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Peter Harrison



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

Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Graduate School Board

I have a BSc (Hons) degree in Physiology from the University of Manchester and was awarded a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Bristol for my work on mechanisms of brain cell death in stroke and epilepsy. 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 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 Head of Intellectual Property at international law firm Hill Dickinson LLP.

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:

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 ECJ 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-malarials, agrochemicals, polymer synthesis, diesel fuel additives, memory chips and electroplating, to pork pies.

  • Transactional:

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).

I  have been recommended for intellectual property law by both Chambers & Partners (UK) and Legal 500 (UK). In 2008 I was "Highly Commended" (awarded second place nationally) in the Law Society of England & Wales Excellence Awards for “excellence in practice development”.




My research interests stem from my experience at the interface between biological innovation and intellectual property protection. My research focuses on the the justifiable scope of indigenous sui generis rights in traditional therapeutic knowledge and genetic resources to prevent their misappropriation.

Legal education pedagogy - particularly problem-based learning approaches to the teaching of intellectual property.


Selected publications

  • Harrison P.S. (2019)  "Grasping Frankenstein's Monster: Uncertainty in the Downstream Scope of the Nagoya Protocol" 2019(1) IPQ 61
  • Harrison, P.S. (2004) "On a wind & a prairie – Monsanto Canada Inc-v- Percy Schmeiser" CIPA Journal, 33(6), 347-349
  • 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), 724-72
  • 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), 135-137
  • Armour, K.J. and Harrison, P.S. (2007) "Poisons & Politics – Indigenous rights and IP protection" World Patent Information, 29(3), 255-261
  • Harrison, P.S. (2013) "Book Review: Christopher May (ed), The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights (2010)" St. Anthony's International Review, 16,187-191



  • Intellectual Property Law (Module Leader)


  • Programme Director for LLM in International Corporate Governance and Commercial Law
  • International Business Negotiation (Module Leader)
  • Intellectual Property Law (Module Leader)

External activities


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (UK)
  • Member of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  • Member of the Society of Legal Scholars
  • Member of the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group
  • Member of the European Intellectual Property Teachers' Network

Media coverage

  • Contribution to BBC Radio Four documentary "Patently Absurd" (20 August 2013) 

Contact details

Dr Peter Harrison
York Law School

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 5821