Esther van Zimmeren

Tenure Track Research Professor

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About Esther van Zimmeren

Esther van Zimmeren is Research Professor in Intellectual Property (IP) Law & Governance at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp (2013-present). She is a member of the Research Groups Government & Law and Business & Law. Between 2015-2017 she was the Head of the Research Group Government & Law. She is also 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 teaching intellectual property law and EU internal market law. She is also the coordinator for the Module Law & International Business and the new Module Diversity & Law of the English Master's Program of the Faculty of Law.

Esther is 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).

She is supervisor of an international team (with members from Italy, Greece, Turkey, India, Russia, Cuba and Belgium) of interdisciplinary researchers consisting of three postdoctoral reseachers and eight PhD researchers. She is a supervisor of two completed PhDs (2018, 2019).


1. Intellectual Property Law & Governance

Research interests: Multilevel Governance, Trust, Reputation, Institutional Reforms in Patent Law & Policy, Specialized Courts, Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Interface between IP law & other fields of the law (environmental law, tax law, private international law, EU institutional law, international trade law, competition law, human rights law) 

Reseachers involved: Dr. Federica BaldanDr. Nikos Koutras, Dr. Christine FrisonMichaël Beck, Yole Tanghe (KU Leuven), Irem KiracDevanshi Saxena


2. Entrepreneurship, Social Responsibility, Patenting & Licensing Strategies

Research Topics: IP management and innovation policy, Trust, Reputation, Social Responsibility, Patenting and Licensing Strategies in the Biomedical Sector, Patenting and Licensing Strategies in the Space Sector

Reseachers involved: Arina Gorbatyuk (joint PhD KU Leuven), An Cosaert (Antwerp Management School)


3. Open Metropolitan Design (OMD) (Metropolitan Legal Lab)

Research Topics: Architect 2.0 (legal issues), Transferable Developments Rights (TDRs), Adaptive Law & OMD, Cultural Heritage

Reseachers involved: Sander Nysten, Johannes Nissen





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