photoDr. Tobias Schonwetter is the Director of the Intellectual Property Unit at the University of Cape Town’s law faculty. He currently is as a Principal Investigator for various IP-related research and capacity building projects, including the Open AIR project, ASK Justice and the Wikiprimary project. Since 2015, Tobias is an editor for the African Journal of Information and Communication’s (AJIC) Thematic Issues on Knowledge Governance . Since 2009, Tobias is also the legal lead of Creative Commons in South Africa. Previously, Tobias was a Regional Coordinator for Africa for the Creative Commons Corporation and a Senior Manager – Technology and Innovation Law – at PwC South Africa. He also was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town’s Intellectual Property Unit. He specialises in intellectual property, particularly the relationship between intellectual property, innovation and development. Tobias studied and practiced law in Germany, the U.S. and South Africa, and holds Ph.D. and LL.M. degrees from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. He has been awarded with the prestigious UCT Research Fellowship Award for his doctoral studies in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Tobias has written numerous articles on copyright law and he has spoken at various national as well as international conferences. Tobias’s linked profile is available here and his twitter handle is @tobyschonwetter .

Professor Caroline Ncube is an NRF rated researcher. She holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town, an LLB degree from the University of Zimbabwe and an LLM from the University of Cambridge. Caroline joined the Department of Commercial Law in January 2005. Before that she lectured at the University of Limpopo (formerly University of the North) and the University of Zimbabwe. Prior to embarking on an academic career, she briefly practised as an attorney. Caroline plays an active role in various professional associations and participates in socially responsive research projects. She is often invited to give lectures and seminars in Intellectual Property to various constituencies including WIPO Summer School students and librarians. Caroline is also actively involved in research projects that focus on open development, access to knowledge and the promotion of a balanced approach to IP. She is also the founding co-editor of the South African Intellectual Property Law Journal. Further information about her publications and teaching is available here. Her twitter handle is @caro_ncube.

Dr. Lee-Ann Tong is a senior lecturer in the Department of Commercial Law and the IP Unit’s Deputy Director. She holds LL.M. degrees in Intellectual Property Law from University College London and the University of Turin. She is the convenor for the postgraduate Intellectual Property Law programme and convenor of the LL.B. Intellectual Property law elective and research focus group. Lee-Ann’s main area of interest is the allocation of intellectual property rights in the employment context.

Julian_Kinderlerer_thumbEmeritus Professor Julian Kinderlerer was the IP Unit’s  first director until the beginning of 2013. Julian is also a former Professor of Biotechnology & Society at the Technology University in Delft, The Netherlands, former Director of the Sheffield Institute of Biotechnology Law and Ethics and honorary Professor of Biotechnology Law at the University of Sheffield in the UK. He is the President of the European Group on Ethics (EGE) in Science and New Technologies that reports to the European Commission, Council and Parliament on ethical issues. He is also a member of the South African Nanotechnology Ethics committee. In 2000 he was seconded to the United Nations Environment Programme to design and implement a project designed to assist developing countries develop their regulatory system to comply with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety that eventually involved over 130 countries. He has also acted as the Specialist Adviser to a House of Lords Select Committee on European Agriculture and modern Biotechnology.

Eve Gray has a background in academic publishing, bringing to her promotion of Access to Knowledge an awareness of the value of the professional skills that publishers contribute to knowledge dissemination and their understanding of the strategic importance of effective communication. Eve also sees the potential for digital media and open licensing to transcend the limitations of the traditional publishing models in the global South and the knowledge barriers that limit the reach of developing world research. In 2006-7 Eve was an International Policy Fellow of the Open Society Institute, Budapest, in the Open Information Working Group, working on policy development for access to knowledge in southern Africa. She has worked in a number of projects relating to open access, access to and participation in the communication and publication of African research, most recently as Project Lead for the Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme, a four-country project funded by the IDRC; as well as Ecology of Access to Learning Materials in Developing Countries, in association with the American Assembly at Columbia University, also funded by the IDRC. Both of these projects engaged with the realities of the southern African context, aligning policy goals and proposing appropriate strategic solutions. Eve is a Trustee of the Electronic Publishing Trust, a UK-based Trust, which works with developing country scientists and publishers to improve access to the world’s research literature and to raise the visibility of research findings published in developing countries. She is a member of the Experts’ Panel for the Journal Flipping Project being run by the Harvard University Office for Scholarly Communication, a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the newly open access IDS Bulletin, from the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex; and a member of the Advisory Board of Knowledge Unlatched, an organization that works with libraries to create a sustainable consortium model for open access scholarly books. Eve blogs here.

