Intellectual Property Research Group
Unit(s) of assessment: Law
Research theme: Safety and Security of Citizens and Society
School: Nottingham Law School
Intellectual property rights are property rights in something intangible and they reward innovation and creative activity. The Intellectual Property Research Group is led by Janice Denoncourt and aims to lead research in this field within the East Midlands region. The focus of the group is on:
- IP law and practice
- IP law education
- IP commercialisation
- IP finance and corporate governance
- Data protection
Located within Nottingham Law School, the IP Research Group comprises staff who engage in research and conference presentations as well as teaching on programmes including:
- Undergraduate LLB
- Postgraduate Diploma in Commercial Intellectual Property
- LLM in Intellectual Property Law
- LLM in Intellectual Property Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation and Advocacy Professional Qualification
- Professional Certificate in Trade Mark Practice.
- Staff are also willing to supervise MPhil and PhD students in the IP law field.
India-UK IP Scholars Celebrate World IP Day 2022: Youth and Innovating for a Better Future
On 4-6 May. the inaugural India-UK International Virtual Intellectual Property Conference to Celebrate World IP Day took place over 3 days, jointly organised by the IP Research Group and NTU Global, together with our institutional partner Panjab University, Chandigargh, India.
India and the UK's IP ecosystems were explored from a variety of perspectives.
J Denoncourt gave a keynote speech on 'Youth and Innovating for a Better Future'.
Special guests from the UK included:
Huw Watkins, Head of Asia Policy, UK Intellectual Property Office, Wales, UK
Prof. Cillian Ryan, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International)
Professor Jane Jarman, NLS IP Research Group
Eminent speakers from India included:
Prof. R Tewari, DPIIT-Chair, Panjab University, Chandigarh
Prof. Raj Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh
Dr. Yogesh Pai, DPIIT-IPR Chair Professor, National Law University, Delhi
Dr. Jatinder K Arora, Exec. Director, Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, Chandigarh Prof. Raman Mittal, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, Delhi; Visiting Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Dr. Parvinder K Maini, Scientific Secretary, Office of Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt. of India Prof. Devinder Singh, Chairperson, Dept. of Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh
Special World IP Organization (WIPO) Guest:
Alex Riechel, Head, TISC Development Section, IP for innovators Department, Geneva, Switzerland.
Over 110 people attended the Day 1 Inaugural Session virtually.
On Day 2 Indian and UK IP experts shared their research from socio-economic; jurisprudential, IP management, commercialisation, technology transfer and IP education perspectives.
'The IP PhD Research Journey' was a special session in which three of NLS' early career researchers and PhD scholars contributed sharing their PhD research journeys:
Dr Ezinne Igbokwe
Dr Adam Buick
PhD candidate Martin Szarkiszjan.
The event showcased NLS' vibrant IP research capability and doctoral research culture.
"The IP Research Journal panel showcased a wide range of research interests, from IP in pharmaceuticals to protection for geographical indicators in India and the challenges to current IP norms posed by the emergence of AI. I presented on my own "IP research journey" from undergrad to lecturer, and my research on IP rights in pharmaceutical test data as well as the impact of the internet of the use and value of trade marks.
This session demonstrated the wide range of activity within IP research, and why scholars come to be interested in IP. I learned a lot and am looking forward to seeing how the research of my fellow presenters develops in the months and years to come." – Adam Buick
The programme of speakers was jointly organised by NTU Associate Professor J Denoncourt and Panjab University's Professor Rupinder Tewari and Professor Devinder Singh.
On Day 3, Professor Jane Jarman and Peter Vaughan, IP Research Group members, presented a well-received talk on ‘From Class Room to Court Room: Lessons from Integrated Approach to IP Education’.
The conference culminated with a lively Roundtable on 'Stimulation of the IP Ecosystem in the Academic Sector' moderated by Professor Tewari and Dr J Denoncourt with the participation of Professor Jane Jarman and Mr Peter Vaughan.
Many thanks as well to NTU Global's Stephen Williams, Ms Vidhi Sahae and Dr Vasileios Adamidis who facilitated the joint event.
We estimate that over the course of the 3-day event over 200 people joined us.
Sustainability, Coloured Gemstones and Cultural Heritage: New Research by Associate Professor Denoncourt
Supporting Sustainable Development Goal 5 Gender Equality and Entrepreneurship in the Tanzanite Mine-to-Market. Sustainability 2021, 13, x. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/7/4192
Creating a sustainable future can be controversial especially in the mining sector in Africa, with the need to balance environmental concerns, alleviate poverty, and create employment opportunities leading to economic empowerment of women.
This article tackles those thorny questions. Tanzania has been blessed with a highly desirable unique resource, Tanzanite – the mesmerising purple-hued gemstone, that will be forever associated with the country. Dr Denoncourt analyses how a strategy for Tanzania’s tanzanite coloured gemstone mining sector could foster gender equality in the mine-to-market (M2M) supply chain, whilst enhancing opportunities for female entrepreneurship as part of the country’s sustainable economic development. In the mining industry, the contemporary concept of mapping artisanal and small-scale mining to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is a newer aspect of sustainability.
