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Intellectual Property Research Group

Unit(s) of assessment: Law

Research theme: Sustainable Futures

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.


IP Research Group contribution to New IP Education Book

The book launch of Teaching IP Law, Strategy and Management will take place on 21 June 2023.  The event is being hosted by University College London at UCL Laws, Bentham House, London.

Dr Janice Denoncourt contributed a Chapter to the new book edited by Jacques & Soetendorp.  All three, and many of the books’ contributors are members of the European Intellectual Property Teaching Awareness Network (EIPTN) based at Bocconi University.

Janice will deliver a presentation on fostering and integrating sustainability awareness IP law education. Dr Denoncourt’s chapter will enable IP educators to consider the rationale for integrating the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the annual WIPO IP Innovation Index into IP law and innovation teaching, learning and assessment.  The book launch will form part of the inaugural Teaching IP Law, Strategy and Management Conference.  For more information about the new book, see Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dr Janice Denoncourt joins the UKIPO’s IP in Universities & Colleges Stakeholder Group

Earlier in April, Dr Janice Denoncourt, an intellectual property rights expert, was invited to join the UK Intellectual Property Office’s IP in Universities & Colleges Stakeholder Group.   This is the UKIPO’s main stakeholder group, managed by the IPO’s Knowledge Exchange and Education Policy (KEEP) Team.

Image of the Intellectual Property Office

The aim of the group is to provide a strategic overview and steer on IP in innovation, share good practice and identify areas for possible engagement. Membership is by invitation only, and comprises representatives from academia including government, higher education institutions and representative organisations. Janice recently participated in her first quarterly meeting to discuss the UKIPO’s new Intellectual Asset Management free online resource that will be launched shortly. Janice has previously contributed to the UKIPO’s Horizon Scanning Exercise to assist shape the UKIPO’s research and policy agenda.

IP Research Group Lead, Dr Janice Denoncourt, celebrates World IP Day at the Institute of Directors in London

Held at the historic Institute of Directors in Pall Mall, London IPAN's returned to its first 'in person' knowledge sharing event on 26 April 2023 with a fabulous panel of experts and Q&A session and was a resounding success. This year, the theme was 'Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity' with a panel of experts discussing the successes of women in the creative industries and the challenges they face in accessing and protecting IP.  The speakers included Dr Janice Denoncourt, a Director of IPAN, with special guests, IPAN members and attendees including our NLS PhD IP Scholar, Ms Michelle Okyere.  The Expert Panel, Q&A and networking reception was heled at the elegant Institute of Directors (IoD) in London.

Sign saying IPAN The Intellectual Property Awareness Network

This very special event was chaired by IPAN Chairman John Ogier, who welcomed speakers Penny Phillpotts from the Intellectual Property Office UKAndrea Brewster OBE, Lead Executive Officer of IP Inclusive and former President of The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Attorneys; Kristen Tapping, Entrepreneur and Product Design Engineer, currently developing GoRolloe, a startup that creates air filtration devices for vehicles to capture harmful particulate matter in urban areas; Sarah Talland, trade mark attorney with Potter Clarkson LLP; Dr Bola Olabisi FRSA, Founder & CEO of GlobalWIIN (which she set up in 1998 in recognition of the challenges that women face in bringing commercially viable products and breakthrough developments to market) with GlobalWIIN & IPAN Award Winner Patience Nwodu FRSA - Inventor and creator of Chibu Reusable Carriers; and Associate Professor Dr Janice DenoncourtNottingham Law SchoolNottingham Trent University and Author of 'Intellectual Property, Finance and Corporate Governance' (2018).

The World IP Day event was exceptionally well-attended by over 50 guests representing IP law firms, academics, practitioners, inventors, creators and entrepreneurs. During the event, IPAN Chair John Ogier presented a gift on behalf of IPAN's Board, Members and Partners to Professor Emerita Ruth Soetendorp for her decades of dedication to the IPAN mission as a valued member of the IPAN Board.

Further, the event was sponsored by partners Potter Clarkson, Briffa, The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, and Sybaris Legal & IP.

View the photos and video reel

View the Event Programme

If you wish to become a Member of IPAN today for priority and complimentary invitations to future IPAN events and initiatives please contact Dr Denoncourt or visit the website.

For further information on IPAN’s mission, stakeholder engagement initiatives and partnership opportunities, please get in touch with the IPAN Secretariat.

Dr Janice Denoncourt of Nottingham Law School awarded the Prix de la Délégation générale du Québec à Londres

On Friday, 21 April 2023 at the British and Canadian Studies (BACS) Conference 2023 held at Senate House, University College London, Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt of Nottingham Law School was awarded the Prix de la Délégation générale du Québec à Londres.  The prize is administered by the BACS Awards Committee and has been awarded for research on Quebec for the past 37 years.

