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portrait of Dr Luke McDonagh

Dr Luke McDonagh

Senior Lecturer

The City Law School, Academic Programmes

Contact Information


Visit Luke McDonagh

F311, Innovation Centre

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Luke is a Senior Lecturer in the Law School at City, University of London. He undertakes research primarily in the areas of Intellectual Property Law and Constitutional Law. For 2017-18 he is also a Visiting Lecturer at Keio University, Tokyo and a Visiting Scholar at Waseda University, Tokyo.

Prior to taking up his position at City, University of London in September 2015 he was a Lecturer in the Law School at Cardiff University from 2013-2015 and before that he was LSE Fellow in the Law Department at the London School of Economics (LSE) for 2011-2013. During 2014-15 Luke was a Visiting Scholar at Waseda University Law School, Tokyo.


  1. Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning, Cardiff University, United Kingdom, Oct 2014
  2. PhD, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom, Sep 2007 – Jun 2011
  3. LL.M, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom, Sep 2006 – Aug 2007
  4. B.C.L., National University of Ireland, Ireland, Sep 2002 – Aug 2005


  1. Visiting Scholar, Waseda University, Tokyo, Sep – Oct 2017
  2. Visiting Lecturer, Keio University, Tokyo, Aug – Sep 2017
  3. Senior Lecturer, City, University of London, Sep 2015 – present
  4. Visiting Scholar, Waseda University, Tokyo, Mar – Apr 2015
  5. Lecturer, Cardiff University, Aug 2013 – Aug 2015
  6. LSE Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science, Sep 2011 – Jul 2013
  7. Graduate Teaching Associate, Queen Mary University of London, Oct 2007 – Jun 2011


Current Research

Luke's research primarily involves using empirical and theoretical insights to shed light on interesting (and sometimes controversial) aspects of intellectual property law, such as the interplay between property owners and users in free-sharing creative environments (such as those of theatre, open-source software and traditional music).

Luke's PhD research focused on the empirical analysis of the relationship between Irish traditional music and copyright using interviews and survey data gathered from traditional musicians.

In 2014 Luke completed an article - now published in The Modern Law Review - investigating copyright in the world of theatre, whereby he interviewed playwrights, directors and actors about the relationship between their theatrical practices and the norms of copyright.

In 2015 he completed an interdisciplinary socio-legal article on trade marks, brands and anthropological marketing, now published in the Journal of Law and Society.

In July 2016 Luke's first monograph was published by Edward Elgar - European Patent Litigation in the Shadow of the Unified Patent Court.

In addition to IP Law, Luke also conducts research in the area of Constitutional Law. He is currently working on an article on Ireland and Dominion Status in the post-British Empire period.

Awards & Grant Funding

From 2011-2015 Luke led three separate empirical research projects into intellectual property litigation funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). For two of these projects Luke partnered with a US-based economist, Dr Christian Helmers, to investigate litigation at the UK court level and the European level, and in the final project he was the sole investigator conducting empirical research into the EU patent reform package, including the Unified Patent Court. This led to the publishing of 3 UK IPO reports and 2 research papers (freely accessible in the publications section).

In 2016, along with his City colleague Dr Mara Malagodi, Luke was awarded funding by The Modern Law Review to host The Modern Law Review Seminar 2016, which took place at The City Law School in June 2016 with the title 'Dominion Status at the Twilight of the British Empire: Examining National Liberation Movements & Dominion Constitutionalism'.


  1. Mcdonagh, L. (2016). European Patent Litigation in the Shadow of the Unified Patent Court. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78471-473-4.
  2. McDonagh, L. (2017). Biogen v Medeva. In Bellido, J. (Ed.), Landmark Cases in Intellectual Property Hart.
  3. McDonagh, L. and Mimler, M. (2017). Intellectual Property Law and Brexit: A Retreat or a Reaffirmation of Jurisdiction? In Dougan, M. (Ed.), The UK After Brexit: Legal and Policy Challenges (pp. 159–179). Intersentia. ISBN 978-1-78068-471-0.
  4. McDonagh, L. (2016). FOSS and Alternative Licensing in the United Kingdom – Assessing the Dual Importance of Contract Law and Copyright Law. In Metzger, A. (Ed.), Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and other Alternative License Models - A Comparative Analysis (pp. 461–476). Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-21560-0.
  5. Griffiths, J. and McDonagh, L. (2013). Fundamental rights and European IP law - the case of art 17(2) of the EU Charter. In Geiger, C. (Ed.), Constructing European Intellectual Property Achievements and New Perspectives (pp. 75–93). Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78100-164-6.
  6. McDonagh, L. (2013). Copyright, Contract and FOSS. In Shemtov, N. and Walden, I. (Eds.), Free and Open Source Software Policy, Law and Practice (pp. 74–107). OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-968049-8.
  7. McDonagh, L. (2010). Linguistic Diversity in the UK and Ireland – Does the Meaning of Equality Get Lost in Translation? In Healy, G., Kirton, J. and Noon, M. (Eds.), Equality, Inequalities and Diversity: Contemporary Challenges and Strategies (pp. 37–55). Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-28572-0.
  8. Helmers, C., Lefouili, Y., Love, B. and McDonagh, L. (2018). Who Needs a Copyright Small Claims Court? Evidence from the U.K.'s IP Enterprise Court. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Forthcoming, 2018.