Drawing on personal experience and interdisciplinary research in mining law, sustainability, entrepreneurship and intellectual property rights, Dr Denoncourt provides an original analysis of post-colonial small scale artisanal coloured gemstone mining and economic empowerment opportunities for women. Before turning to academe, Associate Professor Janice Denoncourt worked as a laboratory analyst at BHP-Billiton’s remote Mt Newman Mine—the largest open pit mine in the world located in the vast Pilbara region of Western Australia. This led to a legal career beginning in the mining and resources section of Freehill Hollingdale and Page (now Herbert Smith Freehills) Perth Office and then as in-house corporate counsel for a publicly listed Australian mining technology company which carried out mining activities in South Africa.
J Denoncourt is on the left, second row, in an underground South African mine
Dr Denoncourt argues that despite initiatives to support gemstone mining in Tanzania and East Africa, the role of women in the lucrative tanzanite M2M supply chain has been less visible and a missed opportunity. This is a concern, as in 2019, pre-COVID-19 pandemic, gemstone and precious metals accounted for an incredible 33.2% of Tanzania’s total exports. In contrast, in leading mining countries such as Australia and Canada, the participation of women continues to steadily advance, economically empowering the women involved. She writes that gender equity is an under-rated economic dimension of the sustainability ethos in the artisanal mining sector, which due to its income generation capacity, holds immense promise long-term sustainable development in Africa. Her new original work contributes a critical review of Tanzanian mining regulation and licensing practice in an historical and gender equality context, where men have long benefited from licences to mine in the best areas of the tanzanite mines.
At the front end of the mine to market (M2M) supply chain, Dr Denoncourt explains the developed world experience of increasing levels of gender participation in mining providing evidence of a reduced gender pay gap and enhanced mine safety practice when women are involved. She finds that given Tanzania’s substantial economic dependence on mining, a strict ‘keep it in the ground’ approach (while aspirational for the environment), denying one of the world’s poorest countries the use of their unique natural resource is simply unrealistic at this point in time. Dr Denoncourt suggests that the exceptional characteristics of rare, single-source tanzanite (a generational gemstone), gender equality and female mine-to-market (M2M) entrepreneurship has an undervalued, yet important, role to play in Tanzania’s future socio-economic development.
Intellectual Property and Gemstone M2M
Further along the M2 M supply chain, there are a range of roles for women in value-adding post-gemstone extraction. The creation of new intellectual property rights such as trade marks when branding female-founded entrepreneurial micro businesses and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) is a new dimension. Women’s creativity could also support the Republic of Tanzania’s sustainable development activities to leverage the ‘Tanzanite’ gemstone name and association with the country. Finally, Dr J Denoncourt identifies further contemporary value-creating opportunities for women in the downstream post-colonial Tanzanite M2M creative, cultural heritage and coloured gemstone tourism economy.
The open access article is available here: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/7/4192
29 October 2021
‘Integrating Sustainable Development Awareness in Intellectual Property Law Education’
Intellectual property (IP) education leading to a solid understanding and competent use of IP rights is imperative for unlocking innovation and accelerating diffusion processes to shape sustainability transitions on a global scale. As a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) contributes to the 19 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing concrete services to its member states, enabling them to use the IP system to drive the innovation, competitiveness and creativity needed to achieve these goals. Integrating sustainability awareness into the IP law education is highly relevant to the shifting contours of the current higher education landscape at the national and international levels. Associate Professor Dr Denoncourt addresses these themes in her new work, ‘Integrating Sustainable Development Awareness in Intellectual Property Law Education’ (2021).
A longstanding Module Leader on Nottingham Law School’s LLM Intellectual Property law programme (Intellectual Property Law LLM Postgraduate taught Course | Nottingham Trent University), Dr Denoncourt aims to assist IP law educators to reflect on both the theoretical underpinnings for sustainable development theory as well as the rationale for integrating an awareness of sustainability and the UN 2030 SDGs into postgraduate Masters level IP law teaching.
Jan is keenly aware that the participation of developing countries in the globalization of R&D and technology is uneven. She devised a new IP education learning activity involving the use of the Word Intellectual Property Organization’s IP Innovation Index 2021 (see www.wipo.int/global_innovation_index/en/2021/). The WIPO IP Innovation Index ranks the performance of national economies each year, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each country’s innovation ecosystem. Two key questions are the focus of the learning activity:
1. Economic Growth or Sustainable Development?
The aim is to enhance student’s critical thinking and active learning as to how the IP rights framework affects innovation across the world. In particular, the learning activity created focuses on UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 Innovation, Industry and Infrastructure from the perspective of developed, BRIC and developing countries to critically discuss the question: Economic Growth or Sustainable Development?
2. A new paradigm: IP embracing sustainable development
Dr Denoncourt’s transdisciplinary approach highlight a new connection between IP rights, innovation, creativity, economics, society and the global environment. She advocates that education concerning the global IP rights legal framework needs to ensure our students are equipped to participate in ongoing dialogue and vigorous debate regarding how best to achieve sustainable economic development. The dialogue concerns the important question ‘how best to grow sustainably?’ It also concerns questions regarding the relationship between IP rights and global welfare and stakeholders, not just the rights of IP creators and owners.
The complete paper ‘Integrating Sustainable Development Awareness in Intellectual Property Law Education’ (2021) is available online at: SSRN https://ssrn.com/abstract=3897254 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3897254
Associate Professor Janice Denoncourt is a Director of the London-based Think Tank, the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN) see www.ipaware.org.
