About the Centre
The Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL) was established in 2004 to expand the work of the Intellectual Property Unit. It exists to foster the study of all aspects of intellectual property law and information law and associated subjects. It organises conferences, seminars and visiting lectures, undertakes research and collects material in these expanding and controversial fields.
The European content of its work is growing with the rapid penetration of EC and other measures, such as the European and Community Patent Conventions, Community trade mark, registered design and plant variety right, and the various harmonisation directives in the areas of copyright and designs, e-commerce, Internet content regulation and data protection. The Centre is also particularly interested in the development of British Commonwealth and United States law and in the relevant international conventions, including the TRIPs Agreement (Trade-Related Intellectual Property) of the World Trade Organisation. Its current research includes in particular the protection of biotechnological inventions, the development of digital technology, rights in cyberspace and the impact of intellectual property on international trade.
The Centre has been fortunate to receive from funding and bequests from Dr Herchel Smith which enabled the establishment of the Herchel Smith Chair in Intellectual Property, held by Professor Lionel Bently, the the Herchel Smith Lectureship held by Dr Kathy Liddell and Herchel Smith College Lectureship held by Dr Jennifer Davis.
Dr Herchel Smith was a biochemist at Cambridge and Harvard Universities who benefited considerably through International Property Rights, and has been keen to support research into the field of Intellectual Property Law.
The CIPIL, (formerly the IP Unit, directed by Professor Bill Cornish) was opened in October 2004.
The event included a seminar on the Future of Research in Intellectual Property. The speakers included Professor Joseph Straus, Director of the Max Planck Institute for IP in Munich, and Professor Jane Ginsburg of Columbia University, who at the time was Goodhart Professor at the Faculty of Law at Cambridge.
An archive of the IP Unit website is available here.