. She studies legal techniques and their social implications by drawing on insights from anthropology, literary and social theories, historical epistemology, media studies, and science and technology studies.

Examples of her past work include: an analysis of patent knowledge organisation and the material infrastructure that sustains it; the digital mediation of intangible knowledge; a critique of patent value; an analysis of financialisation of patents as assets; representations in climate data in legal adjudicatory setting and legal scholarship; theorisation of legal materiality; assessment of IP obligations during the Covid-19 pandemic; the cultural function of patents in the capitalist economy.

Hyo Yoon's policy-oriented work draws upon insights from interdisciplinary and historical IP scholarship, providing a deeper context towards a more equitable policy outcome. From 2020 to 2023 she researched and collaborated with IP law colleagues on the issue of the TRIPS waiver, a proposal to waive IP obligations on medicines and technologies needed to combat Covid-19 for the duration of the pandemic. She co-authored a research article and drafted a letter in support of the TRIPS waiver together with her IP law colleagues, which was signed by over hundred international leading IP scholars.

From 2018-2023, she was the UK principal investigator at Kent Law School for the multidisciplinary European Research Council research project on Patents as Scientific Information, led by Prof Eva Hemmungs-Wirtén (Linköping University, Sweden). Her research considered how patents have turned into capitalist aesthetic forms, combining an analysis of patent politics with insights from media theory and critical literary theory.

Within the field of legal theory, Hyo Yoon co-led the AHRC-funded ‘Legal Materiality’ research network (2017-2020) together with her colleague, Dr Sara Kendall (Kent). The project resulted in multiple contributions to discipline-shaping handbooks, as well as an open-access special issue of the journal Law Text Culture, which advanced in-depth analyses and novel theorisations of legal materiality.

Beyond Warwick, Hyo Yoon serves as the Co-Director of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP). She was the Programme Committee Co-Chair for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities (ASLCH) and served in its Organizing Committee from 2018 until 2023.

She also serves on the editorial boards of the journals, Economy and Society and Journal of Cultural Economy.