Esther van Zimmeren

Esther van Zimmeren


Venusstraat 23
2000 Antwerpen, BEL

Esther van Zimmeren is Associate Professor in Intellectual Property (IP) Law & Governance at the Faculty of Law of the University of Antwerp and a member of the Research Groups Government & Law and Business & 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 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 of interdisciplinary researchers consisting of two postdoctoral reseachers and eight PhD researchers. She is a supervisor of four completed PhDs.


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. Christine FrisonMichaël Beck, 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


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