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Peter Harrison



Dr Peter Harrison
BSc (Manc), PhD (Bris), PhD (York), PGDipIP (Bris), FHEA, FRSA

Solicitor (England & Wales) (non-practising)

Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Graduate School Board

My background is in bioscience: I have a BSc (Hons) degree in Physiology from the University of Manchester, gained a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Bristol for my work on mechanisms of brain cell death in stroke and epilepsy, and was awarded
a European Commission Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Molecular Biology at the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. Having attended the College of Law in York and trained at Linklaters in London, I qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Whilst working
as a solicitor in the IP & Technology practice at Linklaters, I gained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law & Practice from the University of Bristol.

I worked as an Associate with the specialist IP practice Sim Hughes Ashton & McKay LLP in Toronto and on my return to the UK practised intellectual property law with Squire Patton Boggs (as they now are) and Walker Morris, latterly becoming global Head of
Intellectual Property at international law firm Hill Dickinson LLP.

In practice I was recommended for intellectual property law by both Chambers & Partners (UK) and Legal 500 (UK). In 2009 my team was awarded the World IP Leaders Award: Winner of Private Practice Trademark Excellence/Litigation. In 2008 I was "Highly Commended" (awarded second place nationally) in the Law Society of England & Wales Excellence Awards for “excellence in practice development” for my work developing a REACH chemical regulatory practice.

On returning to academia, I gained a PhD in Law from the University of York, for my examination of the justifiable scope of indigenous rights in traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.

Litigation Experience

I have litigation experience in high-profile cases in the English High Court and Court of Appeal, Trial and Appeal Divisions of the Federal Court of Canada, the European Court of Justice, and the European Patent Office. I have often worked closely with foreign counsel in parallel litigation and advised clients on multi-jurisdictional litigation strategy. Major IP disputes that I have acted on have ranged widely in technical area from genetically modified crops, through hormone replacement therapy, acellular vaccines, transplant anti-rejection agents, recombinant erythropoietin, narcotics detection, anti-malarial drugs, agrochemicals, polymer synthesis, diesel fuel additives, memory chips and electroplating, to pork pies.

Transactional Experience
I have advised multi-national corporate entities, universities, NHS trusts, SMEs and spin-outs on IP exploitation, licensing, and securitisation. I have also acted for investment banks, private equity, and corporate entities on the IP and chemical/pharma regulatory aspects of corporate transactions and in relation to IPOs and other equity issues (including full listing on the London, Frankfurt and Copenhagen stock exchanges and listing on London AIM).



My research interests primarily stem from my experience at the interface between innovation and intellectual property protection, particularly in relation to pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. I have a research focus on the justifiable scope of Indigenous peoples' sui
generis rights in traditional therapeutic knowledge and genetic resources to prevent their misappropriation. I am also interested in the question of ownership of the individual voice (particularly in an age of increasing AI-driven voice cloning and synthesis) and the scope of
protection afforded by rights in personality.


Selected publications

Harrison, P.S. (2024) The protection of traditional knowledge at the frontiers of drug discovery. (Hart, Oxford)

Harrison, P.S. and Watt, D. (2024) “Get Your Hands Off My Idiolect! A Spectrum Model of Misuse of Idiolectal Information as a Heuristic Tool”. In The Handbook of Forensic Linguistics Ethics (Routledge) (in press)

Hewson, E.C. and Harrison, P.S. (2023) “Talking in the Dark: Rules to facilitate open debate about lawful access to strongly encrypted information.” Computer Law and Security Review 40 (2021) 105526

Harrison P.S. (2022) “Tangled Webs and Remote Paths: Transboundary consent and justifiable downstream limits in the protection of TKAGR within the context of drug discovery. The problems of a consequentialist account.” In P. Covarrubia (ed); Transboundary Heritage and Intellectual Property Law: Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage; (Routledge Cultural Heritage Law Book Series)

Watt, D., Harrison P.S. and Cabot-King, L. (2020) "Who owns your voice? Linguistic and legal perspectives on the relationship between vocal distinctiveness and the rights of the individual" International Journal of Speech Language and the Law 26, 13

Harrison P.S. (2020) “A good idea gone bad. Can we still justify patent monopolies?” In Andrew Johnston and Lorraine Talbot, (eds) Great Debates in Commercial and Corporate Law (Macmillan, London) 62

Harrison P.S. (2019) “Grasping Frankenstein's Monster: Uncertainty in the Downstream Scope of the Nagoya Protocol” Intellectual Property Quarterly 2019(1), 61

Harrison P.S. (2013) “A Review of Christopher May (ed) The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights.” St. Anthony's International Review 16, 187

Armour, K.J. and Harrison, P.S. (2007) “The open door closed: parallel trade and EU enlargement in Central and Eastern Europe.” CIPA Journal 36(3), 135

Armour, K.J. and Harrison, P.S. (2007) “Indigenous rights and IP protection.” World Patent Information 29(3), 255

Armour, K.J. and Harrison, P.S. (2006) “Poisons & Politics – Indigenous rights and IP protection.” CIPA Journal 35(7), 472

Harrison, P.S. (2005) “It’s go for generics: The advent of a Bolar-style regulatory trials exemption in Europe and the UK.” CIPA Journal 34(11), 724

Harrison, P.S. (2004) “On a wind & a prairie – Monsanto Canada Inc. –v- Percy Schmeiser.” CIPA Journal 33(6), 347



  • Intellectual Property Law (Module Leader)


  • Programme Director for LLM in International Corporate Governance and Commercial Law
  • Art: A Problematic Lifecycle (Module Co-Leader)
  • Intellectual Property Law (Module Leader)

External activities



Royal Society of Arts (Fellow)

Faculty of the History & Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy, Society of Apothecaries of London (Fellow)

Higher Education Academy (Fellow)

Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys

Society of Legal Scholars (UK & Ireland)

Law Society of England & Wales

European Intellectual Property Teachers Network (EIPTN)

Pharmaceutical Trade Mark Group

External Examiner

PGDip & MSc in Intellectual Property Law & Practice (University of Oxford)

Contact details

Dr Peter Harrison
York Law School

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 5821