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Professor Uma Suthersanen, LLB (Hons) (Singapore), LLM (London), PhD (London), Advocate and Solicitor to the Supreme Court of Singapore

Professor of International Intellectual Property Law

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8081


Uma Suthersanen

Dr Uma Suthersanen holds a Chair in International Intellectual Property Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). She is the Academic Co-Director of the London LLM in Intellectual Property Law programme, as well as one of the Co-Directors of the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute. She is the current editor of Sweet & Maxwell’s European Copyright and Design Reports, and a founding/current editor of Queen Mary Studies in Intellectual Property. She has served as a consultant and/or given evidence to UNCTAD, UNESCO, WIPO, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Governments of Israel and Singapore. She is a Visiting Overseas Fellow of the Intellectual Property Academy of Singapore.

Her analyses on innovation, second tier inventions, utility models, design and public domain have been cited extensively, including in the UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report 2007, in the Indian Government’s Discussion Paper on Utility Models (DIPP, 2011), in the World Trade Organization’s Working Paper on Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Export Diversification: the Application of Utility Model Laws (2014); in the Innovation Policy Platform (World Bank & OECD); by the WIPO Secretariat, in the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, Seventeenth Session, 2010; and in the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements 2016.

She is the lead author of the European Commission’s Legal review on industrial design protection in Europe, 2016; the Primary Investigator and one of the lead authors of the report Innovation without Patents: Harnessing the Creative Spirit in a Diverse World, commissioned by the Singapore I.P. Academy (2007); and the author of the report Utility Models and Innovation in Developing Countries, commissioned by United Nations Conference on Trade & Development and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (2006).

She is/has been in various British and international committees including: Executive Committee of the British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association (Chairman from 2006-10; Vice-Chairman from 2010-2013); Executive Committee Member of the Association Litteraire et Artistique Internationale (2006-2016); British Copyright Council (Copyright and Technology Working Group, 2004-2012); British Computer Society (Legal Advisory Committee, 2004-2011); Working Group on Trade and Intellectual Property, Geneva Trade & Development Forum on Inclusive Globalization (2007-8); Institute for Public Policy Research (Advisory Board, 2006-7); AHRB Copyright Research Network, Birkbeck, London (Core Member, 2004-7); and the Creative Commons (England & Wales) (Legal Advisory Board, 2004-10).

She is currently working on a monograph on human rights, heritage and intellectual property rights (based on a £140 000 AHRC grant from 2010-2012), and the second edition of the Global Intellectual Property Law (with G. Dutfield). Her previous publications includes several authored and co-edited books: Shifting Empire: 100 Years of the Copyright Act 1911 (with Ysolde Gendreau, Edward Elgar, 2012); Design Law in the European Union and the United States (Sweet & Maxwell, 2010); Global Copyright: Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1710 to Cyberspace, (with L.Bently & P.Torremans) (Edward Elgar, 2010), Innovation Without Patents: Harnessing the Innovative Spirit in a Diverse World, (with G.Dutfield & C.Kit Boey) (Edward Elgar, 2007) and Copyright and Free Speech (with J.Griffiths, Oxford University Press, 2005).

She has been a visiting professor to institutions around the world, including the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogota), Université Robert Schuman (France), University of Maastricht (Netherlands), University of Western Ontario (Canada), Ss. Cyril and Methodius University (Macedonia), and University of Washington, St. Louis (USA). On QMUL's LLM programme, she is the Module Convenor for Global Intellectual Property Law (Fundamental Principles in Semester A; Technology and Policy in Semester B); Copyright Law (Comparative Copyright in Semester A; International Treaties and Cross-Border Litigation in Semester A); Design and Intellectual Property; and Art, Ethics and Cultural Values (running 2017-2018).



Authored Books

Edited Books

Articles and Chapters in Books

  • “Textiles, Competition and Design”, in Competition Policy And Intellectual Property Rights In An Interdependent World Economy, eds Robert D. Anderson, Nuno Pires De Carvalho and Antony Taubman, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2017
  • “Cross-border Copyright Protection in Europe” in Research Handbook on Design Law, ed. Henning Hartwig, Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2017.