IPAN brings together organisations and individuals drawn from business, commerce, education and the IP professions in the UK, all committed to championing the importance and understanding of IP as a vital ingredient for innovation and success of businesses, large and small. IPAN is constituted as a not-for-profit, membership organisation, independent of any sector lobbying group, and committed to the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all our activities. Since May 2020, Dr Denoncourt has been a Director and member of the Education Group and the Business & Finance Group. She qualified as a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Committee in 2017.
New publication by Associate Professor Denoncourt
Associate Professor Janice Denoncourt contributed a Chapter entitled 'IP, intangibles and banking capital adequacy ratios' to an important new publication in the field of sustainability, Intellectual Property and Sustainable Markets (13 July 2021) Edward Elgar Publishing.
The research in this volume studies the role intellectual property (IP) rights play in tackling the challenge of securing sustainable development. Scholars consider how the core objective of IP rights to promote innovation and development of new knowledge aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Chapters analyse selected interrelations between IP law and other areas of law, including energy and financial law.
Associate Professor Denoncourt’s chapter builds an exploratory case analyzing treating registered IPRs such as granted patents more favourably from a banking capital adequacy ratio (CAR) weighting standpoint. Doing so could improve access to debt finance and buttress sustainable finance initiatives. She argues that if climate change increasingly adversely affects value certainty in the UK housing market due to flooding, this fact may provide further incentive for central banks to consider levelling the playing field for registered IPRs as loan security.
Jan consulted Professor Nigel Wright, NTU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, renowned flood modelling expert. Wright’s research spans the use of computers to predict the movement of fluids in the natural and built environment expanding into cross-disciplinary aspects of flood risk management and climate change adaptation. He agreed that here may be an adverse impact on land and property values due to climate change in the future. Wright suggests that climate change will create risks other than flooding which may also impact on asset value in the housing market. He counsels that there is insufficient data available to assess the likely impact on lender’s security value at present and advocates that additional research on the subject of lender’s exposure to flood risk.
The book is edited by Ole-Andreas Rognstad, Professor of Law, Department of Private Law and Centre for European Law and Inger B. Ørstavik, Professor of Law, Department of Private Law and Centre for European Law, University of Oslo, Norway. Fellow contributors include C. Banet, J.B. Eisen, D.J. Gervais, H.M. Haugen, K.J. Osenga, T. Pilhajarinne and P.K. Yu.
This is a timely and thought-provoking book that argues for sustainable markets as an overreaching and contextual approach to the role of IP rights in tackling the challenges o f sustainable development, a key NTU research priority. It will be of value to students and scholars of intellectual property and environmental law, as well as policymakers, practitioners and NGOs concerned with corporate social and environmental responsibility.
PhD Success: NLS Lecturer Ezinne Igbokwe
We are delighted to announce that in June 2021 one of our newer IP Research Group staff members, Dr Ezinne Igbokwe, successfully defended her thesis entitled The TRIPS compulsory licensing regime and access to medicine: current challenges and future prospects.
Ezinne’s thesis focussed on paragraph 6 objective of the 2001 Council of TRIPS Doha Declaration, which recognises the effect of patent on price of drugs and the need to promote the effective use of compulsory license by countries with insufficient pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity. Consequently, under determinate circumstances, Article 31bis of the TRIPS Agreement permits the exportation of drugs that are produced under compulsory license to a needing state.
Her analysis of Article 31 bis TRIPS sought to determine the practicality towards the paragraph 6 objective. Her study identified the procedural requirements of Article 31bis, trade politics, advanced IP trade measures (TRIPS-Plus) in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and limited economies of scale as capable of confronting the potential of Article 31bis. These challenges were categorised as procedural (legal), political, substantive and economic challenges.
Ezinne argued that Article 31bis although problematic, is practicable and capable of satisfying the paragraph 6 objective especially within the existing Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa. She concluded that Article 31bis is capable of providing legal, economic and political solutions that can bridge the gap between the right of access to medicine and pharmaceutical patent protection.
Ezinne’s degree is to be awarded by the University of Nottingham and her examiners were Dr Alison Slade (University of Leicester) and Dr Ping Wang (University at Nottingham). She looking forward to further developing new research related to pharmaceutical patent protection and the influence on generic competition; the use of the TRIPS flexibilities to facilitate access to medicine; and patent strategies in the pharmaceutical industries.
WIPO’s Assistant Director General Professor Edward KwaKwa Special Guest at our Geographical Indications webinar
The NLS Intellectual Property Research group organised the launch event of NTU’s Global Cultural Heritage Series, entitled “Protecting Africa's Cultural Heritage: The Case for Geographical Indication Protection.” held on 7 May 2021.
Convened and moderated by Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt, we welcomed our keynote speaker Professor Edward KwaKwa, Assistant Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to start the proceedings. Professor Kwakwa discussed his incredible work with the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), the IGC process, as well as WIPO's IP policy work.
The international webinar focussed on Geographical Indications (GIs), now a form of collective branding IP right that originated in the EU and now a burgeoning global phenomenon. The African Union and the EU desire to implement a continental strategy to protect Africa’s cultural heritage from misappropriation. We explored two potential new GI protection case studies: traditional Ghanaian Kente textiles; and Tanzania’s single source purple-hued Tanzanite gemstones. The event culminated with a Q&A panel discussion.
Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt introduced the panel of law and university specialists. Jan is a qualified Australian Trade Mark Attorney and her interest in gemstones began when she studied geology at McGill University, worked onsite in the largest open pit mine in the world, and as a lawyer in Herbert Smith Freehills Mining & Resources section where she advised the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia. Jan was sole Inhouse Counsel for a publicly listed Mining Technology company with international operations in diamond, gold and platinum mining in South Africa. Jan spoke on the need to ‘Protect Tanzania’s culture heritage in Tanzanite gemstones: the role of IP rights’ on the basis that Tanzanite gemstones have an international reputation.
Michelle Okyere, LLM Nottingham Trent 2019 is a Ghanaian qualified lawyer with Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah. She is a recipient of a Nottingham Law School Outstanding Achievement Award. Michelle and co-author Janice Denoncourt recently published their article ‘Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Ghana’s Kente Textiles: the Case for Geographical Indications’ (12 February 2021) online in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP). The article forms part of a special issue celebrating the importance of GI research. The Kente case study provides a preliminary analysis of how Kente textiles, could potentially be registered as a non-food GI in Africa.
Peter Vaughan BA (Hons), LLM joined Nottingham Law School in 2020 and is a Chartered UK Trade Mark Attorney. Peter discussed modern trends in GI protection for non-food products with a view to protecting cultural heritage globally.
We were delighted that over 50 registrants attended the live event. Professor KwaKwa kindly emailed Dr Denoncourt after with the following comments:
“I thought the event on Protecting Africa's Cultural Heritage last Friday was a success, given the areas covered by each of the Speakers, and the number of people who had tuned in. Many thanks again for having invited me to be a part of it. Thanks again for the great work you are doing!”
Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt, Director Intellectual Property Research Group
7 May 2021
Protecting Ghana’s IP rights in kente textiles: the case for geographical indications
Michelle Okyere and co-author Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt recently published their article ‘Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Ghana's Kente Textiles: the Case for Geographical Indications’ (12 February 2021) online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice.
Geographical indication protection (GIs) are a global phenomenon, having spread from Europe to Asia-Pacific, the Americas and now Africa. The article forms part of a special GIs issue celebrating the importance of GI research co-edited by Professor Eleonora Rosati, University of Stockholm, and Sarah Harris (JIPLP Managing Editor).
The new article is timely given the African Union and European Union have recently agreed a continental strategy for developing GIs in food and non-food products in Africa (AU-EU Continental Strategy). The authors provide a case study and preliminary analysis to show how Ghana’s traditional kente textiles could potentially be registered as a Ghanaian GI to initiate the journey toward international GI protection.
Kente is an expression of folklore correlated to Ghana’s cultural heritage dating back over 300 years. It comprisescolourful, handwoven strips of fabric, combined by Ghanaian weavers among certain ethnic groups and communities. Its colours and unique designs have made it the best known of all Ghanaian, and perhaps even all West African textiles. Every design and colour has a distinct name and a meaning which is characteristic of the community in which it is produced. The article presents the link between kente and the Ghanaian communities. It analyses the misappropriation of the kente cloth by third parties. Further, it discusses the EU’s contribution to the development of GI protection and the proposals to extend the protection of GIs beyond agricultural products in the EU, adding to the sparse literature on the GI protection of non-food products in Africa. Finally, the kente case study illustrates the importance of developing African nations such as Ghana embracing GIs as a legal instrument to promote economic development. The article is available as an advance JIPLP Oxford University Press publication here: Protecting Ghana’s intellectual property rights in kente textiles: the case for Geographical Indications | Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
Michelle is a qualified Ghanaian lawyer with leading Ghanaia firm Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah (belonline.org) and Nottingham Law School alumna (LLM 2020), as well as the recipient of an NLS Outstanding Achievement Award.
Dr Janice Denoncourt is Associate Professor of Law at Nottingham Law School and leads the School’s Intellectual Property Research Group, see Intellectual Property Research Group | Nottingham Trent University.
On 7th May 2021, the authors will participate in Nottingham Trent University’s Global Cultural Heritage series event together with their guest speaker, WIPO's Professor Edward KwaKwa. Assistant Director General WIPO, Professor KwaKwa will speak on his work with the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), the IGC process and IP Policy. A fellow, Ghanaian, Professor Kwaka provided Michelle with valuable guidance and support during her WIPO Library research visit in Geneva in 2019. More details to be announced shortly.
Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt
1 March 2021
Associate Professor Denoncourt shares research at the American Bar Association Business Law Section Virtual Annual Meeting 2020
On 25 September Janice participated in the Financing Intellectual Property in Early and Growth Stage FinTech Companies section of the ABA’s Business Law Virtual Annual Meeting. The panel discussed legal issues that arise in the financing of intellectual property assets in the context of early and growth stage fintech companies. Dr Denoncourt presented her research entitled. ‘Fintech, intellectual Property and Corporate Governance’. Janice will continue her involvement as the panel is planning a new article to capture the key points of the presentations to be published in the ABA Journal.
IP PhD Scholar presents at SLS 2020 Graduate Conference
On 2 September 2020 Martin Szarkiszjan delivered a presentation titled ‘The Historical Comparison of Legal Development in the United Kingdom and Japan’ as part of the graduate stream of the 2020 Annual Conference of The Society of Legal Scholars.
The focus of the presentation was the analysis of the respective legal developments in the United Kingdom and Japan, and the ability to draw comparative legal conclusions from the course of legal development of the two geographic regions.
