OKEDIJI, Prof. Ruth L.



LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D.

Ruth L. Okediji is the Jeremiah Smith. Jr, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center. A renowned scholar in international intellectual property (IP) law and a foremost authority on the role of intellectual property in social and economic development, Professor Okediji has advised inter-governmental organizations, regional economic communities, and national governments on a range of matters related to technology, innovation policy, and development. Her widely cited scholarship on IP and development has influenced government policies in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America. Her ideas have helped shape national strategies for the implementation of the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). She works closely with several United Nations agencies, research centers, and international organizations on the human development effects of international IP policy, including access to knowledge, access to essential medicines and issues related to indigenous innovation systems. Professor Okediji was a member of the United States National Academies' Board on Science, Technology and Policy Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era. She served as the Chief Technical Expert and Lead Negotiator for the Delegation of Nigeria to the 2013 WIPO Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities (Marrakesh VIP Treaty). Okediji was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the 2015 – 2016 High Level Panel on Access to Medicines. Professor Okediji is a recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching, research and mentoring. She is an editor of the Journal of World Intellectual Property Law and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Her most recent book, Copyright Law in an Age of Limitations and Exceptions, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. Professor Okediji is a graduate of the University of Jos and Harvard Law School.
Gender: Female
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Profession Renowned Scholar , Professor
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Jeremiah Smith. Jr, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center.

SCHOOLS ATTENDED: University of Jos, Nigeria 1989; Harvard Law School, Boston, USA, 1991; Harvard Law School, Boston, USA, 1996.


1. Ruth L. Okediji, Does Intellectual Property Need Human Rights?, 51 N.Y.U. J. Int’l & Pol. 1 (2018).

2. Laurence R. Helfer, Molly K. Land, Ruth L. Okediji & Jerome H. Reichman, The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty: Facilitating Access to Books for Print-Disabled Individuals (Oxford Univ. Press 2017).

3. Copyright Law in an Age of Limitations and Exceptions (Ruth L. Okediji ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 2017).

4. Ruth L. Okediji, Reframing International Copyright Exceptions and Limitations as Development Policy, in Copyright Law in an Age of Exceptions and Limitations 429 (Ruth L. Okediji ed., Cambridge Univ. Press 2017).

5. Ruth L. Okediji, Government as Owner of Intellectual Property: Considerations for Public Welfare in an Era of Big Data, 18 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 331 (2016).

6. Julie E. Cohen, Lydia Pallas Loren, Ruth Gana Okediki & Maureen A. O’Rourke, Copyright in a Global Information Economy (Aspen Law & Bus. 4th ed. 2015).

7. Ruth L. Okediji, Law and Technology, in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences 520 (James D. Wright ed., 2nd ed. 2015).

8. Ruth L. Okediji, Contracts, Persons and Property: A Tribute to Margaret Jane Radin, 22 Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev. 143 (2015).

9. Ruth L. Okediji, Legal Innovation in International Intellectual Property Relations: Revisiting Twenty-One Years of the TRIPS Agreement, 36 U. Pa. J. Int’l L. 191 (2015).

10. Ruth L. Okediji, TRIPS and Its Methods: The Resilience of Developing Country Implementation of Intellectual Property Norms, in Intellectual Property, Trade and Development: Strategies to Optimize Economic Development in a TRIPS-Plus Era 241 (Daniel J. Gervais ed., 2nd ed. 2014).

11. Intellectual Property Rights: Legal and Economic Challenges for Development (Mario Cimoli, Giovanni Dosi, Keith E. Maskus, Ruth L. Okediji & Jerome H. Reichman eds., Oxford Univ. Press 2014).

12. Ruth L. Okediji, Is Intellectual Property “Investment”? Eli Lilly v. Canada and the International Intellectual Property System, 35 U. Pa. J. Int’l L. 1121 (2014).

13. Keith E. Maskus & Ruth L. Okediji, Legal and Economic Perspectives on International Technology Transfer in Environmentally Sound Technologies, inIntellectual Property Rights: Legal and Economic Challenges for Development (Mario Cimoli, Giovanni Dosi, Keith E. Maskus, Ruth L. Okediji & Jerome H. Reichman eds., 2014).

14. Patent Law in Global Perspective (Margo A. Bagley & Ruth L. Okediji eds., Oxford Univ. Press 2014).

15. Ruth L. Okediji, The Role of WIPO in Access to Medicines, in Balancing Wealth and Health: The Battle Over Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines in Latin America (Rochelle C. Dreyfuss & Cesar Rodriguez-Garavito eds., 2014).

