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About us


The AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law was established on 1 April 2002 with the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The Centre was successful in a competitive bid for a further phase of funding from the AHRC which continued the Centre's work until 2012. The Centre's research themes examined the synergies between intellectual property law and information technology law together with work on media law, medical law & ethics, and forensic evidence. Its remit was to consider the relationship between law, policy and technologies in the broadest sense.


SCRIPT (the Shepherd and Wedderburn Centre for Research in Intellectual Property and Technology) was established at the University of Edinburgh in 1998 as a centre of excellence in the disciplines of intellectual property law (IP) and information technology law (IT). Initially the purpose was to bring together and provide a coherent focus for work that was on-going at the University of Edinburgh, particularly within the School of Law, from which were drawn the four founding co-directors (Edwards, Laurie, MacQueen and Waelde). The Directors found that studying and teaching IP and IT law, and medical jurisprudence and ethics, not in isolation but as inter-related phenomena, and not just in their legal but also their social, ethical, cultural and commercial context, generated innovative cross-cutting research of the highest quality. As a result, SCRIPT emerged as a pioneer centre in the UK. It was on the basis of the successes of SCRIPT that AHRC funding was secured in 2002.

The Future

Our research is about the synergetic relationship between law, technologies, commerce and society in the widest possible sense. As well as IT and IP, we and our associates are concerned with the adjunct areas of biotechnology, genetics and medical jurisprudence and ethics; law and artificial intelligence, including the distribution of legal knowledge via the Web; regulation of electronic commerce, the Internet, media, and the information society; we also consider law as it affects information management and cultural production and archiving. We believe that our centre is unique in the UK in having the personnel, the connections and the expertise to analyse and cross-synthesise research in these diverse fields, as well as to produce and disseminate new research which is targeted to meet the needs of industry, academe and society.

The Centre offers cutting-edge courses in its research fields, and a unique distance learning Masters of Laws (eLLM) launched in September 2005. The postgraduate programme is taught via a Virtual Learning Environment created specifically for the tuition of law via the Internet. The course covers copyright and related rights, industrial property, international intellectual property, managing intellectual property, forensic computing and electronic evidence, information technology law, law & medical ethics, and developing countries & technology. If you would like more information, or to apply, then please visit our distance learning site.