Dr Luke McDonagh

Assistant Professor of Law

Department of Law

English, French
Key Expertise
Intellectual property, copyright, patents, trade marks, litigation

About me

Dr Luke McDonagh joined the Law Department at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2020. He undertakes research in the areas of Intellectual Property Law and Constitutional Law. Prior to taking up his position at LSE he was a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London (2015-2020), a Lecturer at Cardiff University (2013-2015) and LSE Fellow (2011-13). Luke holds a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London (2011), an LL.M from the London School of Economics (LSE) (2006-7) and a B.C.L. degree from NUI, Galway (2002-05). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Luke has published widely in respected journals including The Modern Law Review, Journal of Law and Society, Intellectual Property Quarterly and Civil Justice Quarterly. Luke is the author of the monograph European Patent Litigation in the Shadow of the Unified Patent Court (Edward Elgar, 2016) and the co-author (along with Prof. Stavroula Karapapa of the University of Reading) of the text book Intellectual Property Law (OUP, 2019).

Luke’s work on patent litigation was cited in 2014 in the UK Parliament (House of Commons) and in a US Federal Trade Commission report on Patent assertion entities in 2016. In January 2019 he was invited to present his research on patent law before the JURI Committee of the European Parliament.

Luke has been awarded grant funding for a range of successful law projects, including substantial grants from the ESRC, EU Horizon2020, the UK Global Challenges Research Fund, the UK Intellectual Property Office, The Modern Law Review, CREATe and the UK Constitutional Law Association.

Luke has held a range of visiting scholar positions at institutions around the world, including at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan (2014-15); Keio University, Tokyo, Japan (2017-18); Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan (2018-19); Tongji University, Shanghai, China (2019-20); and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy (2019-20).

Luke has published journalistic articles and blogs with the Guardian, Independent, Salon, the FT Adviser, the Kluwer Patent Blog, the LSE Review of Books and The Conversation.

Luke is currently writing a book on Copyright Law and theatre for Hart Publishing called Performing Copyright: Law, Theatre and Authorship (due to be published in 2021).

Research interests

Luke’s IP law research primarily involves using empirical and theoretical insights to shed light on interesting (and sometimes controversial) aspects of intellectual property, such as the interplay between property owners and users in free-sharing creative environments (including those of theatre, open-source software and traditional music). His PhD research (2007-2011) involved empirical analysis of the relationship between Irish traditional music and copyright using interviews and survey data gathered from traditional musicians. His work on theatre and copyright includes a 2014 article in the Modern Law Review investigating copyright in the world of theatre, whereby he interviewed playwrights, directors and actors about the relationship between their theatrical practices and the norms of copyright. His work on law and trade marks resulted in a 2015 article on trade marks, brands and anthropological marketing in the Journal of Law and Society. More recently he has been investigating how intellectual property law interacts with artificial intelligence and interactive robotics as part of the Horizon2020 project Inclusive Robotics for a Better Society (INBOTS - http://inbots.eu/).

In addition to IP law, Luke conducts research on constitutionalism in the post-British Empire period, including a project with Dr Mara Malagodi (CUHK) & Professor Thomas Poole (LSE) that resulted in a 2019 symposium issue of the International Journal of Constitutional Law (I-CON) focused on the Dominion constitutions in Ireland, India, Pakistan and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

External activities

Commissioned Reports:
  • Enrico Bonadio & Luke McDonagh, Standard Essential Patents and the Internet of Things (European Parliament, 2019)



Intellectual Property Law (Oxford University Press, 2019)‬ (with S. Karapapa)

click here for publisher's site



European Patent Litigation in the Shadow of the Unified Patent Court (Edward Elgar, 2016)

With the introduction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the new European Patent with Unitary Effect, the European patent litigation system is undergoing a set of fundamental reforms. This timely book assesses the current state of European patent litigation by analysing recently published data on Europe's four major patent jurisdictions - the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands - and also looks ahead to examine what the impact of the UPC is likely to be on Europe's patent litigation system in the near future.

click here for publisher's site



2019-20 – Awarded £37,000 by the ESRC as Co-Investigator of City, University of London’s project: TRILATTRADE - UK-EU-Japan Trade Relations: Modelling Trade, Regulaton & IP.

2019-20 - Awarded £10,000 by the U.K. FCO/British Embassy as Primary Investigator of City, University of London’s successful grant bid to conduct UK-Cuba research on creative industries and copyright law.

2018-19 – Awarded £17,500 as Primary Investigator of City, University of London’s successful UK Global Challenges Research Fund block grant bid to conduct research on patents and university innovation in the UK, Mexico and Cuba.

2017-20 – Awarded €100,000 as Co-Investigator of an EU Horizon2020 project on Robotics and IP Law: Inclusive Robotics for a Better Society (INBOTS).

2015-16 – Awarded £5,010 as Primary Investigator from The Modern Law Review and £500 from UK CLA to organise the 2016 MLR Seminar at City Law School on Dominion constitutionalism.

2013-2014 – Awarded tender of £17,000 as Primary Investigator by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to conduct empirical research concerning the Unitary Patent Court.

2012-2013 – Awarded funding totalling £58,000 as Primary Investigator by the UK Intellectual Property Office to research IP litigation at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.