The Digital Law Center invites the Harvard Club of Switzerland to a Guest Lecture

Is there Property in Data? Property and the Principles for a Data Economy

Invitation on the occasion of the visit of Prof. Henry E. Smith (Harvard Law School) at the Law School of the University of Geneva

On Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 At the University of Geneva - Unimail - Room 3050 (3rd floor)



5.30 pm Welcome and introduction -  Prof. Jacques de Werra, Director of the Digital Law Center, Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva

5.45 pm Is there Property in Data? Property and the Principles for a Data Economy  - Prof. Henry E. Smith, Fessenden Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

6.15 pm Q & A and discussion with the participants

7.00 pm End of the event

7.15 pm Cocktail reception with alumni of Harvard Law School & Harvard University @ Restaurant Les Philosophes (5 rue Prévost Martin, 1205 Genève)

sponsored by the Swiss law firm OBERSON ABELS and the Harvard Club of Switzerland



How data should be brought within property, if at all, has emerged as one of the most urgent questions in private law and for regulation in various areas. Earlier this year, the American Law Institute (ALI) and the European Law Institute (ELI) approved their joint Principles for a Data Economy ( These principles address many of the issues about control of data and transactions involving the use and transfer of data, while avoiding the question of whether data are property. At the same time, property theorists disagree over whether full-blown in rem rights in data are desirable, and if so to what extent traditional possession-based notions should be altered to cover data or whether new concepts are required. These issues are acute for the ALI’s ongoing efforts to produce a Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property (, and in certain areas such as conversion, these issues are unavoidable. Even many intermediate forms of protection, such as data trusts, require conceptual development and an assessment of their compatibility with existing legal systems.



The event has reached its maximum capacity. 

We will keep a note of your registration and let you know if a space becomes available. If you do not receive a confirmation, unfortunately, you are not registered for the event.







5:30PM Tue 18 Oct 2022, Europe/Zurich timezone


University of Geneva
Unimail 3rd floor
Geneva, GE 1200 Switzerland

[ Get Directions ]