Institute of Brand and Innovation Law


IBIL PhD Conference 2024

We are delighted to announce the call for papers for those wishing to take part in the second IBIL PhD Student Conference to be held on 26th June 2024 at UCL Faculty of Laws, Bentham House, London.

About the Conference 

The UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL) invites applications from PhD students engaged in intellectual property research to present a 'work in progress' paper at its PhD conference on 26 June 2024. This free, in-person event provides a forum for IP PhD students to discuss their research in a friendly and supportive environment while meeting others researching similar topics. The conference will be followed by IBIL’s Annual Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture, and registration for the conference will include a place at this prestigious evening event. 

There will be a prize for the best conference paper, and those who have presented will also have the opportunity to submit their paper to UCL Laws' open access, peer-reviewed journal, the UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.

Call for Papers

Applications from those interested in presenting a research paper at the conference must be submitted no later than 5pm (GMT) on 5 January 2024. Early application is encouraged. Please see below for more information on who this call is aimed at, the nature and content of the papers requested, and how to apply.

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Who should apply?

Applications are welcome in all fields of intellectual property law, including those adopting doctrinal, philosophical, economic, empirical, and other research methodologies. While PhD researchers from all stages are welcome to attend and participate in the conference, the specific target for this call is for PhD researchers who will have completed at least the 2nd year of their PhD (or part-time equivalent) by the conference date in June 2024.

At a later date, we will issue a call for those who are interested in submitting an entry for our research poster exhibition which would better suit those in an earlier stage of their PhD research. Registration for those wishing to attend the conference will be announced closer to the event after the programme is finalised.

Goals and Conference Format

This conference aims to facilitate close discussion and exchange of knowledge between PhD students and more senior academics in an open and inclusive environment. Notably, speakers selected for this event will be individually paired with an established academic discussant undertaking research in the same IP field. The aim is that those presenting will benefit from expert feedback and advice to assist their ongoing research and writing, as well as facilitating fruitful discussion at the conference. 

The call is for papers that are still 'works in progress' e.g., a draft PhD chapter or a draft article intended for publication. The idea is that there will still be time for feedback received at the conference to be incorporated into the 'final' form of the work. Those making an application should ensure that they will be ready to submit a full paper in April 2024, i.e., a full two months in advance of the conference date in June. We encourage all applicants to discuss their potential participation with their supervisor(s) before applying.

How to Apply

Applications to present a paper at the conference must be submitted no later than 5pm (GMT) on 5 January 2024. Applications should be sent via email from your institutional email account to ibil@ucl.ac.uk. Please state ‘IBIL PhD Conference Application’ in the subject line. All applications must include:

  1. Your details, including your full name, your home institution, the name(s) of your PhD supervisor(s), the title of your PhD and your start and expected completion dates;
  2. a short bio (as might appear in a conference programme - up to 100 words);
  3. an extended abstract for the paper that you'd like to present (up to 1 page, but not exceeding 1,000 words in total, inclusive of all footnotes/references); and
  4. a short CV (less than 2 pages).

Please submit your application using the form found here: 

There will be no conference registration fee, but those presenting at the conference will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. IBIL may offer some bursaries for those selected to present who are based outside of London and who cannot secure funding from their own institution. Please indicate in your application whether, if accepted, you intend to apply for a bursary.   

If you have any questions about the conference or the application process, please contact Alina Shchetinina at: ibil@ucl.ac.uk using ‘IBIL PhD Conference 2024’ as the subject.

Next Steps

We will notify applicants whether they have been accepted to present as soon as possible after the application deadline has closed, but no later than the end of February 2024. Note, that if your application is accepted then you must be in a position to submit a full paper before Monday 22 April 2024.

Provisional guidelines for the paper
  • Your paper must be submitted in Word (or another editable format), and ideally it should be prepared using the Word document template which we will provide (based on the template used for the UCL Journal of Law & Jurisprudence). This template provides information about the referencing style to be used (OSCOLA) and general formatting rules.
  • The word count must not exceed 8,000 words excluding footnotes and should not exceed 12,000 words in total. A bibliography is entirely optional, but if you include one, it will be included in your word count. 
  • Once submitted, your paper will be made available to the Conference Organising Committee and to the discussant. Please also note that we plan to make the paper available to those registered to attend the conference, so that they are able to read the papers in advance of the conference, which will hopefully result in more useful comments, feedback and discussions.    
  • When submitting your paper, please use the accompanying message to indicate whether you wish your paper to be considered for the Best Conference Paper Prize, or not. More details on the prize and the assessment criteria are set out below. 
Poster Exhibition

Later in the year, we will issue a call for those who are interested in submitting an entry for our research poster exhibition. This is aimed at those in the earlier stages of their PhD research. If you would like to express your interest in submitting a poster, then please email ibil@ucl.ac.uk using ‘IBIL PhD Conference 2024 - Posters’ as the subject. Your email should confirm your place and year of study, the title of your PhD project and the name of your supervisor/s.

Registration for Attendees

We will open up registration to PhD students and others who wish to attend the conference closer to the event after the Conference Programme is finalised. If you would like to express your interest in attending, then please email: ibil@ucl.ac.uk using ‘IBIL PhD Conference 2024 - Attendance’ as the subject. Your email should confirm your place and year of study, the title of your PhD project and the name of your supervisor/s.

    The Best Essay Prize

    Those submitting papers will be given the option of entering the Best Paper Prize. The papers will be assessed on the following criteria:

    • Originality – originality of the paper’s contribution to knowledge;
    • Quality of Argument – including critical analysis of concepts, theories and findings and consistency and coherence of debate;
    • Positioning – clear positioning in existing literature with a conclusion that is convincing and of significant potential; and 
    • Writing Style – quality of writing style in terms of structure, accuracy, clarity and readability.

    Competition Rules:

    • This competition is not open to PhD researchers who also hold, or who have held, a full-time academic position in a Law School or Faculty for more than two years.
    • Papers must meet the word limit and comply with the guidelines for papers (see above).
    • Late papers will not be considered for the prize.
    • The Organising Committee may elect not to award a prize, if none of the entries meet the required standard, or to split the prize if the quality of the papers justifies this.
    The Venue - UCL Faculty of Laws, Bentham House

    Click here for directions to Bentham House

    Learn more about the UCL Faculty of Laws here.

    About the UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL)

    Professor Sir Hugh Laddie was a leading English judge and academic in the field of intellectual property law. He had a formidable international reputation and did much to shape IP law, both here and overseas. When Sir Hugh retired from the bench in 2005, he was appointed Professor of Intellectual Property Law at UCL and went on to found the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL) in 2007.

    Hugh Laddie and Robin Jacob
    The Institute was established with a distinctive objective: not only to undertake first class academic research, but also to pay attention to the practical application of intellectual property law and to the interests of IP practitioners in this field. Following his untimely death in November 2008, UCL created an academic Chair in his memory. The inaugural holder of the Sir Hugh Laddie Chair in Intellectual Property Law is Professor Sir Robin Jacob who is also Director of the UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law.

    Since its foundation, IBIL has provided a unique forum for academics, the judiciary, policymakers, the professions and users of the IP system to come together and exchange ideas on cutting-edge IP issues. IBIL runs a serious program of events at the highest level, including seminars, public lectures, conferences, workshops on all aspects of IP. It also operates an acclaimed CPD programme and UCL Laws has become home to a vibrant IP PhD community, supported by IBIL-funded PhD scholarships.

    The UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law would like to thank its sponsors, whose generosity has made this conference possible.