  • “The EU Directive on Orphan Works”, in Copyright in the European Union, Eds. Irini Stamatoudi & Paul Torremans, Edward Elgar, ISBN 978 1 78195 242 9 (with Maria Mercedes Frabboni), 2015
  • “Copyright and Manufactured Objects: Aesthetic Considerations and Policy Discriminations”, Sage Handbook Of Intellectual Property, Eds. Matthew David and Debora Halbert, ISBN 9781446266342, 2014
  • “Function, art and fashion: do we need the EU design law?” In CONSTRUCTING EUROPEAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: ACHIEVEMENTS AND NEWS PERSPECTIVES (Ed. Christoph Geiger), Edward Elgar, ISBN - 978 1 78100 163 9, 2013
  • "Albion's Legacy?", in Eds. U. Suthersanen & Y. Gendreau, Shifting Empire: 100 Years Since the Imperial Copyright Act of 1911,  Edward Elgar, 978 1 78100 308 4, 2013
  • "The First Global Copyright Act", in Uma Suthersanen & Ysolde Gendreau (eds), Shifting Empire: 100 Years Since the Imperial Copyright Act of 1911, Edward Elgar, 272pp, ISBN 978 1 78100 308 4, 2013
  • "Global Intellectual Property Law" (with G. Dutfield), in G. Ziccardi Capaldo, ed., The Global Community: Yearbook of International Law & Jurisprudence Vol. 2010, Oxford University Press, 7-34, 2012
  • "The Design/Copyright Overlap: Is there a Resolution?" (with Sam Ricketson) in, Neil Wilkof & Shamnad Basheer (eds), Overlapping Intellectual Property Rights, Oxford University Press, pp. 159-187, ISBN: 9780199696444, 2012.


  • Penguin Dictionary of Law - 100 definitional, discursive, and biographical entries in intellectual property (J. Webb, editor, Penguin), ISBN-13: 9780141027272, 2010
  • "Copyright as an Engine of Free Speech: An English Perspective", in Copyright and Freedom of Expression, Huygens, pp.167-187, ISBN 9788493598129, 2008
  • "Creative Commons – the other way" [2007] 20(1) Learned Publishing 59-68, ISSN: 0953-1513
  • "Some initial thoughts on copyright, human rights and market freedom", in G. Westkamp (ed.), Emerging Issues in Modern Intellectual Property: Trade, Technology, Market Freedom, Edward Elgar, pp.35-53, ISBN: 1 84542 775 0, 2007
  • "Copyright Law: A Stakeholder's Palimpsest", in F. Macmillan (ed.) New Directions in Copyright Law, Edward Elgar, pp.119-134, ISBN: 9781 84542 264 6, 2007
  • "Bleak House or Great Expectations? The Literary Author as a Stakeholder in Nineteenth-Century International Copyright Politics", in H. Porsdam (editor), Copyright and Other Fairy Tales, Edward Elgar, pp. 40-60, ISBN: 1845426010, 2006
  • "Technology, Time and Market Forces: The Stakeholder in the Kazaa Era", in M. Pugatch (ed), The Intellectual Property Debate: Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy, Edward Elgar, pp.230-267, ISBN:1845420381, 2006


