Pottage, Alain

Mr Alain Pottage  


Position held

Reader in Property Law


Experience keywords:

biotechnology patents; french social thought; property law

Research summary > [Click to expand]

Research interests lie in intellectual property (with particular reference to the field of biotechnology), theories of property, law and anthropology, and social theory.

Sectors and industries to which research relates:



French [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Fluent]

Media experience:


Contact Points

LSE phone number:

+44 (0)20 7955 7270



Bellido, Jose and Pottage, Alain (2018) Lexical properties: trademarks, dictionaries, and the sense of the generic History of Science. ISSN 0073-2753


Pottage, Alain (2017) Our geological contemporary In: Desautels-Stein, Justin and Tomlins, Christopher, (eds.) Searching for Contemporary Legal Thought. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 177-196. ISBN 9781316584361

Pottage, Alain (2017) Lego Juris A/S v OHIM (2010) In: Bellido, Jose, (ed.) Landmark Cases in Intellectual Property Law. Landmark cases. Hart Publishing, Oxford, UK, 345-372. ISBN 9781509904662

Pottage, Alain (2017) Dignity again Reproductive Biomedicine Online. ISSN 1472-6483

Keenan, Bernard and Pottage, Alain (2017) Ethics in rehearsal Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23 (S1). 153-165. ISSN 1359-0987


Pottage, Alain and Rabinow, Paul and Bennett, Gaymon (2014) Book review: from theory to inquiry? Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 20 (2). 362-366. ISSN 1359-0987

Pottage, Alain (2014) Law after anthropology: object and technique in Roman law Theory, Culture and Society, 31 (2-3). 147-166. ISSN 0263-2764


Pottage, Alain (2013) Ius resistendi: resistance as reflexivity In: Bauer, Martin W. and Harré, Rom and Jenson, Carl, (eds.) Resistance and the Practice of Rationality. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, 262-281. ISBN 9781443846264

Pottage, Alain and Sherman, Brad (2013) On the prehistory of intellectual property In: Howe, Helena and Griffiths, Jonathan, (eds.) Concepts of Property in Intellectual Property. Cambridge intellectual property and information law. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 11-28. ISBN 9781107041820

Pottage, Alain (2013) No (more) logo: plain packaging and communicative agency U.C. Davis Law Review, 47 (2). 515-546. ISSN 1943-1732


Pottage, Alain and Marris, Claire (2012) The cut that makes a part Biosocieties, 7 (2). 103-114. ISSN 1745-8552

Gaskell, George and Stares, Sally and Pottage, Alain (2012) How Europe's ethical divide looms over biotech law and patents Nature Biotechnology, 30 (5). 392-394. ISSN 1087-0156

Pottage, Alain (2012) Book review: Marilyn Strathern: “a truly inspirational and trailblazing anthropologist” LSE Review of Books (26 Apr 2012) Blog entry

Pottage, Alain (2012) The materiality of what? Journal of Law and Society, 39 (1). 167-183. ISSN 0263-323X


Pottage, Alain (2011) Forensic machinery Cabinet, 43 (1 January 2011) Website

Pottage, Alain and Sherman, Brad (2011) Kinds, clones, and manufactures In: Biagioli, Mario and Jaszi, Peter and Woodmansee, Martha, (eds.) Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property: Creative Production in Legal and Cultural Perspective. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA, 269-283. ISBN 9780226907086

Pottage, Alain (2011) Book review: Foucault's law by Ben Golder and Peter Fitzpatrick Modern Law Review, 74 (1). 159-168. ISSN 0026-7961

Pottage, Alain (2011) Biotechnology as environmental regulation In: Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas, (ed.) Law and Ecology: New Environmental Foundations. Law, justice and ecology. Routledge, Oxford, UK, 105-125. ISBN 9780415587136

Pottage, Alain (2011) Law machines: scale models, forensic materiality and the making of modern patent law Social Studies of Science, 41 (5). 621-643. ISSN 0306-3127


Pottage, Alain (2010) Figures of invention: a history of modern patent law Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780199595631


Pottage, Alain (2009) Fiction science and proprietary effect In: Gaudilliere, J-P. and Kevles, D., (eds.) Living Properties. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany, 225-239.

Pottage, Alain (2009) Protocell patents: property between modularity and emergence In: Bedau, Mark A. and Parke, Emily C., (eds.) The Ethics of Protocells: Moral and Social Implications of Creating Life in the Laboratory. MIT Press, Boston, USA. ISBN 9780262012621


Pottage, Alain (2008) Book review: fabled animals Biosocieties, 3. 452-455. ISSN 1745-8552


Pottage, Alain and Sherman, Brad (2007) Organisms and manufactures: on the history of plant inventions Melbourne University Law Review, 31 (2). 539-568. ISSN 0025-8938

Pottage, Alain (2007) Conflicts of laws: comparing autochthonous legal cultures In: Stetter, Stephan, (ed.) Territorial Conflicts in World Society: Modern Systems Theory, International Relations and Conflict Studies. Routledge, U.K.. ISBN 9780415416740

Pottage, Alain (2007) The socio-legal implications of the new biotechnologies Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 3. 321-344. ISSN 1550-3585


Pottage, Alain (2006) Materialities in life and law: informatic technologies and industrial property Paragrana, 15 (1). 82-101. ISSN 0938-0116

Pottage, Alain (2006) Too much ownership: bioprospecting in the age of synthetic biology Biosocieties, 1. 137-158. ISSN 1745-8552


Pottage, Alain (2004) An ethology of judgement? Zeitschrift Für Rechtsoziologie, 25 (2). 255-267. ISSN 0174-0202

Pottage, Alain (2004) Who owns academic knowledge? Cambridge Anthropology, 24 (1). 1-20. ISSN 0305-7674

Mundy, Martha and Pottage, R.A, eds (2004) Law, anthropology, and the constitution of the social: making persons and things Cambridge studies in law and society. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 0521539455

Pottage, Alain (2004) Our original inheritance In: Pottage, Alain and Mundy, Martha, (eds.) Law, Anthropology and the Constitution of the Social: Making Persons and Things. Cambridge Studies in Law and Society. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 249-285. ISBN 9780521539456

Pottage, Alain (2004) Recursos genéticos através do divisor molecular: o futuro das tecnologias de proteçao de genes In: Varella, Marcelo Dias and Platiau, Ana Flávia Barros, (eds.) Diversidade Biológica e Conhecimentos Tradicionais. Del Rey, Belo Horizonte, Brasil. ISBN 9788573087482

Pottage, Alain (2004) Fabricating persons and things In: Pottage, Alain and Mundy, Martha, (eds.) Law, Anthropology, and the Constitution of the Social Making Persons and Things. Cambridge Studies in Law and Society. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521831784


Pottage, Alain (2001) Persons and things. An ethnographic analogy Economy and Society, 30 (1). 112-138. ISSN 0308-5147

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Personal website

Taking the invention as its object of study, this book develops a radical new perspective on the making of modern patent law.

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Short bio >

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.

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