Research Profile

Dr Yahong Li 李亞虹

Dr Yahong Li, JSD and JSM (Stanford), JD (Suffolk), PDip (PKU), LLB (Southwest), is an Associate Professor at Faculty of Law and Director of LLM Program in IP and IT.

Dr Li specializes in intellectual property (IP) law with a focus on cross-disciplinary study on IP and innovation. 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 conduct research on biotech patenting in China in 2003, and was awarded several university grants to conduct research on WTO-related IP issues and competition issue. Her recent research interests have been on the issues of IP boundaries, copyright and creativity, and copyright law reform. In June 2014, she was awarded another major GRF grant to conduct research on fair use and creativity across the US, the EU, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

In addition to her own research projects, Dr Li has been invited to participate in research and grant applications of various international and local collaborative projects:

International collaborative projects:

  • Small working group on Innovation and Law project in 2013 and 2014, organized by Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Fudan University and University of St. Gallen.
  • “Digital China: from Cultural Presence to Innovative Nation” project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) 2017 and organized by Curtin University.
  • “Prosumerism and IP” project funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and organized by the IT/IP-Law Group of the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  • Copyright public domain project initiated by Professor Graham Greenleaf of the University of New South Walse.
  • China’s copyright law reform project, commissioned to Beijing University by China State Copyright Bureau since 2008.

Local collaborative research projects:

  • A Co-I in “Open Government Data Licence in Hong Kong” project of CUHK, funded by HK GRF grant (pending application)
  • A Co-I in the application for Hong Kong RGC Theme-Based Research Scheme (7th Round) 2017 on the “Innovation and Business Creation” project organized HKU School of Business and Finance and HKUST.
  • A Co-PI in a project team succeeded to the final selection round in a competitive RGC Theme-Based Research grant application in 2011 on the topic of Developing a Roadmap for Enhancing Entrepreneurship in Hong Kong: Innovation, Enterprises, and Hong Kong’s Sustainable Competitive Advantage.
  • A member of HKU theme-based research projects: “Drug Discovery/Synthesis” and “Ethical and Legal Issue for Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics” in 2005.

Based on these research projects, Dr Li has published extensively in the forms of books, monographs, journal articles and book chapters, either as an author or as an editor. In summary, she has published eight scholarly books and monographs, 14 book chapters, 22 journal articles, and edited 12 books. For the details of her publications, please refer to the section of “publication” in this webpage.

She has been twice awarded Faculty Outstanding Research Outputs Prize for her books: “Imitation to Innovation in China: the Role of Patents in Biotechology and Pharmaceutical Industries (Edward Elgar, 2010), and International and Comparative Intellectual Property: Law, Policy and Practice (LexisNexis, 2005).
Dr. Li is a frequent speaker/commentator in more than 100 international and regional conferences, and a visiting professor/fellow at several universities in US, Europe, Australia and China. In particular, she has been invited to deliver public lecture at CREATe Center of Glasgow U., ARCIALA of SMU, and a host of law schools in China, teach summer courses at WIPO Summer School on IP, Law Society of Hong Kong, and other universities. She was a Visiting Fellow or Scholar at Cambridge, Harvard, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition, Taiwan Academia Sinica, Zhejiang U., and Melbourne U.

She served as a Director for LLM Program in IP/IT from 2004 to 2010 and again in 2017 onward, and served as an Associate Director at HKU Technology Transfer Office from 2010-2016. She is a member of International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in IP (ATRIP), a Council Member of China IP Law Research Association, Co-Legal Lead of HK Creative Commons, and Honorary Advisor of Hong Kong Institute of Patent Attorneys.

In addition to research and professional activities, Dr Li is also passionate about teaching and supervision of postgraduate students. She has supervised 10 PhD students and one MPhil student in the 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. She currently teaches LLM courses of International and Comparative IP Law, Copyright and Creativity, and IP, Innovation and Development.