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Jacques de Werra

Hieken Visiting Professor in Patent Law

Winter 2024

Jacques de Werra
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Jacques de Werra is ordinary/full professor of the law of obligations (contract law) and of intellectual property law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Geneva. He is the Director of the Digital Law Center ( Jacques de Werra has been invited as visiting professor at various leading universities (including Stanford Law School (2017 and 2023 – as Visiting Professor in the W. A. Franke Global Law Program in Business Law), Paris 2 – Panthéon Assas (France), Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), City University of Hong Kong, Nagoya University (Japan)). He sits on the management board of the Geneva Master in International Dispute Settlement (MIDS, in which he will teach an intensive course on Intellectual Property Arbitration & Technology Arbitration (in the upcoming academic year 2023-2024). He also sits on the board of the International Academy of Sport Science & Technology (AISTS, which is seated in Lausanne and which was co-founded by the International Olympic Committee. Prof. de Werra teaches a module on Sports and Intellectual Property in the AISTS Master of Advanced Studies in Sport Management and Technology (which is one of the best sports management master program globally) and he has written a report on Sports and Intellectual Property for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Jacques de Werra obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Lausanne in 1997, in the course of which he completed a research stay at the Max-Planck-Institut für Geistiges Eigentum, Wettbewerbs- und Steuerrecht in Munich financed by a scholarship from the Deutsche Vereinigung für gewerblichen Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht e.V. After being admitted to the Bar of the Canton of Geneva in 1999, he obtained a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) and did research as a visiting scholar at Columbia Law School in New York City thanks to a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique) and was admitted to the New York Bar (2002).

Prior to joining the Faculty, Jacques de Werra practiced commercial and intellectual property law for several years in a leading Swiss business law firm in Zurich and in Geneva and also had the opportunity to work abroad (Brussels and New York) at US law firms specialized in intellectual property law.

Jacques de Werra teaches, publishes and conducts research in contract law. He has launched the website Swiss Contract Law (SCL, which presents the latest developments of the case law relating to Swiss commercial contracts. He also participated in the scientific project to recast the general part of the Code of Obligations funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (CO 2020). Every year, he publishes a review of the latest development of Swiss contract law for the law journal Le Journal des Tribunaux. He further contributes to the Faculty’s activities in the field of the law of obligations. He is also active in intellectual property law and digital law. He coordinates the Summer School on Intellectual Property Law co-organized with the World Intellectual Property Organization since 2011 and launched a summer school on Internet law in 2014, which now continues as the “Digital Law Summer school” (

Jacques de Werra organizes every year an international conference on intellectual property (Intellectual Property Law Day / journée de droit de la propriété intellectuelle, and publishes an IP book series (propriété intellectuelle – intellectual property, He co-edited a leading article by article commentary of Swiss IP laws (the Commentaire Romand de droit de la propriété intellectuelle) and edited a collective work on licensing contracts in comparative law (Research Handbook on Intellectual Property Licensing) as well as a book (co-edited with Prof. Irene Calboli) on trademark transactions (The Law and Practice of Trademark Transactions).

Jacques de Werra is involved in various research and legal training institutions inside and outside the University in the fields of intellectual property law, digital law and sports law. He is a member of the editorial board of the Swiss journal of intellectual property, information and competition law (revue sic!) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the Cahiers de propriété intellectuelle (Canada) and of the scientific committee of the French law journal Propriétés intellectuelles. He was Faculty Fellow and Associate Faculty at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University (2012-2014).

Jacques de Werra is also active in the field of alternative dispute resolution/international commercial arbitration (particularly for technology disputes) and is on the list of experts of the World Intellectual Property Organization for the resolution of disputes concerning domain names. He is also a member of various professional associations related to his fields of activity, including the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), the Swiss Sports Law Association, the Swiss group of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) and the International Literary and Artistic Association (ALAI) and the International Association for the Promotion of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP).