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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

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8068


Johanna Gibson
Johanna Gibson is Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS). She is Chair of the Intellectual Property Office Expert Advisory Committee on Trade and Development and a member of the DG-Research and Innovation expert panel on international knowledge transfer. Johanna holds first class degrees in cultural and critical theory, animal sciences, and law. Before joining CCLS, Johanna practised law in Melbourne, Australia at Allens Arthur Robinson, specialising in Intellectual Property, Media and Communications Law and Competition Law.


Research interests:

Much of Johanna’s research is concerned with intellectual property and socio-economic development. She has consulted to the European Patent Office (EPO) on future patent policy, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on the creative economy, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) on advanced education in patent law, and has participated in expert groups on copyright, digital rights management, and human rights and intellectual property. She maintains research interests in legal theory and intellectual property law, traditional knowledge and cultural diversity, and the relationship between intellectual property systems and the narration of culture and innovation.

Johanna works also on current policy and developments in the areas of biotechnology and intellectual property aspects of medicine, and her recent book, Intellectual Property, Medicine and Health (2009) examines the relationship between intellectual property, public health and human rights. She has also been supported  by an AHRC research grant to examine the implications of patents and related protection for biotechnologies, and the impact on socio-cultural and economic development and diversity, in the research project, Patenting Lives. The first volume of research from the project, Patenting Lives: Life Patents, Development and Culture, was published in 2008 and the work includes an ongoing project blog. Johanna is currently completing another book project, Traditional Knowledge, Law and Practice, for Oxford University Press, to be published in 2010. She is also general editor of the Ashgate series: Intellectual Property, Theory, Culture, and consultant editor with Lord Hoffmann for the Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, which was launched in 2011.

Johanna teaches Intellectual Property Aspects of Medicine for which she established the IPMed blog, and on the Queen Mary LLM programme. She has also established the TK Community blog, which was launched at the 13th Session of the WIPO IGC in October 2008. She is also a member of the Education Committee of CIPA and is consulting to the EPO on intellectual property education, devising university strategy for Bulgaria and Norway.


Johanna Gibson's SSRN page

Books (Author)

Books (Editor)

Book Chapters

Journal Articles

Commissioned Reports

  • European Patent Office, Dissemination of IP Knowledge in Universities: Road Map for Bulgarian Universities, 2008
  • Generation Scotland: Legal and Ethical Aspects (Co-author with G. Laurie), Edinburgh: AHRC Research Centre, 2005, ISBN: 0954971701 [URL]

PhD Supervision

Professor Gibson welcomes students in all areas of intellectual property and legal theory, agriculture, environment, biodiversity and genetic resources, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and health, intellectual property and culture (including film and visual theory), traditional knowledge and cultural expressions, human rights and intellectual property (including rights to development, health and culture).

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