Professor Alison Firth

Emeritus Professor

Qualifications: MA, MSc, Barrister, CertEd, FRSA


Further information


Alison originally read physics at Oxford (St Hugh's College); later she took an MSc in polymer physics and taught physics and mathematics in London and in Lima, Peru. Pursuing an interest in patents, she qualified as a barrister and has practised in intellectual property chambers since 1983 (currently as a door tenant at Ingenuity Intellectual Property Chambers). From 1987 to 2004 she was a full time member of the intellectual property law unit at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London 9where she later became visiting professor). She was January Term Visiting Professor in the Law School at University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 2005. From 2005 to 2009 Alison was Professor of Commercial Law at Newcastle Law School, Newcastle University, where she is now a visiting professor. From 1994 to 2007 she was honorary legal adviser to the British Copyright Council. In February 2009, she took up a chair in law at Surrey. On her retirement in 2012 she was appointed Professor Emeritus in law at the University of Surrey. In February-April 2013 she was an Erskine visiting fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, returning to Canterbury as a KEENZ visiting scholar in March/April 2014. In 2013 and 2015 she taught patent law for Singapore's Intellectual Property Academy.

Research Interests

The law of intellectual property and its interaction with other areas of law, such as contract, competition law, civil and criminal procedure, conflict of laws, human rights

Research Collaborations

Together with Dr Alison Dunn and Ms Jenny Johnstone of Newcastle Law School, selected for inclusion in a Framework Agreement for the provision of research to the Standing Advisory Board on Intellectual Property (SABIP).


(with G Lea and P Cornford) Trade Marks: Law and Practice 2006, Jordan,
(with E Barendt, as general editor) Yearbook of Copyright and Media Law VI 2001-2; V 2000; IV 1999, Oxford University Press
(with J Phillips) Introduction to Intellectual Property Law, 4th edition 2001 (& earlier editions, Butterworths, now Oxford University Press)

Book Chapters
Competition in Spares – Comparative Design Law in Christopher Heath & Anselm Kamperman Sanders (eds.) ‘Intellectual Property, Spares, Repairs and Refills’ (Kluwer, forthcoming 2009)
Direct and Indirect Patent Infringement in T Takenaka (ed) ‘Patent Law and Theory: A Handbook of Contemporary Research’ (Edward Elgar, 2009)
Signs, surfaces, shapes and structures – the protection of product design under trade mark law
in G Dinwoodie, and M Janis, eds, ‘Trademark Law and Theory: A Handbook of Contemporary Research’ Edward Elgar 2008)
'Holding the line' -- The Relationship between the Public Interest and Remedies Granted or Refused, Be It for Breach of Confidence or Copyright In P Torremans, ed. ‘Copyright and Human Rights’ (2nd edn 2008, Kluwer Law International)
Seabirds, Series and Sonar: claiming registered rights In: G Westkamp, ed. ‘Emerging Issues in Modern Intellectual Property: Trade, Technology, Market Freedom’. Edward Elgar, 2007, pp. 233-253.
(With J Phillips) Border measures at the national level -United Kingdom. In: O Vrins and M Schneider, eds, ‘Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights through Border Measures - Law and Practice in the EU’. Oxford University Press, 2006,
Anton Piller Orders in Cane & Conaghan, eds, ‘New Oxford Companion to Law’ 2007, OUP

Journal Articles
Damages/monetary remedies for trade mark infringement
[2008] 1 Anuario de la Facultad de Derecho – Universidad de Alcala 73
(With E Gredley & S Maniatis) Shapes as trade marks [2001] EIPR 86-99


Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) peer review college member

Association of Teachers and Researchers in Intellectual Property (ATRIP) member

Bar of England and Wales, member

British Copyright Council, Hon legal adviser 1994-2007; chair of working group on private international law; member of working Group on New Technology to date

British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association (member, executive committee)

Chartered Institute of Patent Agents (associate member & member of Litigation Accreditation Board)

Competition Law Association, member

Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, associate member

Intellectual Property Bar Association, member

‘ius commune’ - personal member of ‘ius commune’ legal research school (established by university law schools of Leuven, Utrecht, Maastricht and Amsterdam)

Middle Temple, member

Oxford international intellectual property moot, judge 2009 and 2007

Royal Society of Arts, Fellow

Society of Legal Scholars, member (Convenor for Intellectual Property Section to 2007)

Recent conferences and seminars

Papers presented
Developments in biological method patents Northeast England Stem Cell Institute workshop on Regulatory Issues in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Science, Clifford Chance, London, February 2009
Authors, moral rights and readers’ interests: conflicts in the exploration of literary archives
European Society for Textual Scholarship Conference, University of Lisbon, November 2008
Recent Developments in English Patent Law and Procedure
European Patent Office SEPIA programme, Munich and The Hague, June 2008
The Contributory Infringement Issue: Case law and Comparative View
Union Congress Porto, May 2008
Trade Mark principles and litigation European Patent Office IP Workshop for the Judges of the CIS and Mongolia, Kiev, May 2008
Trade mark infringement and monetary remedies
Alcala University ‘Jornadas Sobre Innovación en la Empresa y Transferencia de Tecnología’, Madrid, March 2008
The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property: academic inputs
(keynote speech) at Canadian Intellectual Property Academy conference: Audience and Outreach, 2007, London, Ontario

Member of Executive Committee of the British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association, organiser of London 2009 (June) conference of Association Litteraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI)
Organised and chaired seminar Recent Developments in Intellectual Property, Newcastle Law School, January 2009
With Ilona Cheyne, organised Newcastle workshop of European Intellectual Property Network, June 2008 (funded by European Patent Office)
With Jonathan Galloway, devised and delivered 1-week intensive programme on Intellectual Property and Competition Law to law students at Federal Siberian University, Krasnoyarsk, April 2007

Page Owner: af0013
Page Created: Tuesday 26 May 2009 09:49:06 by t00346
Last Modified: Thursday 16 July 2015 14:21:05 by m07326
Assembly date: Tue Mar 28 09:37:28 BST 2017
Content ID: 5031
Revision: 7
Community: 1169

Rhythmyx folder: //Sites/ of Law/people
Content type: rx:StaffProfile