  • Harmonisation or Differentiation in Intellectual Property Protection? The Lessons of History (with G. Dutfield) [2005] 23(2) Prometheus 131-147, ISSN: 0810-9028
  • “Towards an International Public Interest Rule? Human Rights and International Copyright Law”, in J. Griffiths and U. Suthersanen (eds.), COPYRIGHT AND FREE SPEECH, Oxford University Press:Oxford, 97-124 pp, ISBN 0199276048, 2005
  • "DNA Music: Intellectual Property and the Law of Unintended Consequences" (with G. Dutfield) [2005] 18(1) Science Studies 5-29, ISSN: 0786-3012
  • "The Innovation Dilemma: Intellectual Property and the Historical Legacy of Cumulative Creativity", (with G. Dutfield) [2004] 8 Intellectual Property Quarterly 379-421, ISSN: 1364-906X
  • "Harmonising Design Law in a Free Trade Area: Jurisprudential Lessons from the European Union and the United States", in C. Antons, M. Blakeney and C. Heath (editors), Intellectual Property Harmonisation Within ASEAN and APEC, Kluwer Law International, pp. 57-92, ISBN: 9041122923, 2004
  • "The European Court of Justice in Philips v Remington: Trade Marks and Market Freedom" [2003] 7 Intellectual Property Quarterly 257-283, ISSN: 1364-906X
  • "Copyright and Educational Policies: A Stakeholder Analysis" [2003] 23 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 586-610, ISSN: 0143-6503
  • "The Economic Efficacy of Utility Model Protection, in C. Heath and A. Kamperman-Sanders" (editors), Industrial Property in the Bio-Medical Age, Kluwer Law International, pp. 231-256, ISBN: 9041199268, 2003
  • "The Role and Structure of the United Kingdom Copyright Tribunal", in Y. Gendreau (editor), Institutions Administratives Du Droit D'Auteur / Copyright Administrative Institutions, Éditions Yvon Blais: Montreal, pp.481-504, ISBN: 2894516010, 2002
  • "A Comparative Review of Database Protection in the European Union and United States", in F. Dessemontet and R. Gani (editors), Creative Ideas for Intellectual Property, CEDIDAC: Lausanne, pp.49-89, ISBN: 28819750451, 2002
  • "Napster, DVD and All That: Developing a Coherent Copyright Grid for Internet Entertainment", in E. Barendt and A. Firth (editors), Yearbook of Copyright and Media Law, Oxford University Press, pp.207-250, ISBN: 0199245843, 2002

Before 2002

  • "Incremental Inventions in Europe: A Legal and Economic Appraisal of 2nd Tier Patents" [2001] Journal of Business Law pp.319-343, ISSN: 0021-9460
  • "The Legislative Experience of Collecting Societies in European Union Member States", in Gestão Colectiva do Direito de Autor e Direitos Conexos no Ambiente Digital, Portuguese Ministry of Culture/E.U. Presidency/European Commission: Lisbon, pp.111-154, ISBN: 9729868301, 2001
  • "The Law of Copyright" and "The Law of Design", in I. Purvis and J. Pierce (eds),Working with Technology: Law & Practice, Sweet & Maxwell, pp.195-230, pp.231-256, ISBN: 0421598107, 2001
  • "Collectivism of copyright: the future of rights management in the European Union" in E. Barendt and A. Firth (editors), Yearbook of Copyright and Media Law, Oxford University Press, pp.15-42, 2000
  • "Legal and economic aspects of bioprospecting", in M. Blakeney (ed), Intellectual Property Aspects of Ethnobiology, Sweet and Maxwell, pp.43-83, ISBN 0421684305, 1999
  • "Breaking down intellectual property barriers" [1998] 3 Intellectual Property Quarterly 267-294

General, International and Comparative Intellectual Property

  • A brief tour of the utility model law [1998] 20(2) European Intellectual Property Review 44-51
  • "Exclusions to design protection: a new model", in A Sterling (ed), Intellectual Property and Market Freedom, Sweet and Maxwell, pp.1-61, ISBN 0421607009, 1997
  • “Hodgkinson and Corby Ltd” [1995] Journal of Business Law 197-200
  • “Ford Motor Company's Application” [1994] Journal of Business Law 513-14