The presentation explored the era between the period before the development of positive laws, and the commencement of modernity and development of modern laws. The purpose of the research is to explore the similarities and divergent aspects of the legal development of the two regions, with the aim of defining a legal-comparative and legal-historical framework for the analysis of the causal origins of particular forms of legal evolution, such as the development of adjudication, fact-finding and other features legal systems exhibit. The presentation explored, amongst other things, the reception of the Ritsuryou code in Japanese law, legal evolution in the feudal era and the onset of modernity and the Meiji Restoration. In the context of the United Kingdom, the analysis follows a similar structure from the era of customary laws, through the Norman Conquest and to the end of feudalism and the commencement of modernity. The topic is one of the elements of his PhD research which focusses on the exploration of the trade mark regimes of the respective countries. Martin is supervised by Associate Professors Drs Janice Denoncourt and Graham Ferris
IPAN-CIPU online IP teaching workshop – July 8, 2020
In preparation for the autumn transition to online teaching of most IP courses, the UK Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN) and the US Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU), held a first, well attended (70 registrants), international Zoom workshop on July 8th to share good practice and practical tips amongst IP educators.
The open workshop was organised by Janice Denoncourt and Ruth Soetendorp (IPAN) and Mickie Piatt (CIPU), chaired by Ruth Soetendorp, and hosted by City University of London.
The programme was based around three themes, each followed by Q&A.
- IP teaching and learning with large student groups
- Vibrant Asynchronous/Synchronous IP teaching and learning
- Online assignments and assessment, IP Clinics and IP Awareness
The presenters were:
- Ruth Soetendorp (Workshop Chair), Professor Emerita IP Management and Law (IPAN Board), CIPPM, Bournemouth University, and City University of London
Theme 1 – IP teaching and learning with large student groups
- Dinusha Mendis, Professor in IP Law, Centre for IP Policy & Management (CIPPM), Bournemouth University
- Ulrika Wennersten, Senior Lecturer in IP Law and Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University
- Laurent Manderieux, Professor in IP Law, Bocconi University, Law Department
- Gabriele Gagliani, Professor Doctor, Bocconi University, Law Department
Theme 2 – Vibrant Asynchronous/Synchronous IP teaching and learning
- Janice Denoncourt, Senior Lecturer in IP Law (IPAN Board), Nottingham Trent University
- Joe Sekhon, Senior Lecturer in IP Law, Portsmouth University, IP Law Clinic, Knowledge Exchange Campus Creator
- Lisa Redman, UK Intellectual Property Office Policy
Theme 3 – Online assignments and assessment, IP Clinics and IP Awareness
- Caroline Coles, Senior Lecturer in IP Law, Aston Law School
- Kathryn and Andrew Penaluna, Professors in Enterprise Education, University of Wales Trinity St David
- Hayleigh Bosher, Lecturer in IP Law, School of Law, Brunel University
- Mickie Piatt, Professor in IP Law (CIPU Board), Chicago Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
2019 in Review – A Round-up of the IP Research Group Activities
Dr Janice Denoncourt, author of Intellectual Property, Finance and Corporate Governance (2018) had the pleasure of attending a meeting with the C-suite of the Canadian Business Development Bank in Montreal with a small group of invited IP experts. On 19 December Janice shared her views and IP in the boardroom research to raise awareness of the potential of IP-backed financing to senior executives including Jérôme Nycz, executive vice president at BDC Capital. By way of background, the Business Development Bank for Canada (BDC, French: Banque de Développement du Canada) is Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs. It is wholly owned by the Government of Canada. Also invited was Ms Lally Rementilla. Lally is well-known in the Canadian intellectual property (IP) backed finance world. BDC Capital, the bank’s investment arm, was considering creating a new CAD $160 million intellectual property (IP) development financing fund to support IP-rich companies who seek to commercialize their IP, increase their competitiveness and expand globally.
On 22 November Janice acted as Session 3 Chair, Centre for Marine Ecological Resilience and Geological Resources (MERGeR) IUCN Joint Workshop, “Assessing the Relationship between Access, Benefit-Sharing and Intellectual Property Rights over Marine Genetic Resources within the BBNJ negotiations”. Session 3 covered the relationship between IPR in the BBNJ agreement and Global and National IPR regime(s). This event was convened by Professor David Ong of Nottingham Law School.
On 21 November 2019 Dr Denoncourt’s research led to invitations to present, ‘What is the Corporate Value of Intellectual Property? At the London-based Think Tank, the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN). The event was held at Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Hall in London. Earlier in the autumn, Janice had been funded to travel to Oslo to deliver a detailed ‘A holistic valuation of corporate intellectual property’ at the Norwegian Industrial Patent Office which was well-attended and simultaneously streamed online.
A highlight of 2019 was the 38th Annual Congress International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP). This year the annual ATRIP conference was hosted by Professor Daniel Gervais at Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tennessee on 25-28 August. At this international peer-reviewed conference Janice presented her research, Does the rise of corporate patent ownership necessitate a reinvention of patent law?
Finally, congratulations to Dr Mobeen Shah and Dr Mohamed Al Kharusi who graduated in July 2019 (Dr J Denoncourt acted as Director of Studies).
