David Vaver, MA (BA, LLB(Hons), Auckland; JD Chicago), is an Emeritus Fellow of St Peter's College and former Director of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre. He was a member of the UK Intellectual Property Advisory Committee, and chaired the University's IP Advisory Group until he retired at the end of 2007. Before coming to Oxford, he taught for some 20 years in Canada (UBC (1971, 1978-85) and Osgoode Hall Law School (1985-98) and before that at the University of Auckland (1972-8). Professor Vaver has written extensively in intellectual property law, including two texts - Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patents, Trademarks (Toronto: Irwin Law 1997) and Copyright Law (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2000). His most recent work is a 5-volume compilation of leading IP articles, Intellectual Property Rights: Critical Concepts in Law (Routledge, 2006). Professor Vaver's inaugural lecture Intellectual Property: The State of the Art appears at (2000) 116 LQR 621. Professor Vaver's post was established and generously funded until 2004 by the Reuters Foundation, the educational and charitable trust established by the leading international media and financial information group, Reuters.

NB. Since Professor Vaver is no longer accepting research proposals or acting as a supervisor, please direct these to the other IP faculty at Oxford.


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  • D Vaver, 'Does the Public Understand Intellectual Property Law? Do Lawyers?' in Faculty of Law, McGill University (ed), Meredith Lectures 2006: Intellectual Property at the Edge: New Approaches to IP in a Transsystemic World (Les Editions Yvon Blais 2007)
    Argues for greater comprehensibility and cohesion in IP laws, using Canadian & British examples.
    ISBN: 978-2-89635-108-4
  • D Vaver, 'L’image publique des éditeurs et du droit d’auteur' (2007) 0.792361111111111 Les Cahiers de Propriété Intellectuelle 303
    Translation into French by Prof. Ejan Mackaay of "Publishers & copyright: rights without duties?"
    ISBN: 0840-7266
  • D Vaver, 'Advertising Using an Individual's Image: a Comparative Note' (2006) 122 (July 2006) Law Quarterly Review 362
    Examines the development of privacy law in Europe, the US and elsewhere to disallow advertising using a person's image, and compares & criticizes English developments.
    ISBN: 0023-933X
  • D Vaver, 'General Introduction' in D. Vaver (ed), Intellectual Property Rights: Critical Concepts in Law (Routledge 2006)
    Overview of history, theory and features of intellectual property law, to introduce compilation of 87 articles on intellectual property
    ISBN: 0-415-33088-2
  • D Vaver (ed), Intellectual Property Rights: Critical Concepts in Law (5 Volumes Routledge (2006) 2006)
    Compilation of world's leading intellectual property articles in English language, spanning over 150 years from Dickens, Macaulay and Abraham Lincoln, to modern writers mainly in law but also in economics and other disciplines. In 5 volumes.
    ISBN: 0-415-33087-4
  • D Vaver, 'Publishers and copyright: rights without duties?' (2006) 40:6 (June 2006) Bibliotheksdienst 743
    The paper argues that publishers historically owed duties of fair access, price & contract in return for the rights they were granted, and that such duties continue to be morally owed to the public. Bibliotheksdienst is the journal of the German Library and Information Association (Bundesvereingung Deutscher Bibliotheks und Informationsberbände).
    ISBN: 0006-1972
  • D Vaver, 'Recent Trends in European Trademark Law: Senses, Shapes and Sensation' (2005) (2005) 95 Trademark Reporter 895
    Examines recent trends in European trade mark law (shapes, sounds, smell marks) and in misappropriation of personality
    ISBN: 0041-056X
  • D Vaver, 'Unconventional and Well-Known Trade Marks' (2005) [2005] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 1
    An analysis of trends in protection of sound, shape and smell trade marks, and problems of protection of famous marks, comparing mainly EU and Singapore law.
    ISBN: 0218-2173
  • D Vaver and Bently, Professor Lionel (eds), Intellectual Property in the New Millennium: Essays in Honour of William R. Cornish (Cambridge University Press, 2004 2004)