Policy Briefs, Reviews and Non-Refereed Articles

  • “A2K and the WIPO Development Agenda: Time to List the Public Domain”, UNCTAD-ICTSD Project on IPRs and Sustainable Development, Policy Brief Number 1, December 2008, published in BRIDGES 13(1), ISSN 1684 9825, 2009
  • “Copyright in the Courts: The Da Vinci Code” [2006] 9(3) WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MAGAZINE 12-14
  • Book Review: On the Origin of the Right to Copy: Charting the Movement of Copyright  Law in 18th Century Britain (1695-1775) (R. Deazley), [2006] 28(4) EUROPEAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REVIEW 256
  • “Europe Rejects The Linguistic Struggle....and the Software Patents Directive” [2005] 1(8) KNOW IP 3-5; and in MANAGING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, with Stockholm Network, 59-61 pp, September 2005
  • Huzzah for Kazaa or R.I.P. Kazaa?, in A. Jensen and M. Pugatch (eds), INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY FRONTIERS: EXPANDING THE BORDERS OF DISCUSSION, Stockholm Network: London, 22-23, 2005
  • Identifying Stakeholders’ Interests in Copyright and Commerce, in INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND RIGHTS OWNERSHIP, Westminster Forum Projects:London, 42-45, ISBN 1905029101, 2005
  • Book Review: Copyright in a Global Information Society: The Scope of Copyright Protection under International, United States, United Kingdom and French Law (M.F. Makeen). [2003] 25(1) EUROPEAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REVIEW 48
  • L’attuazione della Direttiva 98/71/CE sul design nel Regno Unito”, in La tutela del Design nell’Unione Europea, Curia Mercatorum Publishing, Treviso, 2002
  • Book Review: The Making of Modern Intellectual Property Law (Sherman/Bently) [2001] 5 EDINBURGH LAW REVIEW pp. 399-402
  • Book Review : Dalloz Code de la Propriété Intellectuelle (Sirinelli/Pollaud-Dulian/Durrande) [1998] 4 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY QUARTERLY pp. 530-531
  • “Most Sacred Property”, with H.G.Lim [1994] MANAGING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 41-45
  • “Authorship and Ownership of Industrial Designs” [1994] MANAGING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY  23-34
  • “A Jolly Good Bill - Their Lordships Consider the Trade Marks Bill”, with B. Tutt, [1994] TRADE MARKS YEARBOOK 34 – 40
  • “Pig Fenders -“Commonplace” [1993] 24 EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES TRADE MARK ASSOCIATION NEWS 39-45.

Commissioned Reports and Policy Briefs

Legal review on industrial design protection in Europe, commissioned by the European Commission, 2016 - lead author

Development Dimensions of Intellectual Property in Cambodia – Copyright and Culture, commissioned by United Nations Conference on Trade & Development, 86pp (approximately), forthcoming - lead author

Developing a Positive Agenda for Copyright Issues for the CEMAC for EPA Negotiations, commissioned for ICTSD/ACDIC CEMAC Regional Dialogue on European Partnership Agreements, IPRs and Sustainable Development, 21 pp, 2008

Utility Models and Innovation in Developing Countries, jointly commissioned by United Nations Conference on Trade & Development and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva, Issue Paper 13, 68 pp, ISSN: 1681-8954, 2006

The Legal and Economic Feasibility of Utility Model Protection in Singapore, commissioned by the Singapore Intellectual Property Academy, with Dutfield and Chow, 2005 - lead author

Copyright, Education, and Fundamental Freedoms: The Right to Knowledge, commissioned jointly by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development “Regional Arab Dialogue”, Geneva, 2005

The Future of Copyright Reform in Developing Countries: Teleological Interpretation, Localized Globalism and the “Public Interest” Rule, commissioned jointly by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development “Bellagio Dialogue on IPRs and Sustainable Development”, Geneva, 2005

Harmonisation or Differentiation in Intellectual Property Protection? a report commissioned by the the Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva, with G. Dutfield, 2004

The Legislative Experience of Collecting Societies in European Union Member States, for the European Commission and Portuguese EU Presidency Colloquium on Collective Management of Copyright in the Digital Environment (Evora), published in Gestão Colectiva do Direito de Autor e Direitos Conexos no Ambiente Digital, Portuguese Ministry of Culture/ European Commission, 111-54 pp, ISBN 9729868301, 2001

An Assessment of Educational Exceptions in Copyright Law, a report commissioned by the Intellectual Property Institute, published in Copyright–Whose Flexible Friend in the Information Society?, Intellectual Property Institute:London, 30-56 pp, ISBN 1874001618, 2001

The New Draft Designs Directive, a report commissioned by the Intellectual Property Institute:London, pp. 1-15,  ISBN 1874001480, with A. Firth, 1997

PhD Supervision

Professor Suthersanen has first supervised 15 students to successful completion, and second supervised an additional 8 students. From the academic year 2017-2018 onwards, she is willing to supervise on the following aspects of intellectual property law and policy: traditional knowledge, cultural heritage, history of design / art, human rights and socio-economic aspects, IPRs and education, life sciences, competition and IPRs.

