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Mr Jonathan Griffiths, BA (Oxon) MA

Reader in Intellectual Property Law

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8121


Jonathan Griffiths

Jonathan Griffiths is Reader in Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary University of London. He has degrees in English Literature and History and qualified as a solicitor before taking up positions at Nottingham Law School and Queen Mary.

His main research interests are in copyright and in the relationship between intellectual property law and fundamental rights and he has written widely in both of these areas. Recent work includes "Pre-empting Conflict – a Re-examination of the Public Interest Defence in United Kingdom Copyright Law" [2014] Legal Studies 76 and 'On the Back of a Cigarette Packet: Standardised Packaging Legislation and the Tobacco Industry’s Fundamental Right to (Intellectual) Property' [2015] Intellectual Property Quarterly (forthcoming). He co-edited 'Concepts of Property in Intellectual Property', (CUP, 2013) (with HR Howe).

He is the editor of the “United Kingdom” chapter of the leading international treatise on "International Copyright Law & Practice" (ed Bently) and is a member of the editorial/advisory boards of the Journal of Media Law, the Media & Arts Law Review and the Nottingham Law Journal. Recently, he has given visiting lectures at the University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, Strasbourg (CEIPI), at City University London and at Meiji and Waseda Universities in Tokyo.

He is interested in copyright policy and reform and has been consulted on copyright policy by a number of public bodies including the UK IPO, SABIP, the European Commission, the Dutch Ministry of Justice and the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat. He is a member of the European Copyright Society, a group of scholars founded in 2012, with the aim of creating a platform for critical and independent scholarly thinking on European copyright law. The Society has published several widely-read policy proposals. See, for example, the Opinions on the Deckmyn judgment and on the reference to the CJEU in Svensson.


Undergraduate teaching:

  • LAW6033 Intellectual Property Law

Postgraduate teaching:

  • QLLM040 - Intellectual Property
  • QLLM045 - International and Comparative Law of Copyright and Related Rights
  • IPLC008 – Designs & Copyright Law


Research interests:

Jonathan Griffiths has recently completed a project on the constitutional implications of tobacco standardised packaging legislation. His article, "On the Back of a Cigarette Packet: Standardised Packaging Legislation and the Tobacco Industry’s Fundamental Right to (Intellectual) Property" will be published in [2014] (4) Intellectual Property Quarterly. In this piece, he demonstrates serious flaws in the tobacco industry’s claim that, in regulating the use of trade marks, such legislation violates the ECHR and the EU Charter.

He is currently working on research projects concerning (1) the Court of Justice’s role in developing European copyright law (2) the treatment of parody in the wake of Deckmyn and (3) the historical significance of the landmark judgment of the House of Lords in Erven Warnink v Townend.


Many of Jonathan Griffiths' publications are available on SSRN

  • ‘Moral Right from a Copyright Perspective’ in Moral Rights in the 21st Century in F Brison et al (eds), (Larcier, 2015)
  • 'Star Industrial Co Ltd v Yap Kwee Kor – the end of goodwill in the tort of passing off' in Landmark Cases in Property Law, S Douglas, R Hickey & E Waring eds (Hart Publishing, 2015)​
  • "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and the Right to a Fair Trial", in C Geiger (ed), Research Handbook on Intellectual Property Law & Human Rights (Edward Elgar, 2015)
  • 'The United Kingdom' in International Copyright Law & Practice, eds Nimmer and Bently (LexisNexis, 2015)
  • 'The role of the Court of Justice in the development of European Union copyright law' in I Stamatoudi and P Torremans, Copyright Law in the European Union (Edward Elgar, 2014)
  • 'Pre-empting conflict – a re-examination of the public interest defence in United Kingdom copyright law', forthcoming [2014] Legal Studies
  • 'The United Kingdom's public interest 'defence' and European Union copyright law' in G Westkamp & N Lee (ed), Intellectual Property & Publicity Rights (Edward Elgar, 2014)
  • Concepts of Property in Intellectual Property Law, ed with HR Howe (CUP, 2013)
  • 'Dematerialisation, pragmatism and the European copyright revolution', [2013] Oxford Journal of Legal Studies.
  • 'Constitutionalising or harmonising – the Court of Justice, the right to property & European copyright law' [2013] European Law Review 65
  • 'Fundamental rights & European IP law – the Case of Art 17(2)' in C Geiger (ed), Constructing European Intellectual Property (Edward Elgar, 2012) (with L McDonagh)
  • 'United Kingdom' in R Hilty (ed), The Balance of Copyright (Springer, 2012)
  • 'Criminal liability for intellectual property infringement in Europe' the impact of fundamental rights? in C Geiger (ed), Criminal Enforcement of Intellectual Property; a Blessing or a Curse? (Edward Elgar, 2012)
  • 'Infopaq, BSA and the 'Europeanisation' of United Kingdom Copyright Law' [2011] Media & Arts Law Review
  • "Rhetoric and the 'Three-Step Test': Copyright Reform in the United Kingdom" [2010] EIPR 309
  • 'Unsticking the Centre-Piece' the Liberation of European Copyright Law' (2010) 2 Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology & e-Commerce Law, 87
  • 'Copyright's Imperfect Republic and the Artistic Commonwealth',  in L Bently, J Davis & JC Ginsburg (eds) Copyright & Piracy: an Interdisciplinary Critique (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
  • 'Copyright and Image Rights' in Carter-Ruck on Libel and Slander (ed A Mullis) (LexisNexis, 2010)
  • The ''Three-Step Test'' in European Copyright Law: Problems and Solutions [2009] IPQ 428

PhD Supervision

Jonathan Griffiths has supervised a number of PhD students to completion.

He is currently supervising Shane Burke’s Modern Law Review studentship-funded research project on the relationship between conceptual art and copyright law.

He welcomes proposals in his areas of research interest.

Public engagement

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