IP Finance and Corporate Governance Research 2018 Highlights
Dr Janice Denoncourt completed the London Stock Exchange (LSX) UK Listing Rules, Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules Programme held on 11 July 2018. This LSX course supports her research on the disclosure and transparency of corporate IP Assets. Her attendance was possible thanks to funding generously awarded by the NLS Seed Corn Research fund in 2017. Janice went on to present two conference papers over the summer with a corporate flavour:
(1) ‘Intellectual Property and Corporate Social Responsibility’ at the 37th Annual Association of Teachers and Researchers in Intellectual Property (ATRIP) on 5 August 2018 at the Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki Finland; and
(2) ‘Corporate Reporting & Non-Financial Information: Intellectual Property-Reliant Business Models’ at The Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Annual Conference, Queen Mary University, London on 5 September 2018. Janice’s chapter “The English Dual Registration System for Taking Security over Patents and the Pathway to Reform” will soon publish in The Rise of Preventive Restructuring Schemes: challenges and opportunities (Edward Elgar).
On 25-26 April 2018 Janice presented her paper, Corporate Intellectual Property Assets and Sustainability at the Law and Sustainability in Global Value Chains: Due Diligence and Contracts in Focus International Symposium, Aarhus University, Denmark as part of the University of Oslo’s SMART/ IntraLaw Sustainability EU-funded Project. Her presentation focused on Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals which is to "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation". Innovation is largely protected by monopolistic intellectual property (IP) rights such as patents, designs, trade marks and copyright. In the era of globalization and innovation, IP rights have achieved an unprecedented level of commercial importance. However, an important societal concern is sustainable industrialization, the four pillars of which are sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder theory and accountability. At the conference, Janice introduced the international initiatives currently undertaken in the UK, the EU and internationally by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to support a sustainable innovation economy. Janice’s research focuses on how traditional manufacturing and simple supply chains have declined and are being replaced by the business models that operate in the digital, virtual economy. Firms with new technologies create new markets and value networks that impact on established markets, firms, products and alliances. At its heart, the pursuit of sustainable competitive advantage begins with the business model. SMEs that identify, protect and use their IP rights strategically have enormous potential to develop sustainable business models and grow their businesses. She analyses the dynamic elements in IP-reliant business models that will support sustainable enterprise. Janice is presenting developing a case study on lessons to be learned from the innovation-driven industries to illustrate the current intersection of the corporate IP and the sustainability discourse.
23 - 27 April 2018
Dr Denoncourt will be a featured author at the University's City campus Blackstone's Book Store Academic Book week 23-27 April 2018. Her new book "Intellectual Property, Finance and Corporate Governance" which published on 13 April 2018 is available through Blackstone's at a discount or direct from the publisher and is available from Routledge's website.
IP law has evolved from being a little pool to a big ocean. Denoncourt argues that corporate governance needs to respond to society’s rising expectations of directors and boards as the impact of the global intellectual property ecosystem is felt. How can a responsible corporate culture of IP transparency be stimulated to create a rosy future to connect corporate communication with the desires of shareholders, investors and other stakeholders? The astonishing lack of material quantitative and qualitative information companies report about their IP assets makes it difficult for shareholders and other stakeholders to assess directors’ stewardship of those assets – a pressing corporate governance issue in the 21st century. This book advances IP reporting in alignment with the key corporate governance principles of transparency and disclosure. It analyses the juncture between the IP ecosystem; corporate finance and accounting for intangibles; and corporate governance. Patents, mini-case studies and an original business triage style model for assessing IP disclosures are used to illustrate the gaps corporate governance theory needs to address. Focussing on the common law tradition of corporate governance in England and Wales, intangibles and IP reporting developments in other jurisdictions are also explored.
13 April 2018
What do Companies Need to Tell Us about their Intellectual Property Portfolios?
New book Intellectual Property, Finance and Corporate Governance will upend your understanding of why companies need to communicate more about how they manage corporate IP portfolios and their strategy for delivering shareholder value. It is unique, the first book to apply corporate governance principles to corporate ownership of monopolistic intellectual property (IP) rights that protect innovation and creativity.
Author, Dr Janice Denoncourt of Nottingham Law School, argues that IP rights have evolved from being “a little pool to a big ocean” of corporate value and that corporate governance needs to respond to society’s rising expectations of directors and boards.".
13 February 2018
Congratulations to Prasert Jarunratanasri (N0471612), who was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy on 13 February 2018.
Prasert’s thesis is entitled, ‘Comparative Law Approach to a Proposed Legislative Framework to Protect Digital Copyright on the Internet in Thailand’. Prasert, an experienced criminal prosecutor in Thailand, argues that Thailand does not have adequate specific measures to protect copyright work on the Internet.
His research considers three mechanisms as models for digital copyright protection. First, the Graduated Response approach to deter P2P file sharing adopted in France and the United States. Second, the banning of ‘fragrantly infringing websites’ approach used in Singapore and finally, the Notice and Take Down approach used in the United States to deter distribution under the client-server model. The comparative approach is used to reveal the degree of functionality together with their limitations and then develop a new model which will be critically evaluated in the context of Thailand. The outcome of the research is the design of a bespoke legal framework for effective copyright protection measures for the Thai jurisdiction.
Prasert was sponsored by the Thai Government to study at Nottingham Law School. His doctoral supervisory team comprised: Dr Janice Denonocurt (Director of Studies); Dr. Elizabeth Chadwick (Second Supervisor) and Professor David Ong. The External Examiner was Dr Ben Farrand of Warwick University and Simon Boyes, Senior Lecturer, acted as Internal Examiner.