BernardMaisterDr. Bernard Maister is a senior research associate for the Unit. He is a graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law (Minnesota) and also has an LL.M. from the Cardozo School of Law (New York). He is a licensed attorney in Minnesota and New York. As a member of the “patent bar”, he is authorised to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has worked as an attorney in law firms in Minnesota and New York involved in patent prosecution and litigation and pharmaceutical mass torts. Bernard’s current affiliation with the IP Unit arose out of his work on the impact of Intellectual Property Rights on innovation and development with particular reference to the Millennium Development Goals as part of a major research project under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The results of this were later published with Bernard as a contributing author. He has subsequently participated in research and published in other areas related to various aspects of international intellectual property rights focusing on such areas as traditional knowledge and the role of IP in developing countries. More recently he has begun working in the area of Plant Breeders’ Rights, food security and the role of patenting in biotechnology. In addition to these activities Bernard plays an active role in the teaching program of the IP Unit. Prior to his legal career, Bernard worked as a pediatric neurologist in the United States. His medical degree is from U.C.T.

nanNan Warner is the Project Manager of two projects: the Open A.I.R. (Open African Innovation Research and Training) project and the African Scholars for Knowledge Justice (ASK Justice) project.  Previously she was Manager, African Academic Links section of the International Academic Programmes Office at the University of Cape Town, and Director of the USHEPiA (University Science, Law, Humanities, and Engineering Partnerships in Africa) Programme.  She designed and ran the AU/RPN (Association of African Universities / USHEPiA Research Publication Network) from 2000 – 2002; the UPAAE (UNESCO Pilot African Academic Exchange Programme) from 1999 – 2001; the EAAV (Eric Abraham Academic Visitorship Programme) from 2007 – 2011; and the UCT/AAU (UCT/AAU Academic Staff Exchange Programme) from 2010 – 2011. In the area of development, Nan was part of the European Universities Association ‘Access to Success’ Project and participated in workshops and the launch of the White Paper in 2010.  She assisted in the development of the Nyerere (Supporting Academic Mobility and Revitalisation of Higher Education in Africa) Programme, launched in 2010.  She was part of the EUA-CED Global Strategic Forum on Doctoral Education in 2011, and presented on ‘Mobility, Brain Drain, and Brain Circulation’; and was invited to participate in the HESA/BRITISH ACADEMY/ACU ‘Foundations for the Future: Supporting Early Career Research in Africa : A workshop as part of the Nairobi Process on strengthening the humanities and social sciences in African universities’ in 2011. Nan has an M.Ed. from the University of the Western Cape in Higher Education Studies, a Certificate in Management from the South African Qualifications Authority, and has attended a number of training courses in relevant disciplines.

Criminology Theresa-1 copy 2Theresa Hume
first joined UCT in 2010 as the Finance and Administration Assistant for the Centre of Criminology.  Prior to this, Theresa was part of an organisation supporting individuals to re-imagine and transform the way in which governance is accomplished through safety and security.  Theresa has been working with Wikimedia ZA as Administrative Assistant for the past 2 years, and is passionate about open and free access to knowledge for all, and innovation through collaboration.  Theresa returned to UCT in July 2015 in a part time capacity to support the Open Air and other projects.

phyllisPhyllis Webb joined UCT in 1990 in the Finance area. She quickly moved around within Central Finance to gain experience in all aspects of finance procedures at UCT. After 7 years in IAPO and 17 years at UCT, Phyllis left to work at an NGO which allowed her to maintain links with tertiary education in South Africa. Phyllis joined the Open Air Project in October 2011 as a Finance Administrator and is now the Finance Administrator for the ASK Justice project.

