Academic Staff

Dr Li Yahong 李亞虹

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Dr Yahong Li, JSD & JSM (Stanford), JD (Suffolk), PDip (Peking), LLB (SW U Pol. & Law), is an Associate Professor at the Department of Law and an Associate Director at HKU Technology Transfer Office.

Dr. Li specializes in intellectual property (IP) law with a focus on cross-disciplinary study on IP and cutting-edge technologies. Since 2003, she has been exploring the relationship between IP and innovation by studying patent activities and performances in the fields of biotech, pharmaceutical and information technologies. She was awarded a Hong Kong government General Research Fund (GRF) to do research on biotech patenting in China, was a member of HKU theme-based research projects: “Drug Discovery/Synthesis” and “Ethical and Legal Issue for Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics”, and was awarded several university grants to conduct research on WTO-related IP issues and competition issue. In 2013 and 2014 she was invited by Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society to join a small working group on Innovation and Law. Her recent research interests have been on the issues of IP boundaries, copyright and creativity, and copyright law reform. She has been a Hong Kong Coordinator for the copyright law reform project of China State Copyright Bureau. In June 2014, she was awarded a major GRF to conduct research on fair use and creativity across the US, the EU, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Dr. Li enjoys research and academic writing. She received more than 10 research grants, authored or edited 17 books and monographs, and published about 40 journal articles, book chapters and other writings. Her two books: “Imitation to Innovation in China: the Role of Patents in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries (Edward Elgar, 2010) and International and Comparative Intellectual Property: Law, Policy and Practice (LexisNexis, 2005) received Faculty Outstanding Research Prize in 2006 and 2011 respectively.

As a result of her widely known research outputs, Dr. Li was invited as a keynote speaker or speaker in more than 60 international conferences, and as a Visiting Professor or Guest Lecturer at the institutions such as WIPO Summer School on IP, Santa Clara University, Salzburg University, Hong Kong Law Society, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Jinan University and Zhongshan University. She was a Visiting Fellow/Scholar at Cambridge University, Harvard University, Max Planck Institute for IP & Competition, and Melbourne University.

Dr. Li is a member of International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP), an elected Council Member of China Intellectual Property Law Research Association, and a co-Legal Lead of Hong Kong Creative Commons project. Prior to joining in HKU, she was a Software Licensing Administrator at MIT and a research staff at Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress.

In addition to research and professional activities, Dr. Li is also passionate about teaching and supervision of postgraduate students. So far, she has supervised seven PhD students and one MPhil student on their dissertations covering areas of IP protection in green technology, Traditional Chinese Medicines and telecommunications, patentability criteria, fair use doctrine, digital copyright issues, international IP institutions, and criminal enforcement of copyright in Thailand. From 2003-2010, she served as the Director of LLM Program in IP/IT at the Department of Law and had been instrumental in building up the IP program by creating and teaching many new IP courses such as IP Issues in Biotech, and Commercialization and Management of IP. In 2014-2015 academic year, her teaching includes following LLM courses: International and Comparative IP Law; Copyright and Creativity; IP, Innovation and Development; Introduction to Chinese Law and Legal System.