Esther van Zimmeren is an Associate Professor in Intellectual Property (IP) Law & Governance in the Faculty of Law at the University of Antwerp and a member of the Research Groups Government and Law and Business and Law. She is coordinator of the University of Antwerp Centre of Excellence GOVTRUST and a member of the interdisciplinary Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence ACTORE (Antwerp Consortium on the Organization of Rulemaking and Multi-level Governance in Europe) (in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Sciences).  

At the University of Antwerp, she is primarly teaching courses in English including European, International, and Comparative Intellectual Property Law; EU Economic Integration and Internal Market; The Inclusive and Sustainable City & Law; and Harmonized Private Law. Esther is also responsible for various Methodology Seminars in Dutch for the Master in de Rechten in preparation for their Master Thesis. She is the coordinator for the Module Diversity & Law Master of Laws Program of the Faculty of Law.

Esther is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Vilnius.

Together with Sigrid Pauwels she established the Metropolitan Legal Lab aimed at creating a forum for legal topics related to the Metropolitan City and to enable interdisciplinary debate and collaboration in this area.

She has two Master Degrees from the University of Tilburg (Master in Dutch law and Master in International and European Law), an LL.M. in EU & IP Law from the KU Leuven (2002) and a PhD in Law from the KU Leuven (2011).

She has particular expertise in IP law, in particular in patent law, IP governance, innovation policy, technology transfer, competition law, contract law, European institutional and economic law, and international trade law.

Many of her research projects and publications are interdisciplinary, e.g. collaborations with geneticists, economists, physicists, engineers, philosophers, artists, designers, architects, urban planners, librarians, and social and political scientists. She also has a special interest in empirical research (surveys, intervieiws, case studies).

Areas of Expertise: 

  • Intellectual Property Law & Governance
  • Patent Governance
  • ​Entrepreneurship, Social Responsibility, Patenting, and Licensing Strategies
  • ​Open Metropolitan Design (OMD) 
  • Trust

Selected Publications: 

Full Publication List:

Selected Projects

  • 2022 - 2025 - Conflict in Transformation (CONTRA).
  • 2022 - 2025 - Towards a Resilient Framework of High Level Passenger Rights Protection: Adaptations for Platform-based Mobility Solutions and the Future of Sustainable Urban Mobility.
  • 2020 - 2024 - Assessing and Fostering Independence in Specialised International Courts.

ORCID: 0000-0003-3343-4190