JeremyProf. Jeremy de Beer is a senior research associate for the Unit based in Canada. He is a tenured Full Professor of law at the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society. As co-founder and director of the Open African Innovation Research network, Open AIR, Professor de Beer works closely with researchers at the IP Unit and throughout the continent of Africa to ease tensions between intellectual property and access to knowledge. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with five books and over three-dozen peer-reviewed chapters and articles across the disciplines of law, business, political science, international relations and public policy. Recent examples include Intellectual Property and Innovation: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa, Knowledge and Innovation in Africa: Scenarios for the Future, “The Informal Economy, Innovation and Intellectual Property,” and Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright. Also a practicing lawyer and expert consultant, he has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, advised businesses and law firms both large and small, and consulted for agencies from national governments and the United Nations. He is online at

Foster_Laura_PhotoDr. Laura Foster is a senior research associate for the Unit based in the U.S. She is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Affiliate Faculty with the Mauer School of Law & Department of African Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her research broadly focuses on the co-constituted relationships of law and science, and how such interactions historically structure and reinforce certain bodies, identities, knowledges, and practices over others. She draws upon her expertise in science and technology studies, feminist and critical race legal theory, transnational/post-colonial feminisms, feminist research methodologies, and intellectual property law as well as her legal practice experience in both human rights and corporate law in the U.S. and in Southern Africa.

Andrew Rens (currently at the Duke Law School, U.S.). Andrew Rens thinks and writes about the interaction of law, knowledge and innovation, and blogs his thoughts at aliquidnovi. At the Unit, Andrew taught a Master’s course in Telecommunications Law. Andrew has worked in  academia, private practise and the non profit sector.  He was the founding Legal Lead of Creative Commons South Africa, a co-founder and  former director of The African Commons Project, a charter member and  director of Freedom to Innovate South Africa ,a fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society , and a research associate at the LINK Center at the School of Public and Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.  Andrew qualified as an attorney in South Africa, and was awarded a Master of Laws from the Law School at the University of the Witwatersrand where he where he subsequently taught Master’s courses in Intellectual Property, Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Space and Satellite, and Media  and  Information Technology Law, before spending several years in San Francisco, California.  Andrew completed a three year fellowship as the Intellectual Property Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation. Andrew is a co-PI for the ASK Justice project.

bramDr. Bram De Jonge is a visiting researcher from the Law & Governance Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands, where he works in the field of Intellectual Property Rights, genetic resources policies, and international development.



Bram-van-WielBram Van Wiele is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Department of Commercial Law. His research focuses on the intellectual property (IP) aspects of 3D printing and the impact thereof on innovation and development. Van Wiele obtained his LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Antwerp (Belgium) where he majored in International and European Law. In 2014, he obtained an additional LLM, specialising in IP Law, from UCT. During these studies, Van Wiele was awarded the David Potts Essay Prize for his essay on cyber libel. He joined the UCT IP Unit  in March 2014 and organises the Unit’s CopyrightX:UCT course.

yvonneYvonne Alexandra Kisuule is a Research Assistant with the IP Unit. She is working on a number of projects, including ‘Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Knowledge Systems Related to Climate Change and Intellectual Property Rights’. Her other research interests include Geographical Indications in developing countries. Yvonne obtained her LLB from Makerere University, Uganda, and her LLM from the University of Cape Town, where she specialised in Intellectual Property Law.

davidDavid Frick is a student assistant. He is a Cape Town based final year law student, reading by correspondence for his LLB with the HFH University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, Germany. Previously, he completed his basic studies at the University of Freiburg in Germany, and was enrolled at UCT as a visiting student from 2012 to 2013. David has special experience in German and South African Private Law and a particular interest in the effects of the internationalisation of economic relations, commercial traffic and societal developments on data protection and intellectual property issues. He has extensive foreign language skills and distinctive intercultural competence regarding the relations between Germany and South Africa. David has previously worked as a volunteer for the Refugee Rights Unit at the UCT Law Clinic and as a research assistant for an anthropological research project.