The Prize is awarded for the best proposal to carry out research involving Québec.  Dr Denoncourt's comparative Quebec-UK law research project involves examining the new corporate transparency and disclosure law which recently came into force in Quebec and will impact on UK businesses seeking to register in the province.   The research will form a strand of her corporate governance, transparency, and disclosure project, and contribute to Nottingham Trent University’s Connecting Globally research theme.

The Agent-génerale of the Quebec Government in London, Madame Line Rivard, a former Bank of Montreal banker, was there to present the prize.

Dr Janice Denoncourt with Agent-génerale Madame Line Rivard &  Associate Professor Tony McCulloch, BACS President

Dr Janice Denoncourt with Agent-génerale Madame Line Rivard &  Associate Professor Tony McCulloch, BACS President.

The BACS Conference took place at Senate House, University of London, from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 April 2023. There were about 20 speakers and 50 attendees from 9 different countries. This was the first in-person BACS Conference since 2019 and there was lots of positive feedback from those present during and after the conference.

September 2022

Nottingham Academic appointed to Academic Advisory Group on accounting standards reform

Janice Denoncourt has been appointed to the Academic Advisory Group (AAG) , set up by UK Endorsement Board (UKEB). The UKEB influences, endorses and adopts new or amended accounting standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for use by UK companies.

Read the full article

15 September 2022

NLS Researcher to present at Cambridge University EPIP Conference 2022

In September, one of our own researchers from the NLS Research Group will present their work at the following significant international conference on 14th-16th September:

European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP 2022) Conference

EPIP logo

Source: Cambridge University

The 17th Annual Conference of European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) will take place in Cambridge, UK, from 14 to 16 September 2022, hosted by the Innovation and IP Management (IIPM) Laboratory and the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL), University of Cambridge.

The theme of the conference this year is: “Opening IP for a better world?

The conference ( brings together academics in diverse fields such as economics, law, management science and political science as well as stakeholders and policymakers for theoretical, empirical and policy-oriented presentations and discussions on IP rights asst protection, technology and innovation.

Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt will present, ‘Impact of new Sustainable Development Standards on Corporate Reporting of Intangibles and Intellectual Property Monopolies’.   She sheds light on the pioneering new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) guidelines which elevate the status of non-financial information such as corporate intangibles and IP right assets, when material..  Additional narrative corporate disclosure in annual reports for example, is a crucial step in achieving a higher level of corporate transparency and ‘opening IP for a better world’. See for additional information.

12 September 2022

Introducing Joanna Wisniowska, new NLS IP Research Group

Joanna is a newly appointed lecturer at NLS and a PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham. She joined the IP Research Group in September this year.

Joanna is completing her doctoral project developing an original theory of interpretation of the so-called patent morality exception tailored to the structure and judicial organisation of the newly created Unified Patent Court expected to begin its operation in 2023. She has been supervised by Prof. Paul Torremans and Dr Andrea Tosato and is currently awaiting her viva voce examination.

Joanna obtained her qualifying master's degree in law at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) – Faculty of Law and Administration, which is known for its well-established Intellectual Property Institute being the largest IP research centre in Poland, maintaining a close collaboration with WIPO and the Polish Patent Office. During her studies, Joanna began her specialisation in private law and intellectual property. For the last two years of her studies, she attended seminars organised by Prof. Elzbieta Traple. During this time, she prepared a dissertation titled: The Effects of Commencement of Winding-up Proceedings on Intellectual Property Licence Agreements, which was one of the first pieces analysing the newly enacted Polish Restructuring Act 2016 and including a reform proposal with a special focus on the protection of parties of copyright and patent licence agreements.

Following graduation, Joanna moved to the UK and obtained a Magister Juris degree at the University of Oxford. During her studies at Oxford, Joanna has continued her specialisation in intellectual property, as well as corporate law and financial markets regulation. After obtaining her MJur degree, Joanna returned to Poland and practised law in a top-tier firm specialising in intellectual property law, IT law, and Technology Media and Telecommunication. She was involved in the works of the Patent and Trademark Team and IT-Telco Team. She offered comprehensive legal services to clients from private and public sectors, including technology, pharmaceutical, beauty, literary, and fashion industries, whilst also involved in legal works surrounding major infrastructural projects in Poland. She was mainly responsible for trademark- and registered designs-related cases, including proceedings before Polish authorities and EUIPO in Alicante.

Joanna’s research interests include trademark and patent law, with special focus on European and international intellectual property law. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary topics at the intersection of IP law, commercial law, corporate finance, insolvency law, and law and biotechnology. At present, she is engaged in a collaborative publication project, "Edgar Encyclopaedia of Intellectual Property", supervised by distinguished IP scholars from around the world, aimed at drafting a complete guide on all areas of intellectual property law.  Her colleagues Adam, Ezinne and Janice are also contributors.