‘Videogame websites, privacy policies and children’ Academic Poster, Society for Legal Scholars Conference 2017, Dublin
My name is Mobeen Shah. I am currently doing a PhD in Law at Nottingham Trent University. My thesis evaluates the adequacy of data protection and privacy laws in protecting online privacy rights of minors. To do so, I will carry out a comparative multiple case study of popular videogame website privacy policies that represent the jurisdictions of Europe, U.S.A., and Canada; as well as a critical analysis of the data protection and privacy legislation that regulates them.
I attended the SLS Conference held in Dublin from 5 September until 8 September 2017. This was a conference that exhibited diverse aspects of the law from Criminal Law to Law of Torts to Public and Family Law. My interest is cyberlaw where-in lecture presentations and poster displays were to take place on 5 and 6 September 2017.
Through my research, I have a better understanding of the fragile nature of online consent and its capacity to provide a misleading sense of security for the data subject. Consent is believed to provide users with the autonomy of choice.
During academic poster display session, students and lecturers from different universities asked me about my poster. I had to present my research questions and findings to people from different disciplines in only 1 or 2 minutes. It was a challenging experience but very enriching.
Mobeen Shah, NLS PhD Candidate
Janice Denoncourt organised the Tenth Anniversary European IP Teachers' Network Conference at Lund University, Sweden.
On 17 March 2017 Martin presented his paper entitled, “Trade Mark Law in a State of Anomie. Is it? Should it be?” at the New IP Lawyers Workshop, Ethics of Intellectual Property Rights: Challenges & Solutions at the Executive Business Centre, Bournemouth University. See https://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/cippm/2017/03/17/ethics-of-intellectual-property-rights-challenges-solutions-2/
Dr Denoncourt contribution of Chapter 1 to "Security Interests in Intellectual Property" was reviewed by IP-backed secured lending expert and author Kiriakoula Hatzikiriakos, Manager-Senior Legal Counsel in the Commercial/International sector of Legal Affairs at the National Bank of Canada. See https://www.koulah.com/single-post/2013/05/01/Review-The-Devil-in-Yellow-by-James-R-Price
IP Research Group members have worked together with professional bodies and institutions in the intellectual property law field including:
- Canadian Business Development Bank, Montreal
- Intellectual Property Awareness Network
- US Center for Intellectual Property Understanding
- City University, London, UK
- Centre for Marine Ecological Resilience and Geological Resources
- Norwegian Industrial Property Office
- Daughters of Themis Business Law Scholars
- UK Intellectual Property Office Research Experts Advisory Group (REAG) working group
- Nottingham Law School was awarded £24,900 in the StudentIshIP Enterprise Competition 2015 by the UK Intellectual Property Office for a project to help Art & Design students protect their IP during their final year degree shows.
- UK Intellectual Property Office awarded the Nottingham Law School £69,000 in the Fast Forward Competition to run a series of workshops entitled, 'Nottingham Creative IP' in 2014/2015.
- Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) to create the Professional Certificate in Trade Mark Practice launched in September 2011.
- Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
- Intellectual Property Regulation Board (IPREG).
- European Intellectual Property Teachers’ Network
- European Patent Office
- Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University
Working with us
The IP Research Group is interested in working with external stakeholders to develop IP law and data protection educational programmes, as consultants and to engage in collaborative research.
European Intellectual Property Teachers Network
Janice is a long-standing member of the EIPTN Organising Committee. She co-convened the 10th Anniversary EIPTN Conference (sponsored by the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office) with Jur. Dr Ulrika Wennersten which took place at the University of Lund, Sweden on 29-30 June 2017. The international conference attracted international delegates and provided an opportunity for IP academic to reflect on the past and future of IP education. IP educators generously shared their innovative work and we learned from some of the best IP education thought leaders in Europe.
- Dr Janice Denoncourt, Associate Professor
- Jane Jarman, Associate Professor
- Ms Joy Davies, Principal Lecturer
- Ezine Egbokwe, PhD Candidate and Lecturer
- Morgan Shimwell, Lecturer
- Dr Adam Buick, Lecturer
- Peter Vaughan, Lecturer and Trade Mark Attorney
- Chris Ryan, NLS Consultant on IP
- Mark Thomas, Senior Lecturer
- Jason Ellis, Senior Lecturer
- Martin Szarkiszjan, PhD Candidate and Guest Lecturer
Project Title: Establishing an effective Omani intellectual property system: an Omani cultural perspective.
This thesis critically analyses Oman's intellectual property rights legal framework taking into account Omani culture, and as a tool to further develop the country's national economy as well as the role played by IP administrative and religious institutions in supporting the growth and the level of IP awareness among Omani small and medium enterprises, considered to be the backbone of developing economies. With the Omani legal system as its central focus the research addresses weaknesses in the current literature by raising the issue of how the scope of western IP rights can be positively regulated under Islamic law and culture– which forms the basis of all Omani legislation. It is argued that the existing Omani IP system (copyright, patent and trademarks) can interact positively with Islamic law by respecting Omani culture, whilst also satisfying international agreements.
DoS Associate Professor Dr J Denoncourt, Second Supervisor Professor Rebecca Parry
PhD awarded in July 2019
Mobeen Imran Shah
Project Title: 'Critical analysis of online videogame privacy policies: data handling practices and evaluating children's digital privacy rights in Europe, the United States and Canada’.