Current students are:

  • Paula Westenberger (Queen Mary School of Law scholar): Freedom of expression, performance art and copyright : A socio-legal analysis of the Brazilian jurisprudence

  • Paraskevi Kollia, (Queen Mary School of Law scholar): Farmers rights vis-à-vis the right to food: The effect of EU intellectual property rights in contemporary Greece
  • Pinar Oruç (CCLS Herchel Smith scholar): The Effect of Copyright Laws on the Preservation and Digitisation of Cultural Heritage
  • Natalie G. S. Corthésy: What’s In A Name?”: International Intellectual Property Protection of Nation Brands
  • Shane Burke (School of Law Graduate Teaching scholar, as 2nd supervisor): Disintegrating reification: developing artistic practice and copyright’s increasing struggle for relevance
  • Kelvin Sum: Syncing copyright with the online digital environment
  • Heesob Nam: A Human Rights Approach in Global Intellectual Property Regime: ‘Trade Related’ v. ‘Human Rights Related’

Postgraduate supervision

The following students were first supervised and have successfully obtained their doctorates:

  • Lynda Oswald: United States multi-actor patent infringement doctrine and the role of specialised appellate courtspassed January 2016

  • Vivian Mak (Queen Mary AHRC scholar): Patenting human genetic material: a comparative study – passed November 2014
  • Mary Gani-Ikilama (Herchel Smith scholar): An analysis of the effects of copyright law on the creative autonomy of the performing author in the Nigerian popular music industrypassed November 2014
  • Henry Nampandu (Commonwealth scholar): The conflict between copyright and the right to education: a least developed country perspective with specific reference to Ugandapassed summer 2014
  • Pawarit Lertdhamtewe (Herchel Smith scholar): Intellectual property rights and development: reforming plant protection regime in Thailand for development objectivespassed summer 2014
  • Shang-pei Chung (Taiwanese Government Scholar): Patents as property in Taiwanese jurisprudence: rebuilding a property model for patents  – passed autumn 2013
  • Gaetano Dimita: Copyright and shared networking technologies
  • Jairak Euarchukiate (Thai Government scholar): Access to essential medicines and patents in Thailand
  • Maria Mercedes Frabboni (Herchel Smith scholar): Collective management of music rights: a test of competition and industrial organization theories
  • Mark Abell: The regulation of franchising in the EU
  • Beverley Pereira: A regional approach to the management of copyright in the Caribbean community
  • Phillip Johnson: Private international law, intellectual property and the Internet
  • John Cahir (Herchel Smith scholar): A harmony between private and common ownership: the evolution of property in digitally networked information societies
  • Marisella Ouma: Copyright Enforcement in Sub-Saharan Africa

The following students were second supervised to successful completion:

  • Marta Diaz Pozo (Herchel Smith scholar, as second supervisor): Patentability Requirements’ Failure in Biotechnology Patents: The EC Directive on Biotechnological Inventions
  • Athina Loverdou: Copyright and freedom of expression: revising the Berne Convention
  • Estelle Derclaye: In search of an adequate legal protection of databases: a comparative analysis
  • Martin Kuppers: Third-party copyright liability of online service providers in the UK and USA
  • Johanna von Braun: Do public policy objectives have a space in the negotiation of bilateral free trade agreements?  A study of multi-level diplomacy and the making of intellectual property law
  • Rajesh Sagar: The evolution of patent policy in India from 1856 to 2005
  • Hanan Almawla: The problem of author’s moral rights in conflicts of laws
  • Ke Shao: The justice of balance: understanding intellectual property from Chinese historical and philosophical perspectives
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