Prof Peter Drahos


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Peter Drahos is an Emeritus Professor in the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), College of Asia and the Pacific, at the Australian National University, Canberra and holds a Chair in Intellectual Property at Queen Mary, University of London. He is Professor of Law and Governance at the European University Institute, Florence.

His former positions include Herchel Smith Senior Research Fellow in Intellectual Property at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London and officer of the Australian Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department.
Peter holds degrees in law, politics and philosophy and is admitted as a barrister and solicitor.  He has published widely in law and social science journals on a variety of topics including contract, legal philosophy, telecommunications, intellectual property, trade negotiations and international business regulation.  He has worked as a consultant to government, international organizations and international NGOs.

Researcher's projects

National and Regional Patent Administration in Small to Medium-Sized States in the Global Economy

Patents and patent administration are key to the rules of the game in the knowledge economy. The study will analyse how a group of smaller national patent offices including Australia's are responding to the agenda of patent harmonization that is being led by the US, European and Japanese patent offices. The work of patent offices within the APEC, ASEAN and the Pacific Island Forum (for example, NZ, Fiji and China) will be the subject of fieldwork and analysis.

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council, IP Australia, the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia and the Australian National University. It commenced in December 2004 and was completed in 2008. Its published output includes Peter Drahos, The Global Governance of Knowledge: Patent Offices and their Clients, Cambridge University Press, 2010.


The Sustainable USe of Australia's Biodiversity: Transfer of Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property.

This ARC project looks at the realtionship between biodiversity, intellectual property and the traditional knowledge of Australia's indigenous peopls.  The project commenced in 2009 and finished in 2010.  There are a number of forthcoming publications including a special issue of the journal Prometheus and and edited book with ANU epress - Peter Drahos and Susy Frankel (eds), Indigenous Peoples’ Innovation: IP Pathways to Development

Access to Knowledge (A2K) Treaty

For developing countries the coming century of knowledge-based growth raises several basic development priorities. One of these basic priorities is to think creatively about models of governance for the production of knowledge that maximise the participation of developing countries in the processes of innovation and the spillover benefits of knowledge, while minimising the social cost of accumulating knowledge. One strategy for meeting this priority is to establish a framework agreement that contains guiding principles on access to knowledge. Following a WIPO General Assembly decision to examine proposals for a development agenda put forward by Argentina and Brazil in 2004, an initiative to draft the text of a Treaty on Access to Knowledge is currently being led by a coalition of civil society actors coordinated by the Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech). For further information see:

2005: Drahos, P 'An Alternative Framework for the Global Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights' CGKD Working Paper No.1: October 2005, [forthcoming publication] Austrian Journal of Development Studies

2005: Drahos, P 'Access to Knowledge: Time for a Treaty?' BRIDGES, 9(4), 15-17

2004: Letter from Peter Drahos and John Braithwaite to Mr George Soros, Chairman, Open Society Institute and Soros Foundations Network

2003: Drahos, P 'The Global Intellectual Property Ratchet: Why it Fails as Policy and What Should be Done About It' Paper for the Open Society Institute

Globalisation and Health: The Impact of International Trade Agreements on the Regulation and Provision of Medicines in Australia

This Project investigates the impact of international trade agreements (including the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement) on the regulation of and access to medicines in Australia. The Project investigates the relevant experience of USA, Canada, Brazil and Thailand through a comparative case method.

This project is funded by the Australian Research Council and the Australian National University. It commenced in January 2005.

Researchers: Tom Faunce, Peter Drahos, David Henry, Warwick Neville (PhD Scholar), Andrew Searles (PhD Scholar)

Faunce, TA, Doran, E, Henry, D Drahos, P, Pekarsky, B Neville, W and Searles, A (2005) 'Assessing the impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement on Australian and global medicines policy' Globalization and Health, 1:15, 6 Oct

Faunce, TA [2005] 'Impacts of Medical Technology Inquiry', Submission to the Productivity Commission's (see submission PR 60: Australian National University)

Faunce, TA [2005] 'Reflections on international cost-effectiveness pricing of pharmaceuticals', CGKD Working Paper

Faunce, TA [2005] 'Pharmaceutical Innovation in the AUSFTA: Implications for Public Health Policy in the US and Australia', CGKD Working Paper

Faunce, TA [2005] 'United Kingdom House of Commons on the Pharmaceutical Industry: Lessons for Protecting Cost Effectiveness Pricing', CGKD Working Paper

Drahos, P (2004) 'Intellectual Property and Pharmaceutical Markets: A Nodal Governance Approach' Temple Law Review, 77(2): 401–424 [note: this pdf version is uncorrected proofs and may contain errors]

Drahos, P, Lokuge, B, Faunce, T, Goddard, M & Henry, D (2004) 'Pharmaceuticals, Intellectual Property and Free Trade: The Case of the US–Australia Free Trade Agreement' Prometheus 22(3): 243–257

Faunce, TA [2005] 'Impact of the AUSFTA on Medicines Policy in Australasia', Presentation at Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, Wellington, August 2005

Neville, W [2005] 'Patient Rights or Patent Rites: Justice and a Jurisprudence of Health - Patent Law, Health Care and Access to Essential Medicines' Presentation at Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture Symposium, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 17 June

Faunce, TA [2005] 'Teaching Cost-Effectiveness', Lecture Outline for Medical School, ANU


LLB/BA (Hons) (University of Adelaide), Grad Dip in Legal Practice (University of South Australia), LLM (Hons) (University of Sydney), PhD (ANU)

Expertise Areas

  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Law and Society
  • Globalisation and Culture


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