Professor Alain Pottage

Professor of Law

Department of Law

Room No
New Academic Building 7.21
English, French
Key Expertise
Intellectual property, particularly brands and trade marks

About me

Please note: Professor Pottage is on leave during Michaelmas Term 2019

Alain Pottage holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the London School of Economics. Before joining the Law Department of the LSE, he was a researcher at the Law Commission and a lecturer in the School of Law at King's College London. He has been a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris, the University of Sydney, and Cornell Law School.

Administrative support: Rebecca Newman

Research interests

Alain Pottage’s current research projects focus on three areas. Together with Mario Biagioli, he is writing a critical historical study (supported by a Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies) of the foundations of modern intellectual property discourses, scheduled for completion in late 2018. He is also preparing a monograph on the historical sociology of brands and trade marks, with particular reference to the medial and material agency of contemporary brands. The third research project on the implications of the Anthropocene hypothesis for law. A first part of this project has just been published as ‘Our geological contemporary’, and other articles are forthcoming.   



Figures of Invention A History of Modern Patent Law (Oxford University Press: 2010) (with Brad Sherman)

Taking the invention as its object of study, this book develops a radical new perspective on the making of modern patent law. It develops the first extended historical and conceptual exploration of the invention in modern patent law. Focussing primarily on the figures that make inventions material, and on how to overcome the intangibility of ideas, this intellectual challenging book makes explicit a dimension of patent law that is not commonly found in traditional commentaries, treatises and cases. 

click here for publisher's site