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Professor Johanna Gibson, BA (Hons I), MA, PGDipAppSci, JD (Queensland), PhD (Edinburgh), Solicitor and Barrister to the Supreme Court of Victoria


Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8068
Room Number: Lincoln's Inn Fields


Follow Professor Gibson on Twitter: @ProfJohanna and also the special themed Twitter feeds @AnimalLawCustom @TheLawofFilm and @FashioningIP

Johanna Gibson is Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) and Editor-In-Chief of the Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property (QMJIP). She has consulted widely to industry, government, NGOs and the profession, and has been a visiting professor to institutions around the world, including the Queensland University of Technology (Australia), Monash University (Australia), the University of Toronto (Canada) and the Institute of Musical Research (School of Advanced Studies, UK). Johanna is a founding member of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP) and a current member of the executive committee (2007-2014). Johanna is also series editor for Intellectual Property, Theory, Culture (Ashgate) and series co-editor (with Trevor Cook) for Intellectual Property: Practitioner Series (Edward Elgar Publishing) and has held numerous research council grants and private research consultancies across a range of intellectual property issues and areas. She has considerable media experience across television, radio and newspapers, including interviews with CNBC, BBC Radio 4, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and The Times. Johanna also manages a comprehensive and competitive internship programme through QMJIP for Intellectual Property LLM students. Johanna was previously Director of the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI) 2007-2014 and Director of the Intellectual Property Institute (2010-2013). Before joining CCLS, Johanna practised law in Melbourne, Australia at Allens Arthur Robinson, specialising in Intellectual Property, Media and Communications Law and Competition Law.

Postgraduate Teaching

  • QLLM123 Intellectual Property, Fashion and Design
  • QLLM196 The Law of Film


Research Interests:

Professor Gibson has a particular interest in intellectual property, cultural and socio-economíc development. She has a research background in cultural studies, critical theory, film, art history and law, and maintains interdisciplinary research interests and publications. Her most recent book The Logic of Innovation (2014) explores the complex terrain of creativity, ownership and use in the digital envirionment. Her earlier book on the relationship between intellectual property systems, protection and the narration of culture and innovation, Creating Selves: Intellectual Property and the Narration of Culture (2006), was cited with approval in the HM Treasury’s Gower’s Review. She is currently researching on the relationship between intellectual property, fashion, products and identity, Fashioning Intellectual Property, to be published in 2015. She has also led a major research consultancy for the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) on authors’ earnings (pre-launched as “What Are Words Worth Now” in the House of Commons in 2014) which has received considerable international press. Her major report to the IPO on Lookalikes  [PDF] (co-authored with Professor Phillip Johnson and Professor Jonathan Freeman) was cited in Parliament during debates on the Intellectual Property Act 2014 and led to major a consultation by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Johanna works also on current policy and developments in the areas of biotechnology and intellectual property aspects of medicine and her book, Intellectual Property, Medicine and Health (2009) is currently being revised in a second edition. She was also supported by an AHRC grant to examine patents and biotechnology in the research project, Patenting Lives, which appeared in the edited collection Patenting Lives: Life Patents, Culture and Development (2008).

Johanna has also worked extensively in the area of traditional and indigenous knowledge, including her first book Community Resources: Intellectual Property, International Trade and the Protection of Traditional Knowledge (2005) and is preparing another book for publication by OUP in 2015/16.

Johanna’s studies in animal sciences focus on animal behaviour and animal-assisting learning and therapy, in which she maintains a research interest. She is also an academic member of the Association for the Studies of Animal Behaviour (ASAB).

Works in Progress:

  • Traditional Knowledge (OUP) – forthcoming 2016
  • Fashioning Intellectual Property (Ashgate) – forthcoming 2015
  • Intellectual Property, Medicine and Health: Current Debates, 2nd edition (Ashgate) – forthcoming 2015
  • Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society – final report forthcoming 2014

Examples of research funding:

  • ALCS (2013-2014) – The Business of Being an Author
  • Intellectual Property Office (2011-2013) – The Impact of Lookalikes
  • Microsoft (2010-2012) – Innovation and strategy in intellectual property education
  • TELES De (2009-2012) – Computability of Inventive Step
  • ECIF/HEFCE (2009) – Development of continuing professional development in a university environment Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) (2008)
  • AHRC – Patenting Lives – Dissemination Scheme (2007)
  • AHRC – Patenting Lives (2004-2007)
  • Brunel University – Strategic development fund (2004)


Johanna Gibson's SSRN page


Book Chapters

Journal Articles

Other Publications

Commissioned Reports

PhD Supervision

Professor Gibson welcomes students in all areas of intellectual property, legal theory and culture, with a particular interest in the creative industries (particularly fashion, literature, film and visual arts and theory). Professor Gibson also welcomes students in animal law and policy.

Public Engagement


  • Editor-In-Chief, Queen Mary Intellectual Property Journal of Intellectual Property (QMJIP), 2013—
  • Intellectual Property Office Expert Advisory Group Unregistered Rights, Member, 2014—
  • Intellectual Property Office Expert Advisory Group Trade and Development, Chair, 2011-14
  • Consultant Editor (with Lord Hoffmann), Queen Mary Intellectual Property Journal of Intellectual Property (QMJIP), 2011-2013
  • Academic Member, Patents County Court/Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Users’ Committee, 2012-14
  • CIPA Academic Liaison Committee, 2011—
  • Director, Intellectual Property Institute, 2010-2013
  • Expert Member, DG Research and Innovation Advisory Panel, International Knowledge Transfer, 2010-2011
  • EPO Road-Map Author, Norway, 2009-2010
  • Academic Director, QUEDOS, 2009
  • EPO Road-Map Author, Bulgaria, 2008-2009
  • Director, Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI), 2007-2014
  • International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP), founding and executive member, 2007—
  • CIPA Education Sub-Committee, 2006—
  • Legal Advisor, UK EU Presidency Creative Economy Conference, 2005


  • Association for the Teaching and Research of Intellectual Property (ATRIP)
  • British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association (BLACA)
  • Society of Legal Scholars (SLS)
  • Association for the Studies of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)
  • Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)
  • International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE)

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