    [publisher’s website]

  9. Cremers, K., Ernicke, M., Gaessler, F., Harhoff, D., Helmers, C., McDonagh, L. … van ZeebroeCk, N. (2017). Patent Litigation in Europe. European Journal of Law and Economics, 44(1), pp. 1–44. doi:10.1007/s10657-016-9529-0.

    [publisher’s website]

  10. McDonagh, L. (2016). Two questions for Professor Drassinower. Intellectual Property Journal, 29(1), pp. 71–76.
  11. Helmers, C., Lefouili, Y., Love, B. and McDonagh, L. (2016). “The Effect of Fee Shifting on Litigation: Evidence from a Court Reform in the UK”. Toulouse School of Economics Working Papers, 16-740, pp. 1–42.

    [publisher’s website]

  12. McDonagh, L. (2016). Concepts of Music and Copyright: How Music Perceives Itself and How Copyright Perceives Music. QUEEN MARY JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, 6(4), pp. 538–539. doi:10.4337/qmjip.2016.04.09.
  13. McDonagh, L. (2015). From Brand Performance to Consumer Performativity: Assessing European Trade Mark Law after the Rise of Anthropological Marketing. Journal of Law and Society, 42(4), pp. 611–636. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6478.2015.00727.x.
  14. McDonagh, L. (2014). Plays, Performances and Power Struggles - Examining Copyright's ‘Integrity’ in the Field of Theatre. The Modern Law Review, 77(4), pp. 533–562. doi:10.1111/1468-2230.12078.
  15. Helmers, C., Love, B. and McDonagh, L. (2014). Is there a patent troll problem in the UK? Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal, 24(2), pp. 509–553.
  16. Helmers, C. and McDonagh, L. (2013). Patent litigation in the UK: an empirical survey 2000–2008. Journal of Intellectual Property & Practice, 8(11), pp. 846–861.
  17. McDonagh, L. and Helmers, C. (2013). Patent litigation in England and Wales and the issue-based approach to costs. Civil Justice Quarterly, 32(3), pp. 369–384.
  18. McDonagh, L. (2012). Is creative use of musical works without a licence acceptable under copyright law? International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC), 43(4), pp. 401–426.
  19. McDonagh, L. (2012). Rearranging the roles of the performer and the composer in the music industry - the potential significance of Fisher v Brooker. Intellectual Property Quarterly, 2012(1), pp. 64–76.
  20. McDonagh, L. (2011). Headlines and hyperlinks: UK copyright law post-Infopaq. Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, (2).
  21. Helmers, C., Lefouili, Y. and McDonagh, L. (2015). Evaluation of the Reforms of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court 2010-2013. UK Intellectual Property Office.
  22. Helmers, C., Lefouili, Y. and McDonagh, L. (2015). Examining Patent Cases at the Patents Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court 2007-2013. UK Intellectual Property Office.
  23. McDonagh, L. (2014). Exploring perspectives of the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent within the business and legal communities. UK Intellectual Property Office.
  24. Helmers, C. and McDonagh, L. (2012). Patent Litigation in the UK. LSE Law, Society and Economy Working Paper 12/2012.
  25. McDonagh, L. and Helmers, C. (2012). Trolls at the High Court. LSE Law, Society and Economy Working Paper 13/2012.
  26. McDonagh, L. (2017). UK Patent Law and Copyright Law After Brexit - Potential Consequences. Waterloo, ON, Canada: Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)


Luke currently teaches Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property Law and Sports Law at City, University of London. Prior to this, from 2013-2015 Luke taught IP Law and EU Law on the LL.B and LL.M at Cardiff University. During 2011-2013 he taught IP Law and Public Law at LSE, and from 2007-2011 he taught Public Law, Administrative Law and EU Law at Queen Mary.

Other Activities

Media appearance

  1. BBC news article about Trade Mark Law - 'Copying of Shapes'. Luke is quoted in this BBC news article about Trade Mark Law - 'The battle to stop people from copying shapes' (January 2016)

Online articles (7)

  1. 'How the secret TTIP trade deal could enable companies to sue countries'. (2015). The Conversation
  2. 'Chocolate war in the court room as KitKat fingers and Lindt bears take the stand'. (2015). The Conversation
  3. 'Unitary Patent reforms are welcome, even though patent litigation in Europe has worked quite well’. (2016). Kluwer Patent Blog
  4. 'Jose Mourinho, Wayne Rooney, Rihanna … and the lucrative world of image rights'. (2016). The Conversation
  5. 'European Patent Litigation in the Shadow of the Unified Patent Court'. (2016). Edward Elgar Law Blog
  6. 'Only laws and political will can stop a rerun of 2008'. (2016). Financial Times Adviser
  7. 'What Future for the Rule of Law and Human Rights in the New Populist Environment?' (2016). UK Constitutional Law Association Blog

Radio programme

  1. BBC Radio London with Jo Good. BBC Radio London Luke participated in a discussion (with Jo Good) on the London Black cabs Trade Mark case (January 2016) -