June 2022

Spotlight on UCL’s Annual Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture 2022

Associate Professor Janice Denoncourt is a Director of the IP Awareness Network (IPAN) an independent think tank in London.  Her fellow IPAN Director Mandy Haberman’s experience of patent infringement was selected by Professor David Vaver, keynote speaker, to illustrate Mr Justice Laddie’s intellectual property cases. Sir Hugh Ian Lang Laddie (1946-2008) was a High Court judge and thought leader in the IP law field with a corpus of case law judgments delivered over three decades.

Sir Hugh Ian Lang Laddie

Source: Creative commons licence

Held annually, UCL’s Annual Sir Hugh Laddie lecture was chaired by Professor Sir Robin Jacob (UCL).  Professor Vaver of Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Toronto and the University of Oxford (Emeritus)), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Member of the Order of Canada.  He delivered a lively lecture with the curious title, ‘'Mr Justice Laddie and his intellectual property cases: Of millefeuilles and a fish called Elvis’. The hybrid live event was streamed globally, attracting a large in person audience to UCL’s Institute of Brand and Innovation Law at the Cruciform Lecture Theatre in London on 22 June.

IPAN Director Jan Denoncourt is delighted to report that when discussing Justice Laddie's patent cases, Prof Vaver selected Mandy's patent infringement litigation:  Haberman and V and A Marketing Limited v Jackel International Limited (Pat C 15 Jan 1999).  In fact, discussion of Mandy Haberman’s case closed the lecture with Prof Vaver displaying his Haberman cow design Anywayup® cup as a prop.

Prof Vaver Anywayup® cup

Source:  Creative Commons licence

Mandy is the founder and director of Haberman Global Innovations (see She is a renowned product designer and inventor, awarded the British Female Inventor and Innovative Network (BFIN) Female Inventor of the Year 2000.

The famous patent case decided by Sir Hugh Laddie concerned Mandy’s non-spill cup technology (Anywayup®) that revolutionised the global nursery baby feeding products market.    Her success has led to copycats including the legal battle against Jackel International Limited (Tommy Tippee® brand).  The patent infringer Jackel had deployed a common tactic, namely arguing that Mandy’s invention was obvious.  Sir Laddie clearly disagreed, deciding in favour of Haberman noting in his judgment,

1) the technology answered a long felt want (ie. for a cup that sealed automatically and was totally non-spill when out of the child’s mouth;

2) the answer to the problem was simple and the solution had been under the noses of those in the industry - but they hadn’t seen it; and

3) the product achieved rapid commercial success.

Therefore, Mandy’s invention wasn’t obvious.  Justice Laddie concluded, ‘The development was sufficiently inventive to deserve monopoly protection.’

Since then, Mandy has accrued over 30 years’ experience safeguarding her valuable IP rights.  She is recognised authority on corporate theft and patent infringement, going on to successfully defended her own IP beyond the UK in the USA and Europe.   See

During the Q&A session, fellow Jan was proud to mention Mandy’s ongoing work with IPAN and the Global Women’s Inventors and Innovators (GlobalWIIN) to an audience mainly of academics and practitioners.  Professor Vaver said he had the great pleasure of serving on an IP Committee with Mandy an inventor with extensive IP expertise in her own right.    Mandy explains to entrepreneurs:

Must have innovation, combined with ‘wow’ factor design is the secret of success, but the serious commercial value lies with your IP.  As an inventor, it is important to understand how the patent system works and to do as much as you can to protect your IP before you share information. I knew the AnyWayUpCup® had great commercial potential, so I spent a lot on intellectual property rights, registering patents in all my strategic markets – but it paid off! My patents held up. By protecting my ideas, I was finally able to secure my position in the market and reap benefits from years of hard work.  The AnyWayUpCup® technology revolutionised the  nursery market. Valved cups are now the standard worldwide. I would have lost             everything if I had allowed people to continue infringing.  

The above material was originally published in J Denoncourt et al publication Degree shows & Displaying Your Creative Work (2016) pp22-23.

Call for papers

Perspectives for Post-COVID 19 Recovery and Sustainable Development:
A Law and Development Discourse

Dr Ezinne Igbokwe is pleased to announce a call for papers for a one-day hybrid in-person and virtual Workshop, generously funded by the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS).  The Workshop is being jointly organised by Dr Augustine Arimoro of Roehampton University School of Law and Dr Igbokwe of Nottingham Law School.

