School of Law

Image of Estelle Derclaye

Estelle Derclaye

Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Faculty of Social Sciences



Estelle Derclaye holds degrees in law from the University of Liège (Licence en droit; Diplome d'Etudes Specialisées en droit), The George Washington University (LLM) and London (PhD). She was awarded a Fulbright grant as well as Rotary and Baker & McKenzie scholarships to study for her LLM in the USA. She joined the University of Nottingham as a lecturer in 2006, became Associate Professor and Reader in Intellectual Property Law in 2009 and Professor of Intellectual Property Law in 2012. Before joining Nottingham, she practiced intellectual property in an international law firm in Brussels and prior to that, she was a lecturer at the Universities of Leicester and London (Queen Mary). Thanks to several Max-Planck Institute bursaries, she spent time at the Max-Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law (Munich) in 2002 and 2004 to work on her PhD.

Professor Derclaye's main interest is intellectual property law, in particular copyright and designs law, IP overlaps and IP and well-being. From 2008 to 2010, she was a member of the Copyright Expert Panel of the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy, which advised the UK Intellectual Property Office. In 2014, she has been appointed as a member of the unregistered rights expert advisory group advising the UK Intellectual Property Office. She is a member of the European Copyright Society, a group of European academics aiming to influence policy-making.

Professor Derclaye was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (2010) and at the University of Melbourne (2013) and a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore (2015). In 2012, as part of the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (CREATe), she was awarded funding (£61,024) to hire researchers to carry out research on copyright and open academic publishing (see literature review, PhD thesis pending on copyright and hold a stakeholders' workshop).

Professor Derclaye regularly gives lectures on copyright and design law in other law schools in Europe. She has done expert work for national and foreign law firms, the UK Intellectual Property Office and international organisations and welcomes requests for expert work from both the public and private sector. She also welcomes proposals for postgraduate research in all fields of intellectual property law. She currently supervises three PhD students and has previously supervised seven others who have all successfully defended their theses (see research students tab).

Professor Derclaye is the author of The Legal Protection of Databases, A Comparative Analysis (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008), editor of Research Handbook on the Future of EU Copyright (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) and Copyright and Cultural Heritage: Preservation and Access to Works in a Digital World (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010) and co-author with A. Strowel of Droit d'auteur et numérique: logiciels, bases de données et multimédia - Droit belge, européen et comparé (Bruylant, 2001) and with M. Leistner of IP Overlaps: A European Perspective (Hart Publishing, 2011). Since 2010, she updates the European Union chapter in P. Geller's treatise International Copyright Law and Practice, Lexis Nexis, now edited by Prof. Bently. Her new edited collection "The Copyright/Design Interface: Past, Present and Future" is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in 2017.

Her work has been cited with approval by the UK High court in Football Dataco v Sportradar [2012] EWHC 1185 (Ch), the Swedish Court of Appeal (Stockholm) (ATG v Unibet 2011) and Advocate General Bot (cases C-393/09 and C‑128/11, BSA and Usedsoft).

She gave her inaugural lecture on "Happy IP" 11 September 2014.

Her publications are also available on and

European Copyright Society opinions all available at :

Recommendation on Measures to Safeguard Freedom of Expression and Undistorted Competition in EU Trade Mark Law

European Copyright Society opinion on the Judgment of the CJEU in Case C-201/13 Deckmyn - Limitations and exceptions as key elements of the legal framework for copyright in the European Union

European Copyright Society letter to Commissioner Oettinger - December 2014

ECS Response to the European Commission Consultation on the Satellite and Cable Directive - 15 November 2015

Response to the European Commission's Consultation on Freedom of Panorama - 15 June 2016

Response to the European Commission's Consultation on a Neighbouring Right for Publishers - 15 June 2016

Trade mark protection of public domain works, A comment on the request for an advisory opinion of the EFTA Court Case E-05/16 - Norwegian Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights - appeal from the municipality of Oslo - 2 November 2016

NEW - Opinion on the EU Copyright Reform Package - 24 January 2017

If you are a journalist and would like to urgently get in touch with Professor Derclaye and she has not replied to your email yet, please contact her secretary Mrs Ann Chudleigh at +44 (0)115 951 5734.

Research Summary



Intellectual property overlaps

IP and happiness / wellbeing

IP and the environment / climate change

Selected Publications

  • DERCLAYE, E., 2012. Eudemonic intellectual property: patents and related rights as engines of happiness, peace, and sustainability Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law. 14(3), 495-543
  • DERCLAYE, E. and LEISTNER, M., 2011. Intellectual property overlaps: a European perspective Hart.
  • DERCLAYE, E., 2009. Patent's role in the protection of the environment: re-assessing patent law and its justifications in the 21st century International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law. 40(3), 249-273
  • DERCLAYE, E., 2008. The legal protection of databases: a comparative analysis Edward Elgar Publishing.

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising students who want to work on the following non-exhaustive areas:

  • trademarks, designs, copyright, patents, and related IP rights including unfair competition
  • empirical and/or historical approaches to any intellectual property right topic
  • the exhaustion principle, at European and international level and both for analog and digital copies

Current PhD Students

  • Wilson, Kenneth:

    Open Access and the Academy: An analysis of some salient Copyright and Related Legal Interfaces

    (co-supervised with P. Torremans)
  • Chave, Lynne: In Good Shape? A comparative evaluation of the registration of 3D product forms as designs and trade marks under EU and US Law (co-supervised with A. Tosato)
  • Thattaporn Lekhawatthanapong: The Public Interest Defence in the UK Copyright Law and International Copyright system (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans)

Former PhD students:

Park, Jae Il: Non-Producing Entities (NPEs) and an Injunctive Reliefs in Patent Infringement Lawsuits (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans) - completed 2012

Radonjanin, Andrea: IP Protection of Traditional Cultural Expressions and Traditional Knowledge of the Modern Communities (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans) - completed 2014

Leepuengtham, Tosaporn: The Protection of the Intellectual Property Rights in Outer Space Activities (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans) - completed 2014

Aluko, Ola: Implementing the WIPO Development Agenda Country Specific Recommendation: A Comprehensive Approach (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans) - completed 2015

Alghanim, Bashayer: The scope of Copyright law protection of computer programs study on Private international Law: Kuwait and England (co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans) - completed 2015

Jacques, Sabine, The right to parody? A Comparative Analysis (partly sponsored by by the Music Publishers Association (MPA), PRS for Music and the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), and co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans) completed 2016

Garstka, Krzysztof: Infringement of intellectual property rights, privacy and freedom of speech on the Internet: Striking a balance between all stakeholders and finding a pan-European solution (partly sponsored by Google and co-supervised with Professor Paul Torremans) completed 2016

School of Law

Law and Social Sciences Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5559