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Dr. iur., LL.B. Hons, MSc (chem), BSc

Jessica Lai was born in 1985, in Wellington, New Zealand, where she grew up. She studied law and chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington, where she obtained an LLB Hons (First Class), MSc (First Class) and a BSc. For her studies, Jessica was awarded a Victoria Graduate Award, Victoria Masters Award, Curtis-Gordon Research Scholarships, New Zealand Institute of Chemistry 300-Level Prize and a prestigious New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee William Georgetti Scholarship.
In Wellington, she was a Research Assistant for Prof. Susy Frankel and Meredith Kolsky-Lewis, from 2007 to 2009, at the Faculty of Law of Victoria University. She also spent some time as an editor for the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review. She was also a Research Assistant and Tutor for the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, from 2005-2009. Jessica has focused her studies and research on the fields of Intellectual Property, particularly Patent Law, and International Trade Law. From 2010-2012, she was a research fellow with Prof. Christoph B. Graber at the University of Lucerne, working on the International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage (IT ICH) Project and for the i-call Research Centre. She completed her PhD (summa cum laude) as part of the IT ICH project. Since 2013, she has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lucerne.


updated February 2014

  1. Monographien
  2. Herausgeberschaften
  3. Aufsätze in Zeitschriften
  4. Aufsätze in Sammelbänden
  5. Referate
  6. Varia


  • Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property Rights: Learning from the New Zealand Experience?, Springer, Heidelberg, 2014.

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Aufsätze in Zeitschriften

  • Bicultural Art: Offensive to the Māori or Acceptable Freedom of Expression?, Wai 262, the CCPR and NZBORA, in Australian Journal of Human Rights, 19(2)/2013, pp. 47-92.

  • Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage: Developments in International Law, in: IBA Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law Committee Newsletter, 11(1)/2013, pp. 7-11 (together with Karolina Kuprecht).

  • Nano-structured Calcium Silicate Hydrate and Doping of Soggy Sand Electrolytes, in: Renewable Energy, 59, pp. 167-17, (together with Thomas Borrmann and Michael Richardson).

  • Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Fairtrade: Voluntary Certification Standards in the Light of WIPO and WTO Law and Policymaking, in: Prometheus, 29(3)/2011, pp. 287-308; (together with Christoph B. Graber) (pre-published as i-call Working Paper No. 2011/01).

  • The Protection of Māori Cultural Heritage: Post-Endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in: Indigenous Nations & Peoples Law eJournal, 7(48)/2011.

  • Penicillins: Their Chemical History and Legal Disputes in New Zealand, in: CiNZ (Chemistry in New Zealand), 73(3)/2009, pp. 116-124.

  • Validity of Obviousness in the Patent Process: A Case Study of Aktiebolaget (LOSEC), in: VUWLR (Victoria University of Wellington Law Review), 38(3)/2007, pp. 603-628.

  • The Patentability of Methods of Medical Treatment of Human Illnesses in New Zealand: Practitioners and Non-Practitioners, Loman Friedlander Award Runner-up, awarded by the NZ Institute of Patent Attorneys (published at

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Aufsätze in Sammelbänden

  • Laws of Nature and Natural Phenomena: Gene Patents, the Biotech Industry and Access to Healthcare, in: Helena Zaugg and Lea Schläpfer (eds), Recht und Gesundheit, Zurich 2013, Schulthess, pp. 155-181).

  • The Trade and Development of Indigenous Cultural Heritage. Completing the Picture and a Possible Way Forward, in: Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica C. Lai (eds), International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage. Legal and Policy Issues, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham/UK 2012, pp. 463-493 (together with Christoph B. Graber and Karolina Kuprecht).

  • Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Fair Trade: Voluntary Certification Standards in the Light of WIPO and WTO Law and Policy-making, in: Peter Drahos and Susy Frankel (eds), Indigenous Peoples’ Innovation. Intellectual Property Pathways to Development, Canberra: ANU E Press, 2012, pp. 95-119 (together with Christoph B. Graber). Also available at SSRN eLibrary

  • The Future of Māori Cultural Heritage in New Zealand. Wai 262, Taonga Works, Mātauranga Māori and IPRs, in: Annja Mannhart and Silja Bürgi (eds), Zukunft und Recht, Schulthess, Zürich 2012, pp. 221-237.

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  • The Changing Role of Intellectual Property in Universities: A Conceptual Disconnect?, KUSKO Guest Lecture, held on 28 November 2013 at Uppsala University, Sweden.

  • Gene-Related Patents: Getting the Balance Right, TILEC Workshop on "Innovation and the Patent System", held on 20 and 21 June 2013 at Tilburg University, Netherlands.

  • Alternative Models for TK and Governance, panel chaired at the conference "Trade, Intellectual Property and the Knowledge Assets of Indigenous Peoples: The Development Frontier", Victoria University of Wellington, 8-10 December 2010.

  • Nanostructured Calcium Silicate (NCaSil) Solar Cells, paper presented at the ASES 2009 Conference (Buffalo, U.S., May 13, 2009), and published in the Conference Proceedings.

  • Gel-State Calcium Silicate Solar Cells and an Attempt at Photoactive Synthetic Silicates: Cation Treated Tetraethoxysiloxane, paper presented at the ASES 2009 Conference (Buffalo, U.S., May 13, 2009), and published in the Conference Proceedings.

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