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School of Law

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, Academic Director of the Intellectual Property Law LLM and the Deputy Director of the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS). She is also Editor-In-Chief of the Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property (QMJIP). She has consulted widely to industry, government, NGOs and practitioners, 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’s research interests are in intellectual property and the creative industries, particularly fashion and film, and animal welfare law and companion animal behaviour and science.

Johanna has published extensively in the fields of intellectual property, critical theory, and animal studies, is series editor for Intellectual Property, Theory, Culture (Routledge) 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 issues and areas in intellectual property, consumer behaviour and welfare. 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 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.


Professor Gibson has research interests in the creative industries, particularly fashion and film, and animal behaviour and welfare law and policy. She has a research and education background in cultural studies, critical theory, film, art history and law, and in animal behaviour science and welfare. Johanna maintains interdisciplinary research interests and publications. The Logic of Innovation (2014) explores the complex terrain of creativity, ownership and use in the digital environment. 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 an independent government review of intellectual property.

Johanna is also researching on animal welfare and public engagement, including novel and interdisciplinary modes of dissemination and policy impact, as well as the relevance of behaviour science in development and implementation of law and policy, particularly in relation to companion animals. Part of this research is also concerned with human-animal interaction, disability legislation, assistance animals, and access, with a focus on animal behaviour and animal-assisting learning and therapy. Johanna is also an academic member of the Association for the Studies of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), a member of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE), and shares her home with four rescue dogs and four rescue cats.

Johanna has 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 was also supported by an AHRC grant to examine patents and biotechnology in the research project, Patenting Lives, including the ethics of animal species and integrity in the context of biotechnology research. The project culminated in an international conference, with selected papers being included in the edited collection Patenting Lives: Life Patents, Culture and Development (2008) and contributed towards a monograph, Intellectual Property, Medicine and Health (2009), which she has just revised as a second edition, published 2017.

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).

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 website


Book Chapters

Journal Articles

Other Publications

Commissioned Reports


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


  • Deputy Director, Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI), 2021
  • 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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