The Institute for Globalisation and International Regulation (IGIR) is an interdisciplinary research institute based at Maastricht University's Faculty of Law. The mission of the institute is to conduct research, to offer courses and seminars and to advise on the role of international regulation in addressing problems and challenges resulting from the process of economic globalisation.
IGIR’s intellectual property research group is a uniquely deep and broad group of multidisciplinary researchers working on intellectual property, innovation and knowledge management. The group has a particularly strong expertise in the field of international, European and comparative intellectual property research and analysis. The composition of the group allows for a wide geographical and linguistic research scope, enabling its researchers to excel at contrasting and comparing rationales, examining implementations of different forms of IP, and conducting evaluations of the goals and effectiveness of innovation and IP policy. The group has extensive experience in assessing the European Union’s intellectual property policy and its impact on the EU legal order, the external sphere and the national systems of the Member States. The staff have researched EU policies and authored studies on pharmaceutical patents, biotechnology patents, trade secrets, IP enforcement (ACTA), industrial designs, competition and standards, and copyright.
IGIR’s international trade and investment research group focuses on the challenges posed by the limiting effect of international rules regarding trade liberalisation and investment protection on the sovereign autonomy of states to pursue important societal objectives. Not only the substantive obligations contained in the international trade and investment regimes but also the institutional arrangements through which these obligations are developed and enforced can have significant implications for the regulatory autonomy of States. Societal concern on these issues is evident from the intense public debate on the mega-regional trade and investment agreements recently concluded or currently being negotiated, such as the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States, which aim at an unprecedented level of economic integration and regulatory coordination. The group is well placed to examine the increasing interaction between the international trade and investment regimes, and to benefit from opportunities to develop new insights arising from this interaction.
IGIR contributes to the Faculty of Law’s International Trade and Investment track of the masters programme Globalisation and Law and to the Advanced Master in Intellectual Property Law and Knowledge Management (IPKM).
“IGIR acts as a research institute but does contract work as well, such as consultancy projects, but also invest in curriculum building in many developing countries.”
“Teaching is my passion. I love acquainting students with international economic law and, most of all, challenging them to think about the sometimes difficult balance between free trade and other societal values.”
“The current relevance of IGIR’s research focus is shown by the variety of projects in which IGIR engages, such as policy briefs on the implication of trade law for new initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”