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Academic Profile


Dr. Eugene C Lim specializes in the field of international and comparative intellectual property law, and his research explores the impact of emerging technologies on commerce, communication and culture in the modern digital society. Dr. Lim’s interests in law and technology are broad-ranging, and his current work explores how consumer perceptions of non-traditional and exotic trademarks (including three-dimensional shapes, musical sounds, aromatic scents, flavours, abstract colours, fictional characters and brands developed for virtual-reality platforms) have evolved in an age of multisensory branding.         

In addition to his primary research interests in law and technology, Dr. Lim is also interested in multi-disciplinary studies that seek to explain the impact of law on social behaviour. His research agenda is animated by two key methodological frameworks – cross-disciplinary approaches to legal scholarship and comparative analysis, both of which seek to situate law in its broader socio-cultural context. The breadth of Dr. Lim’s research interests is reflected in his repertoire of published work: he has written, taught and delivered presentations in the fields of biotechnology law, theories of compliance with international law, international intellectual property regulation, trademark dilution theory, the concept of fixation in copyright law, the doctrine of equivalents in patent law, and the law of torts, among other areas. His publications have appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals, including the European Intellectual Property Review, the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, and the University of British Columbia Law Review.


Research Interests:

  • International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law
  • Law and Creative Expression
  • Intellectual Property and Human Rights
  • Biotechnology Law and Policy
  • Copyright, Trade Marks and Patents
  • Law of Torts
  • Theories of Compliance with International Law
  • Legal Theory
  • Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Law and Legal Reasoning


Teaching Areas:

  • Copyright in the Digital Environment
  • The Law of Torts
  • Approaches to Legal Research
  • Intellectual Property and the Creative Industries
  • Intellectual Property and Immersive Technologies


Publications and Other Works (Selected List)

  • Eugene C Lim, "Marks of Adhesion: The Untapped Potential of Trade Mark Law in Promoting Health Education, Communication and Consumer Choice in the Merchandising of Food Products" (2024) 46(3) European Intellectual Property Review 149. 


  • Eugene C Lim, "Finding Nemo: Digital Art, Tokenised Assets, Virtual Property and the Right of Communication in Copyright Law" (2024) 27(1) Journal of World Intellectual Property 69.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Reconstituted Expression, Edited Works and Originality in Copyright Law” (2023) 45:2 European Intellectual Property Review 72.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Fictional Characters and False Endorsements: When is a Trade Mark Registration Considered Deceptive?” (2023) 45:3 European Intellectual Property Review 119.


  • Eugene C. Lim, "Descriptive Words, Distinctive Character and Inventiveness in Trade Mark Law: A Critical Recalibration of the Abercrombie Spectrum" (2023) 25:2 Media and Arts Law Review 104 (University of Melbourne).


  • Eugene C. Lim, “The Teletubbies, Aesthetic Functionality and the Section 51 Paradox: On the Interplay of Copyright, Design and Trademark Rules in Character Merchandising” (2021) 43:10 European Intellectual Property Review 636.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “The Shifting Boundaries of Fame: Well-Known Trademarks, Consumer Recognition and Augmented Reality Platforms in the Age of COVID-19” (2021) 43:3 European Intellectual Property Review 172.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Meet My Artificially Intelligent Virtual Self: Creative Avatars, Machine Learning, Smart Contracts and the Copyright Conundrum” (2021) 16:1 Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice 66 (JIPLP) (Oxford University Press) (Advance Access Publication 29 November 2020).


  • Eugene C. Lim, “From Harvard Mouse to Novartis: Synthetic Biology, Transgenic Life and the Varieties Exclusion in Patent Law” (2019) 49:3 Hong Kong Law Journal 927.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Brands as Cultural Symbols in Virtual Realities: Challenging the Paradigms of Commerce in the Virtual Platform Economy”, paper presented at the Legal Implications of the Platform Economy Workshop II, Hong Kong, 16 September 2019.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Only Fifty Shades of Grey? A Critical Look at Abstract Colour Marks in the Post-Sieckmann Era”, paper presented at the Conference on Limitations on Trademark Rights from Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 7-8 January 2019, University of Hong Kong.


  • Eugene C. Lim (Lead Author), “Acoustic Branding, Non-Traditional Trademarks and the Graphical Representation Requirement: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis” (2019) 41(1) European Intellectual Property Review 5.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “More than Fifty Shades of Grey: Single Colors, Position Marks, and the Self-Containment Criterion” (2019) 109 The Trademark Reporter 779.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “How Chocolate Wars ‘Shape’ the Law: Three Dimensional Trade Marks, Kit Kat, and the Enigma of Technical Function” (2018) 48:2 Hong Kong Law Journal 533.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Teaching Jurisprudence in a ‘Technology-Enabled Classroom’: An Experiment with Experiential Learning”, paper presented at the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Law, 2 June 2018, Hong Kong.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Spontaneous Oral Communications, Impromptu Speeches and Fixation in Copyright Law: A Comparative Analysis” (2018) 13:10 Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice 806 (Oxford University Press).


  • Eugene C. Lim, “On the Uneasy Interface between Economic Rights, Moral Rights and Users’ Rights in Copyright Law: Can Canada Learn from the UK Experience?” (2018) 15:1 SCRIPTed – A Journal of Law, Technology and Society 70 (University of Edinburgh).


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Spontaneous Oral Communications, Impromptu Speeches and Fixation in Copyright Law: A Comparative Analysis” (2018) 8-9 Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht, Internationaler Teil 862.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Authorship, Death and Immortality: A Practical Look at the Posthumous Enforcement of Authors’ Rights in Canada” (2017) 12:11 Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice 906 (Oxford University Press).


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Can Dead Authors Talk? On the Posthumous Enforcement of Authors’ Rights in Comparative Perspective”, paper presented at the 11th World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Advanced Intellectual Property Research Seminar, 22-24 May 2017, Geneva, Switzerland.      


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Of Pride and Prejudice: Mangled Art, Mutilated Statues, Hypersensitive Authors and the Moral Right of Integrity” (2016) 21 Media and Arts Law Review 149 (University of Melbourne).         


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Opening the ‘Pandora’s Box’ of Patent Claim Construction: Purposive Interpretation, Central Claiming and the Doctrine of Equivalents in Comparative Perspective” (2016) 16 Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law 155 (University of Manitoba).


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Forum Shopping in Biotechnology Law”, paper presented at the 18th International Conference on Intellectual Property Management, 4-5 August 2016, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Thin-Skull Plaintiffs, Socio-Cultural ‘Abnormalities’ and the Dangers of an Objective Test for Hypersensitivity” (2014) 37:2 Dalhousie Law Journal 749.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Proximity, Psychiatric Injury and the Primary / Secondary Tortfeasor Dichotomy: Rethinking Liability for Nervous Shock in the Information Age” (2014) 23 Nottingham Law Journal 1.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Harvesting the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ of Biotechnology Research: Genetic Engineering, International Law and the Patentability of Higher Life Forms in Canada” (2012) 10 Canadian Journal of Law and Technology 205.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Of Chew Toys and Designer Handbags: A Critical Analysis of the ‘Parody’ Exception under the U.S. Trademark Dilution Revision Act” (2012) 35 Campbell Law Review 83.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “On the Compliance Pull of Intellectual Property Norms: Finnis, Practical Reasonableness and the Challenge of Social Internalization” (2012) 31 Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues 1.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Malice, Qualified Privilege and the New Responsible Communication Defence to Defamation: Which Way Forward for Investigative Journalism in Canada?” (2012) 45:1 University of British Columbia Law Review 223.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “Dilution, the Section 22 Debacle, and the Protection of Business Goodwill in Canada: Some Insights from U.S. Trademark Law and Policy” (2011) 101 Trademark Reporter 1232.


  • Eugene C. Lim, “A Long ‘TRIP’ Home: Intellectual Property Rights, International Law and the Constructivist Challenge” (2008) 4(2) Journal of International Law & International Relations 57.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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