16. Margo A. Bagley, Ruth L. Okediji & Jay Erstling, International Patent Law and Policy (West Acad. Publ’g 2013).

17. Jerome H. Reichman & Ruth L. Okediji, When Copyright Law and Science Collide: Empowering Digitally Integrated Research Methods on a Global Scale, 96 Minn. L. Rev. 1364 (2012).

18. Ruth L. Okediji, Copyright in TRIPS and Beyond: The WIPO Internet Treaties, inResearch Handbook on the Protection of Intellectual Property under WTO Rules 343 (Carlos Correa ed., 2010).

19. Ruth L. Okediji, Public Welfare and the Role of the WTO: Reconsidering the TRIPS Agreement, in The Political Economy of Intellectual Property Rights 192 (Christopher May ed., 2010).

20. Ruth L. Okediji, Prospects for Innovation and Technology Transfer Under the European Community-Group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific Economic Partnership Agreements, in Updating Economic Partnership Agreements to Today’s Global Challenges 98 (Emily Jones & Darlan F. Martí eds., 2009).

21. Ruth L. Okediji, The Regulation of Creativity Under the WIPO Internet Treaties, 77 Fordham L. Rev. 2379 (2009).

22. Ruth L. Okediji, Beyond Fragmentation: WIPO-WTO Relations and the Future of Global IP Norms, 39 Neth. Y.B. Int’l L. 69 (2008).

23. Ruth L. Okediji, History Lessons for the WIPO Development Agenda, in The Development Agenda: Global Intellectual Property and Developing Countries (Neil Weinstock Netanel ed., 2008).

24. Ruth L. Okediji, IP Essentialism and the Authority of the Firm, 117 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 274 (2008).

25. Ruth L. Okediji, The Limits of Development Strategies at the Intersection of Intellectual Property and Human Rights, in Intellectual Property, Trade and Development: Strategies to Optimize Economic Development in a TRIPS-Plus Era 355 (Daniel J. Gervais ed., 2007).

26. Ruth L. Okediji, An Enduring Legacy for the Knowledge Econoomy: UNESCO and the International Copyright System, in Standard-Setting in UNESCO: Normative Action in Education, Science and Culture 113 (Abdulqawi A. Yusuf ed., 2007).

27. Ruth L. Okediji, Securing Intellectual Property Objectives: New Approaches to Human Rights Considerations, in Casting the Net Wider: Human Rights, Development, and New Duty-Bearers 211 (Margot E. Salomon, Arne Tostensen & Wouter Vandenhole eds., 2007).

28. Ruth L. Okediji, The International Intellectual Property Roots of Geographical Indications, 82 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 1329 (2007).

29. Ruth L. Okediji, Sustainable Access to Copyrighted Digital Information Works in Developing Countries, in International Public Goods and Transfer of Technology Under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime 142 (Jerome H. Reichman & Keith E. Maskus eds., 2005).

30. Ruth L. Okediji, Rules of Power in an Age of Law: Process Opportunism and TRIPS Dispute Settlement, in Handbook of International Trade: Economic and Legal Analyses of Trade Policy and Institutions 42 (James Hartigan & Kwan Choi eds., 2005).

31. Ruth L. Okediji, Africa and the Global Intellectual Property System: Beyond the Agency Model, 12 Afr. Y.B. Int’l L. 207 (2004).

32. Ruth L. Okediji, Back to Bilateralism? Pendulum Swings in International Intellectual Property Agreements, 1 U. Ottawa L. & Tech. J. 125 (2004).

33. Ruth L. Okediji, The Institutions of Intellectual Property: New Trends in an Old Debate, 98 Am. Soc’y Int’l L. Proc. 219 (2004).

34. Ruth L. Okediji, Through the Years: The Supreme Court and the Copyright Clause, 30 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1633 (2004).

35. Ruth L. Okediji, Balancing Acts: Antitrust for Economic Development, 48 Antitrust Bull. 923 (2003).

36. Ruth L. Okediji, Public Welfare and the Role of the WTO: Reconsidering the TRIPS Agreement, 17 Emory Int’l L. Rev. 819 (2003).

37. Ruth L. Okediji, The International Relations of Intellectual Property: Naratives of Developing Country Participation in the Global Intellectual Property System, 7 Sing. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 315 (2003).

38. Ruth L. Okediji, Toward an International Fair Use Doctrine, 39 Colum. J. Transnat’l L. 75 (2000).


– Intellectual Property: International Intellectual Property
– Intellectual Property: Copyright Law
– Intellectual Property: The International Patent System


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