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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

Professor Uma Suthersanen is a member of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies. She is the Vice-Chairman of the British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association (Chairman from 2006-10), an Executive Committee Member of the Association Litteraire et Artistique Internationale, the editor of the European Copyright and Design Reports; a founding editor of Queen Mary Studies in Intellectual Property, a Member of the  International Association of Teachers and Researchers in Intellectual Property; and a Visiting Overseas Fellow of the Intellectual Property Academy of Singapore. Her previous offices and positions include 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 has served as a consultant and/or given evidence to the following bodies: UNCTAD, UNESCO, WIPO, European Parliament, Government of Israel, Government of Singapore/ Singapore Intellectual Property Academy, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. Her list of publications includes several books: Shifting Empire: 100 Years of the Copyright Act 1911 (Edward Elgar, 2012), Design Law in EU and US (Sweet & Maxwell, 2010); Global Intellectual Property Law (Edward Elgar, 2008), and Copyright and Free Speech (Oxford University Press, 2005).

She is currently working on the 2nd edition of Global Intellectual Property Law, as well as on a monograph on cultural heritage and intellectual property rights (based on a £140 000 AHRC grant from 2010-2012).


Postgraduate teaching:

Professor Suthersanen is the course director of the following courses in 2013-2014.

LLM Programme (London)

  • QLLM149 - Global Intellectual Property Law
  • QLLM045 - International and Comparative Law of Copyright and Related Rights - 2013/14
  • QLLM132 - International and Comparative Design Law - 2013/14

LLM Programme (Paris)

  • QLLP047A - Foundations of Global Intellectual Property Law
  • QLLP047B - Current Issues in Global Intellectual Property Law
  • QLLP049A - UK, EU and US Copyright Law
  • QLLP049B - Current Issues in International Copyright Law
  • QLLP050B - Intellectual Property Management in Design Industries
  • QLLP050A - EU and US Design Law



Authored Books

Edited Books

Articles and Chapters in Books

Global and Historical Aspects of Intellectual Property

  • "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
  • "Copyright as an Engine of Free Speech: An English Perspective", in Copyright and Freedom of Expression, Huygens Editorial, pp.167-187, ISBN 9788493598129, 2008
  • "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
  • Harmonisation or Differentiation in Intellectual Property Protection? The Lessons of History (with G. Dutfield) [2005] 23(2) Prometheus 131-147, ISSN: 0810-9028
  • "Review: On the Origin of the Right to Copy: Charting the Movement of Copyright  Law in 18th Century Britain (1695-1775)", [2006] 28(4) European Intellectual Property Review 256

Socio-Economic and Policy Aspects of Intellectual Property

  • "Copyright and Manufactured Objects: Aesthetic Considerations and Policy Discriminations", Sage Handbook of Intellectual Property (Matthew David and Debora Halbert, eds.), forthcoming 2014
  • "A2K and the WIPO Development Agenda: Time to List the Public Domain", Bridges 13(1), ISSN 1684 9825, 2009
  • Developing a Positive Agenda for Copyright Issues for the CEMAC for EPA Negotiations, for ICTSD Regional Dialogue on European Partnership Agreements, IPRs and Sustainable Development, 21pp, 2008
  • "Utility Models and Innovation in Developing Countries", UNCTAD / ICTSD, Geneva, Issue Paper 13, 68pp, ISSN: 1681-8954, 2006, cited in UNCTAD Least Developed Countries Report 2007
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Europe Rejects The Linguistic Struggle....and the Software Patents Directive" [2005] 1(8) Know IP 3-5
  • "The Legal and Economic Feasibility of Utility Model Protection in Singapore" (with G. Dutfield & K.B.Chow), Singapore Intellectual Property Academy, 2005
  • "Identifying Stakeholders' Interests in Copyright and Commerce", in Intellectual Property and Rights Ownership, Westminster Forum: London, pp.42-45, ISBN: 1905029101, 2005
  • "Human Rights and International Copyright Law", in J. Griffiths and U. Suthersanen (Eds), Copyright and Free Speech, Oxford University Press, pp.97-124, ISBN: 0199276048, 2005
  • "Positive Agenda for Copyright Reform for Developing Countries", UNCTAD / ICTSD, Geneva, 2005
  • "Education, IPRS, and Fundamental Freedoms: The Right to Knowledge", UNCTAD/ICTSD, Geneva, 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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Incremental Inventions in Europe: A Legal and Economic Appraisal of 2nd Tier Patents" [2001] Journal of Business Law pp.319-343, ISSN: 0021-9460
  • "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

  • "Function, Art and Fashion: Do We Need the EU Design Law?", in Constructing European Intellectual Property: Achievements and New Perspectives, Ed. Christophe Geiger, Edward Elgar, pp. 355-381, ISBN: 9781781001639, 2013
  • "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
  • "Creative Commons – the other way" [2007] 20(1) Learned Publishing 59-68, ISSN: 0953-1513
  • "Copyright in the Courts: The Da Vinci Code" [2006] 9(3) World Intellectual Property Magazine 12-14
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "An Assessment of Educational Exceptions in Copyright Law" in Copyright-Whose Flexible Friend in the Information Society?, Intellectual Property Institute: London, pp.30-56, ISBN 1874001618, 2001
  • "Review: The Making of Modern Intellectual Property Law (Sherman/Bently)" [2001] 5 Edinburgh Law Review 399-402
  • "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
  • A brief tour of the utility model law [1998] 20(2) European Intellectual Property Review 44-51
  • "Review : Dalloz Code de la Propriété Intellectuelle (Sirinelli/Pollaud-Dulian/Durrande)  [1998] 4 Intellectual Property Quarterly 530-531
  • "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
  • "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

PhD Supervision

Professor Suthersanen is willing to supervise on the historical, policy, human rights and socio-economic aspects of intellectual property law. She is currently not accepting supervision requests in the spheres of: internet and copyright; copyright and the music industry.

Current students are:

  • Henry Nampandu (Commonwealth scholar): The conflict between copyright and the right to education: a least developed country perspective with specific reference to Uganda (submitted)
  • Pawarit Lertdhamtewe (Herchel Smith scholar): WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement): Intellectual Property Rights and Development: Reforming Plant Protection Regime in Thailand for Development Objective (submitted)
  • Nila Sensarkar (from 2012): Bollywood and its relationship to copyright law (submitted)
  • Vivian Mak (Queen Mary scholar): Developing Guidelines for Patenting Living Organisms: A Comparative Interdisciplinary Study in the E.U., United States and Canada
  • 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 industry
  • Heesob Nam (Herchel Smith scholar): IPRs, human rights and free trade agreements (deferred currently)
  • Lynda Oswald (part-time): Secondary liability in intellectual property infringement in the US
  • Shane Burke (as second supervisor): Disintegrating Reification: Developing Artistic Practice and Copyright’s Increasing Struggle for Relevance
  • Marta Diaz Pozo (Herchel Smith scholar, as second supervisor): Patentability Requirements’ Failure in Biotechnology Patents: The EC Directive on Biotechnological Inventions

Postgraduate supervision

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

  • Shang-pei Chung (Taiwanese Government Scholar): Patents as property in Taiwanese jurisprudence: rebuilding a property model for patents
  • 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:

  • 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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