Workshop theme:  
Perspectives for Post-COVID 19 Recovery and Sustainable Development:
A Law and Development Discourse

Event description:

This Workshop will consider the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic globally and the strategies for recovery. The periods of lockdowns and the challenges faced highlighted the need for the protection of specific people groups including LGBTI, the elderly, persons from minority communities and persons with disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed undue pressure on healthcare services around the world and in the United Kingdom. There have been reports that the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths were vastly underestimated especially during the first and second waves of the pandemic. There were challenges with tests and tracing as well as with the enforcement of lockdown in some parts of the globe, especially in countries in the Global South where adequate relief was not provided for citizens who were being mandated to remain at home during the initial lockdowns in March to May 2020. The lockdown down in some parts of the world brought significant hardships with the closure of businesses such as restaurants and the ban on international travel.

With less than eight years to the 2030 target for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, there is a need to play catch up given that the pandemic has set the entire globe backwards. The Workshop aims to propose strategies for global recovery post-COVID-19 as the world works towards attaining Agenda 2030. The Workshop will consider what role law and legal frameworks can play toward global recovery, especially in law and economic development, law and technology, law and the environment, Intellectual Property and human rights law. We intend to invite speakers from different global contexts that have engaged in discussions in this area of law and practice. The focus will be to suggest proposals to policymakers on ways to approach the recovery process.

Papers are invited to discuss sustainable development in relation to the following areas (non-exhaustive guide):

  • Human rights
  • Law and development
  • Law and the environment
  • Law and technology
  • Law and intellectual property among others

Abstract Submission Details:

Abstract of no more than 250 words (excluding title) should be submitted via email to copying

The deadline for submissions is August 5, 2022. Speakers will be notified by August 10, 2022.

Papers should be presented in no more than 20 minutes.

Event details:

Date: 15th (Thursday) September 2022

Time: 10:00 – 16:00

Cost: Free (Food included) – This event is funded by the Society of Legal Scholars Small Projects and Events Fund

Location: Court Room, Mandela Building, Roehampton Law School, University of Roehampton, London, UK

For more detailed information please contact: copying

May 2022

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.

April 2022

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.

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.

People in an underground South African mine

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:

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 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 or

Associate Professor Janice Denoncourt is a Director of the London-based Think Tank, the Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN) see

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.

July 2021

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 focused 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.

June 2021

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 focused 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 comprises colourful, 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 (

Michelle is a qualified Ghanaian lawyer with leading Ghanaian firm Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah ( 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 focuses 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).

April 2018

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. Focusing 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.

November 2017

‘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

June 2017

Janice Denoncourt organised the Tenth Anniversary European IP Teachers' Network Conference at Lund University, Sweden.

March 2017

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

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.


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 Studentship 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
  • European Accounting Association (EAA)

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

Dr Denoncourt 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 over 50 delegates and provided an opportunity for IP academicsto reflect on the past and future of IP education.  IP educators generously shared their innovative work and learned from some of the best IP education thought leaders in Europe.

Related staff


PhD Students

Michelle Okyere (LLB, LLM, Vice-Chancellor's PhD Studentship Award 2022)

Project Title: The Role of the Geographical Indications (GIs) in Facilitating Access to Sustainable Finance by SMEs in Africa.

This research seeks to analyse the role of GIs in encouraging sustainable development of local producers in Africa by promoting access to finance for their businesses. The research will focus on non-agricultural products and will use case studies from Ghana to identify the potential benefits of GIs for such SMEs in Africa. The research also sets out a roadmap for acquiring such GI rights as well as suggestions for drafting of the AfCFTA IP protocol and its implementation.

DoS Associate Professor Dr J Denoncourt, Second Supervisor Dr Adam Buick

Mohamed Al Kharusi

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’.

The extensive use of the internet by children has given rise to concerns about their digital privacy.1 The General Data Protection Regulation (‘EU GDPR 2018’)2 treats children as a ‘special class of data subjects’3 without clearly explaining how to do so in practice. Privacy policies set out a website’s data handling practices, however, they are typically complex, lengthy documents that deter users from reading them.4 A comparative analysis examining the adequacy of data privacy laws in the EU, the U.S. and Canada in protecting children’s digital privacy is carried out, followed by a multiple-case study evaluation of popular videogame policies. As a result, an original child-friendly model privacy policy was drafted, designed to inform the development of best practice in treating children as a special class of data subjects.

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

Prasert Jarunratanasri


DoS Associate Professor Janice Denoncourt, Second Supervisor Professor David Ong

PhD awarded 2017

Martin Szarkiszjan

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

Find out more about NTU Doctoral School PhD 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 Order 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,

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

IP, Brexit and Beyond –Opportunities and Challenges: Report of an IPAN Panel and Workshop on 15th March, 2017 J Denoncourt contribution at         pp21-22

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’ [2016] 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

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 videogame 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:

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.

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