    Co-editor of articles by leading academics, judges and lawyers on intellectual property issues in international law and in the UK, US and other jurisdictions. A favourable review by D. Mendis of Edinburgh University appears at
    ISBN: 0-521-84643-9
  • D Vaver, 'Defining and rewarding invention: a review and a modest proposal for patent law' in P. Mirfield & R. Smith (ed), Essays for Colin Tapper (Lexis/Nexis 2003)
    Reviews definitions of "invention" in patent law internationally and argues that what should be patented should be more closely regulated.
    ISBN: 0 406 96439 4
  • D Vaver, 'Le concept d’invention en droit des brevets: bilan et perspective' in M. Vivant & J.-M. Bruguière (ed), Protéger les inventions de demain: Biotechnologies, logiciels et méthodes d’affaires (Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle 2003)
    IP law article
    ISBN: 2-11-005313-5
  • D Vaver, 'Invention in Patent Law: A Review and A Modest Proposal' (2003) 11 (3) International Journal of Law & Information Technology 286
    ISBN: 0967-0769
  • D Vaver, 'Copyright Developments in Europe: The Good, The Bad and The Harmonized' in N. Elkin-Coren & N.W. Netanel (ed), The Commodification of Information (Kluwer Law International 2002)
    ISBN: 90-411-9876-8
  • D Vaver, 'Need Intellectual Property Be Everywhere? Against Ubiquity and Uniformity' (2002) 25:1 (2002) Dalhousie Law Journal 1
    Argues that legal standardization of defective intellectual property laws is good for neither the developed nor the developing world. Retrenchment and diversity are better strategies. Cited favourably in the Constitutional Court of South Africa in Laugh It Off Promotions v. South African Breweries Int'l, 2005.
    ISBN: 0317-1663
  • D Vaver, Prof. P. Sirinelli and Prof. H. Loufti, Principles of Copyright Law: Cases and Materials (World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva (2002) 2002)
    A casebook on copyright, incorporating sections on Commonwealth and United States caselaw, civil law and Arabic law. I was sole author of the common law materials (158 pp.); my co-authors wrote the civil and Arabic law parts respectively.
    ISBN: 92-805-1013-1
  • D Vaver, 'Recreating a Fair Intellectual Property System for the 21st Century' (2002) 15(2001) Intellectual Property Journal 123
    ISBN: 0824-7064
  • D Vaver, 'Creating a Fair Intellectual Property System for the 21st Century' (2001) 10:1 (2001) Otago Law Review 1
    F.M. Guest Memorial Lecture 2000
    ISBN: 0078-6918
  • D Vaver, 'Intellectual Property Law: The State of the Art' in Frankel & Smith (ed), Essays on Intellectual Property Law and Policy (Victoria Univ. L.Rev. 2001)
    IP Law article
    ISBN: 475110870
  • D Vaver, Copyright Law (Irwin Law, Toronto (2000) 2000)
    A text on Canadian copyright law. Shortlisted in 2003 for the Walter Owen Book Prize Award for outstanding new contributions to Canadian legal literature. The text is frequently cited in academic writing, and has also been favourably cited in Canadian courts, including the important decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Law Society of Upper Canada v CCH Ltd (2004).
    ISBN: 1-55221-034-0
  • D Vaver, 'Copyright in Europe: The Good, The Bad and the Harmonized' (1999) 10 Australian Intellectual Property Journal 185
    IP Law article
    ISBN: 1038-1635
  • D Vaver, 'Moral Rights Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' (1999) 7 International Journal of Law and Information Technology 270
    Criticism of moral rights provisions in UK copyright law, suggesting reform.
    ISBN: 0967 0769
  • D Vaver, 'Moral Rights: The Irish Spin' (1999) 0.127083333333333 Irish Intellectual Property Review 3
    IP Law article, partly based on "Moral Rights Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" by same author. Criticizes proposed Irish reforms. The article was referred to in the debates on the bill in the Irish parliament and helped shape the final Act.
    ISBN: 1393-4317
  • D Vaver, 'Taking Stock' (1999) [1999] European Intellectual Property Review 339
    IP law article. Compares law of 100 years ago with trends today.
    ISBN: 0142 0461

Research Interests

Intellectual Property

Research projects