External Examiner: Dr Dawn Hawkins, University of Leicester Internal Examiner: Simon Boyes, DoS Associate Professor Dr J Denoncourt, Second Supervisors Professor Rebecca Parry and Dr Ben Oldfield.
PhD awarded in 2019
A Proposed Legislative Framework to Protect Digital Copyright from End User Infringement on the Internet in Thailand: A Comparative Approach. PROPOSED LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK TO PROTECT DIGITAL COPYRIGHT FROM END USER INFRINGEMENT ON THE INTERNET IN THAILAND: A COMPARATIVE APPROACH PRASERT JARUNRATANASRI
DoS Associate Professor Janice Denoncourt, Second Supervisor Professor David Ong
PhD awarded 2017
Project Title: A Comparative Analysis of UK and Japanese Trade Mark Law and Ethics A comprehensive comparatively analysis of UK and Japanese trade mark law, institutions and respective trade mark attorney professions is carried out to establish the historical and cultural differences between the registration systems, especially with respect to the absolute grounds of refusal on the grounds of public policy and morality and the interplay of commercial realities.
DoS Associate Professor Dr J Denoncourt, Secord Supervisor Associate Professor Dr Graham Ferris
Fees and Funding
Denoncourt, J., Chapter ‘Corporate Intellectual property, Governance and Board Effectiveness Reviews in Large and Premium Listed UK Companies’ In: D. Gervais (ed.), Fairness, Morality and Ordre Public in Intellectual Property (2020) ATRIP Intellectual Property Series, Edward Elgar Publishing, ISBN 978 183910 436 7
Szarkiszjan, M. and Denoncourt, J. ‘Japanese Trade Mark Law and Benrishi: Preparing for Tokyo 2020’ (13 September 2019) Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Volume 14, Issue 11, Oxford University Press pp 850–863, https://doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpz112
Denoncourt, J. Companies and UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (2020) Journal of Corporate Law Studies, 20:1, 199-235, DOI: 10.1080/14735970.2019.1652027
Denoncourt, J. Intellectual Property, Finance and Corporate Governance (1st ed.) 13 April 2018 Routledge Research in IP Monograph Series (Hardcover 224 pages), Routledge (Taylor Francis Group) ISBN-10: 1138186252, ISBN-13: 978-1138186255. See https://www.routledge.com/Intellectual-Property-Finance-and-Corporate-Governance/Denoncourt/p/book/9781138186255
IP, Brexit and Beyond –Opportunities and Challenges: Report of an IPAN Panel and Workshop on 15th March, 2017 J Denoncourt contribution at pp21-22 http://ipaware.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/20170615_IP-Brexit_rpt_v6.pdf
Denoncourt, H. ‘Intellectual Property Law and Graffiti: Glorified Vandalism or a Legitimate Cultural Movement?’ (2017) Nottingham Law Journal Vol. 26, pp 127-129
Denoncourt, J. ‘True and Fair Intellectual Property Information: A Corporate Governance Issue’  Journal of Business Law, Issue 1, pp47-72.
Denoncourt, J. ‘The Creative Identity and Intellectual Property’ (2016) Nottingham Law Journal, Vol. 25, pp39-55, ISSN 0965-0660 at http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28746/
Denoncourt, J. ‘Using Film to Enhance Intellectual Property Law Education: the Social Network’(2013) European Journal of Law and Technology Vol.4, No.1.
IP Research Group members have published a variety of books, reports, and journal articles:
- Denoncourt, J. ‘Unblocking the Arteries at the Heart of IP-backed Debt Finance’ (26 September 2017) Oxford Business Law Blog.
- Denoncourt, J. ‘Patent Attorneys IPO due diligence’ (April 2016) CIPA Journal, Vol. 45, No. 4 pp 52-54.
- Denoncourt, J and Soetendorp, R. UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Research Report ‘Appendix A IP, Education and Training’ Banking on IP?’ research report (2013) UK Intellectual Property Office and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) at pp 220-221.
- Kelly, D., Hammer, R., Hendy, J. and Denoncourt, J., Part 6, Chapter 20 Intellectual Property Rights in Business Law (4th ed.) (2020) Routledge, London.
- Kono, T. (ed.), Denoncourt, J et al (2017) Security Interests in Intellectual Property: Perspectives in Law, Business and Innovation (13 Sept 2017) Springer Verlang Singapore ISBN-10: 9811054142.
- Shah, Mobeen (September 2017) Academic Poster entitled, Critical Analysis of online videograme website privacy policies: data handling practices for minors in Europe, U.S. and Canada, Society of Legal Scholars Conference, Dublin.
Nottingham Creative IP Project 2014-2017 Project team produced the following publications:
- Denoncourt, J., Jarman, J. and Johnson, N. Degree Shows and Displaying Your Creative Work (2016) Nottingham Trent University Publications Nottingham ISBN 978-0-9931112-2-8.
- Denoncourt, J. ‘The Creative Identity and Intellectual Property’ (2016) Nottingham Law Journal, Vol. 25, pp39-55, ISSN 0965-0660.
- Denoncourt, J., Paley, E., Jarman, J., Johnson, N., Davison, C., Clarke, P. The Nottingham Intellectual Property Guide for Creatives (May 2015) Nottingham Trent University Publications.
Nottingham Law Journal
Nottingham Law School publishes the Nottingham Law Journal. The journal was founded in 1977 (as the Trent Law Journal), changing to its current title in 1992. It is peer-reviewed and normally published annually.