Jennifer Davis

Dr Jennifer Davis


Jennifer has practised as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property litigation.  She has published extensively on trade marks, unfair competition and the history of intellectual property.  She also has an interest in law and linguistics.

Jennifer Davis

Jennifer was educated in the United States at Sarah Lawrence College where she earned a BA and at Boston College where she was awarded her PhD in history. She also gained an MSc from the London School of Economics in International Relations.  

She was a Research Fellow at Girton College and held a Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, New York. After legal training, she practiced for a number of years as a solicitor in the field of intellectual property, specialising in litigation. 

In 1995, she left practice to become the Director of Studies in Law at Wolfson.  She remained the Director of Studies for undergraduates until 2011 when she took on the post of Director of Studies for the Law Masters students. Between 2000 and 2011 she was a lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the Faculty of Law, Cambridge, as a Newton Trust Lecturer and then as the Herchel Smith College Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law. She has regularly lectured at the Commercial Law School at Queen Mary’s London and at the School of Law at the University of Warsaw.  Jennifer is a member of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the Cambridge Law Faculty and is a member of its Management Board. During her time at Wolfson, Jennifer was a Graduate Tutor and continued in this role until she became an Emeritus Fellow.  

She is now the Chair of the Humanities Society at Wolfson College, which arranges talks relating to the Humanities throughout the academic year.

Research interests

Jennifer has researched and published both in the fields of law and history. She often takes an interdisciplinary approach to her legal studies. In her specialist field of intellectual property law, she has published widely on the subject of trade marks and unfair competition both from a United Kingdom and an international perspective And has published articles on the history of trade marks and unfair competition. She has also published a number of articles and chapters on trade marks and other intellectual property rights with Professor Alan Durant who is a linguist.   

She published three editions of the Core Text in Intellectual Property and is now working with Professor Tanya Aplin on their fourth edition of Intellectual Property: Cases and Materials for OUP, with an expected publication date of early 2020.  At present, Jennifer’s work is focussed on two areas. With Alan Durant she is working a volume which will locate and describe key words in intellectual property from a legal, historical and linguistic perspective. She is also working on a social, political and economic history of trade marks since the 19thcentury which, among other things, charts how they became facilitators of sweatshops both at home and abroad. She has contributed to the volume Keywords for Today, published in 2018 by OUP, which updates the original book on Key Words by Raymond Williams. And she has organised a number of interdisciplinary workshops on intellectual property at the Cambridge Law Faculty which resulted in two edited volumes for Cambridge University Press.