Susy Frankel


Teaching in 2018

Research interests

International intellectual property law (copyright, patents and trade marks), trade agreements, and regulation


LLB (Hons) Well, LLM Lond


Susy’s research focuses on international intellectual property law. She teaches courses in intellectual property (including copyright, patents and trade marks), patent law and innovation, global intellectual property issues, international trade law, the protection of traditional knowledge and the law of contract. She has published books, articles and book chapters and is frequently invited to  give conference presentations on various aspects of intellectual property law and policy. She is Director of the New Zealand Centre of International Economic Law. From 2011-2013 Susy was the Project Leader of the New Zealand Law Foundation Regulatory Reform Project, funded to NZ$1.8 million. The project produced a cutting-edge regulatory toolkit.

Before joining Victoria University, in 1997, Susy practiced law in New Zealand and London. Susy qualified as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1988 and as a Solicitor of England & Wales in 1991.

Susy has been a visiting Professor at the University of Haifa (Reinhold Cohen Visiting Chair) 2014; University of Western Ontario 2012; Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and visitor to the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law, University of Cambridge, Michalmas term 2008; visiting Professor, University of Iowa 2000; and in 2013-2014 she is a Senior Fulbright Scholar and Hauser Global Fellow at New York University.

Appointments and memberships

  • Chair and Member of the Copyright Tribunal (NZ), August 2008-
  • President - Elect Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP), Member of the ATRIP Executive Committee since 2011
  • Neutral for WIPO, Geneva, World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre, Geneva, Switzerland, 2004-
  • Board member, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (NZ) 2012
  • Assistant Commissioner of Trade Marks, Patents and Designs, Hearings Officer for the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand, a quasi-judicial position for a specialist tribunal for 1998-2006
  • Consultant Expert to Waitangi Tribunal on the WAI 262 flora fauna and indigenous intellectual property claim (Waitangi Tribunal Report, 2011 Ko Aotearoa Tēnei)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of World Intellectual Property
  • Member of the Advisory Board of Legal Studies, Journal of the Society of Legal Scholars
  • Editorial Board, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property
  • Editorial Advisory Board, University of Western Australia Law Review
  • General Editor (joint) New Zealand Universities Law Review 2004 - 2005
  • Editorial Board, Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 1998- 2006.

Areas of supervision 

  • International intellectual property law and policy
  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Trade marks
  • Indigenous people's innovation and traditional knowledge
  • International trade law
  • Regulation and Regulatory Theory
  • Civil Remedies

Current research

Susy's current research projects include:

Selection of publications

with Peter Drahos Indigenous Peoples Innovation: Intellectual Property Pathways to Development (ANU epress, 2012) download.

Intellectual Property In New Zealand(2nd edition, Lexis Nexis, Wellington, July 2011) 900 pp.

"The Mismatch of Geographical Indications and Innovative Traditional Knowledge" (2011) 29(3) Prometheus pp 253-267 SSRN.

"Challenging TRIPS - Plus FTAs - the Potential Utility of Non-Violation Complaints" (2009) 12(4) Journal of International Economic Law pp 1023-1065.

“The WTO’s Application of ‘the Customary Rules of Interpretation of Public International Law’ to Intellectual Property” (2005) 46 Virginia Journal of International Law pp 365-428 SSRN.

More Publications

SSRN website


Teaching in 2018