Professor Abbe Brown

Professor Abbe Brown
Professor Abbe Brown
Professor Abbe Brown

MA (Cantab), Dip IP (Bristol), PhD (Edinburgh), FHEA, Solicitor (non practising) England and Wales, Victoria and Scotland

Professor in Intellectual Property

Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 273129
Office Address

C59B Taylor Building Old Aberdeen AB24

School of Law


Abbe's research, teaching and policy engagement explores intellectual property and its intersection with other legal fields, in addressing key societal challenges.  Abbe served as Chair of BILETA (2021-2024) and from 2021-3 was NERC Constructing a Digital Environment Senior Expert.  

Abbe signed 2021 Academic Open Letter in Support of the TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver Proposal, the ICJ Opinion on Human Rights and the TRIPS Waiver and the ASPHER TRIPS Waiver Statement. She regularly responds to policy consultations, in 2023 (with IUCN) to the Special Rapporteur consultation on Human Rights and Climate Change  and the Australian Oil and Gas Resource and Data Management Review.  

Abbe's 2018 inaugural "Saving the world and delivering equality? Law, innovation and power" is here

Abbe spent almost 10 years in professional legal practice in London, Melbourne and Edinburgh. Abbe maintains links with the profession and industry and contributes to Open Research activities. 

 Abbe was involved in the BBNJ negotiations, with colleagues from Chemistry and with colleagues developed the Song of the Ocean.  Abbe attended UNFCCC COP26 in the University's delegation, the WIPO Diplomatic Conference on Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge (2024) as part of the IUCN delegation,  and is a member of the Pool of Experts of the UN Regular Process for the third World Ocean Assessment 

Abbe served as University Dean for Student Support and in Quality Enhancement institutional review of University of Iceland.  

PhD Supervision

Abbe supervises PhD in technology and innovation law. Abbe is supervising projects incorporating governance and patents, IP and climate change, patents and genes and traditional knowledge 

In 2023 Abbe visited at IPRIA, University of Melbourne; Trinity College, University of Melbourne; Macquarie University; Queen Mary, University of London; and SciencesPo.     

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships


Director of Research of Law School

Member of two of the School's Research Centres, the Centre for Commercial Law (which she directed in 2018-19) and the Centre for Energy Law

Former roles: Deputy Head of Law School, Senior Personal Tutor, Academic Line Manager, Programme Co-ordinator LLM in Intellectual Property Law, Programme Director LLB Law with English Law, REF 21 School Lead, University Dean for Student Support.  


External Memberships


Exec Member British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (and Chair 2021-24) 

Member of ATRIP, SLS, SCL, IUCN, DOSI and the Scottish Law and Innovation Network (@LawScottish).   

Member of high-level expert working group on genome editing and patents, led by Professor Duncan Matthews. 

Member NHSCR Stakeholder Engagement Panel and Online Identity Assurance Expert Group of the Scottish Government

Member Society of Advocates in Aberdeen

Peer reviewer AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, National University of Ireland, Irish Research Council, Research Foundation of Flanders, ACM, European Law Review, European Law Journal, Marine Policy, European Journal of Law and Technology, Legal Studies, Latvian Council of Science, Institution Wide Review of the University of Iceland. Member of Editorial Board of International Review of Computers, Law and Technology.

External examiner: University of Hertfordshire, University of Exeter, University of Stirling, Bournemouth University, Queen Mary University of London, University of Cape Town, University of Bristol, University of Sussex, London School of Economics, University of Glasgow, Coventry University, Queen's University Belfast 

Previous roles: Member of the editorial board of SCRIPT-ed (2003-5),  Chair Privacy Advisory Committee NSSScotland (2013-5), TSB Director's Ad Hoc Group on Intellectual Property Rights of the International Telecommunication Union (2010-2013), Committee of the Licensing Executive Society (Scotland) (2008-2015), Expert Panel member, Academy of Finland (2013-4), Member of Steering Group, Women in Renewables in Scotland and Mentor (2014-16)  Lay member, NHSScotland Public Benefit and Privacy Panel  (2013-2022), COP26 & Climate Change Working Group of the Law Society of Scotland, Technology Committee of the Law Society of Scotland. 

Prizes and Awards

University of Aberdeen Principal's Outstanding Research Award (Individuals at Further Stages of Career Development (Arts, Humanities and Social Science)) 2022


Nominated for Green Gown Award 2022 "Sharing the Benefits of the Ocean"



Research Overview

Abbe's research explores the interaction between legal fields relevant to innovation and creativity, with a strong interest on key societal challenges. She is a member of two of the School's Research Centres, the Centre for Commercial Law and the Centre for Energy Law. Abbe was the School of Law lead for REF2021.  

Abbe was part of the interdisciplinary interinstitutional team which won the Coventry University Research Team of the Year 2017 for the InVisible Difference project.  Abbe frequently contributes to public consultations relevant to her research, eg EU "Multilateral Reform of Investment Dispute Resolution" (2017), UK BEIS "Clean Growth Strategy" (2017), UK Human Rights Committee inquiry "Defending Rights: attitudes to enforcement" (2018), the Strategic Priorities of the Scottish Human Rights Commission (2019) and the UK Parliament International Relations and Defence Committee "UNCLOS: fit for purpose in the 21st century?" (2021).     

Since 2018 Abbe has been part of an interdisciplinary team exploring Marine Genetic Resources in the UN Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction negotiations and inspired by this has qualified as a PADI open water diver, and in 2021 engaged in new forms of public engagement through song at local and global levels with the Song of the Ocean, and in online enlightenment salons through the Royal Society of Edinburgh's "Tea and Talk".       

Abbe published a monograph in 2012 with Edward Elgar Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Competition: Access to Essential Innovation and Technologyan edited collection in 2013 with Edward Elgar Environmental Technologies, Intellectual Property and Climate Change, with Charlotte Waelde an edited collection in 2018 with Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries and in 2019 a monograph with Edward Elgar Intellectual Property, Climate Change and Technology.    Her research has been supported by the Modern Law Review, the Clark Foundation for Legal Education, the British Academy (see website), the Carnegie Trust, the Wellcome Trust (see IGBE here), the British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (see eg InVisible Difference here and blog here).  

Abbe has also contributed to leading textbooks in the intellectual property and information technology field, notably Contemporary Intellectual Property Law and Policy with Oxford University Press.  

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Law.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Information Technology
  • Law
  • Disability Studies
  • Climate Change
  • Dance and Culture

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

Present projects involve culture, disability and heritage; innovation, energy and sustainability; access to marine genetic resources; and underpinning common themes and intertwining of relevant laws.  

She is a member of EU Horizon 2020-funded MARBLES programme, a £6.37 million (€7.5 million), 5-year project that will develop new methods for the sustainable collection and use of biological resources from marine environments and assess their commercial potential; and BlueRemediomics, and see here, a 4 year project awarded 7.65 million euros under Horizon Europe and 1.54million Euros provided by UKRI and SERI to harness the vast potential for marine microbial resources and to develop novel tools and approaches. 

She was a part of "Scientific knowledge across jurisdictions. Traceability, access and benefit sharing (ABS) and scientific policy in a multicultural world” funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a new RSE project to begin in 2022 "Ocean and US: Intersecting scientific knowledge and local knowledge for a more equitable and just ocean policy". 

She is a member of a UKRI-JSPS project exploring COVID and IP. 

Find her work via Google Scholar and Researchgate 


Abbe is delighted to receive requests regarding PhD supervision in any aspect of intellectual property and technology law. 



Knowledge Exchange


Abbe is interested in PhD supervision in any aspect of technology and innovation law. Abbe is supervising projects incorporate governance and patents, and IP and climate change. 


My current supervision areas are: Law.

Abbe is interested in PhD supervision in any aspect of technology and innovation law. Abbe is supervising projects incorporate governance and patents, and IP and climate change. 

Funding and Grants

Academy of Finland Research Council for Biosciences, Health and Environment “ Do trade and investment agreements protect public health and universal health coverage?” (TIPU) (see "Lost in negotiation-Repositioning Public Health in the Pandemic Agreement (2024))

BlueRemediomics "Harnessing the marine microbiome for biogenics and ecosystem services" European Union Horizon RIA 2022-26 Programme Consortium,  University of Aberdeen funding received through the UKRI Horizon Europe Guarantee Fund  @BlueRemediomics  (see video

MARBLES "Harnessing Marine Microbes for Drug Discovery and Sustainable Production for Fish and Crops" EU Horizon 2020 Award 101000392  @MARBLES_EU  

"Scientific knowledge across jurisdictions. Traceability, access and benefit sharing (ABS), scientific policy" (2001-2) and Ocean and Us (2023-5) funded by RSE, in collaboration with Professor Marcel Jaspars (Chemistry) and Professor Michela Massimi (Edinburgh, PI)  

"InVisible Difference" and "Resilience and Inclusion - Dancers as Agents of Change" funded by the AHRC, Co-I. P-I Professor Sarah Whatley, Coventry and other Co-Is Professor Charlotte Waelde (Exeter) and Dr Shawn Harmon (Edinburgh)

"Decision making across the information, technology and sustainability landscape: towards breadth and coherence"  funded by British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association

"Identity, Governance and Bodily Extensions" funded by the Wellcome Trust


Teaching Responsibilities

Intellectual Property

Professional Skills in Intellectual Property 


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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals

Contributions to Specialist Publications

Non-textual Forms

Working Papers

Other Contributions