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Dr Jessica Lai researches in intellectual property, especially patent law and the protection of Indigenous knowledge, and patents and gender. She has published numerous articles, chapters, books and edited books in these fields, and is the author of Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property Rights (Springer 2014) and Patent Law and Women (Routledge, 2022). Jessica has also taught related classes at the University of Geneva, University of Lucerne, Goethe University in Frankfurt, Stockholm University and Uppsala University.

Jessica has a doctorate in law (summa cum laude) from the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. She is a New Zealand Royal Society Rutherford Discovery Fellow (2022-2027). Between February 2015 and July 2016, she was a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, which she undertook at the Max-Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. Before moving go Switzerland, Jessica studied law and chemistry at Victoria University of Wellington, where she obtained an LLB Hons (First Class), MSc (First Class) and BSc.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington


  • 2013 
    University of Lucerne, Dr iur.