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Daniel J. Gervais

Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law
Professor of French
Director, Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Program
Faculty Co-director, LL.M. Program

Daniel Gervais focuses on international intellectual property law and the law of Artificial Intelligence. He spent 10 years researching and addressing policy issues as a legal officer at the World Trade Organization, head of the Copyright Projects section of the World Intellectual Property Organization, deputy secretary general of International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), and vice-chair of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations. He is the author of The TRIPS Agreement: Drafting History and Analysis, a leading guide to the text that governs international intellectual property rights now in its fifth edition. Before joining the Vanderbilt Law faculty in 2008, Professor Gervais served as acting dean and vice-dean for research of the Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa. Before entering the academy, he practiced law as a partner with the technology law firm BCF in Montreal. He was also a consultant with the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He has been a visiting professor at numerous international universities and a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School. In 2012, he was the Gide Loyrette Nouel Visiting Chair at Sciences Po Law School in Paris. He is editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of World Intellectual Property. In 2012, he was the first North American law professor admitted to the Academy of Europe. In 2017 he became chairman of the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP). In 2022, he was a Distinguished Fulbright Chair at Carleton University.  He is a member of the American Law Institute, where he serves as Associate Reporter on the Restatement of the Law, Copyright Project.

Research Interests

International intellectual property law

Representative Publications

  • GERVAIS, D. (2023). FOREVER: a legal sci-fi story. ANTHEM PRESS. 
    Full Text | WWW
  • Gervais, Daniel J., The Human Cause (November 10, 2021). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 21-39, Forthcoming Chapter in Research Handbooks on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence (R. Abbott, ed),
    Full Text | SSRN
  • Gervais, D. (2023). [Essay] Not Quite Like Us? — Can Cyborgs and Intelligent Machines Be Natural Persons as a Matter of Law?
    Full Text | SSRN
  • The TRIPS Agreement: Drafting History and Analysis, Sweet & Maxwell (5th edition, 2021) (previous edition cited by the Supreme Court of the United States and several Advocate Generals' Opinion, Court of Justice of the European Union)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "TRIPS Pluralism," 21 World Trade Review 185 (Cambridge University Press2021)
    Full Text | WWW
  • Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights, Kluwer Law International (3rd edition, 2015)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "The Machine as Author," 105 Iowa Law Review 2053 (2020)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Exploring the Interfaces Between Big Data and Intellectual Property Law," 10 Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law 3 (2019)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "The Derivative Right, or Why Copyright Protects Foxes Better Than Hedgehogs," 15 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law 755 (2013)
    Full Text | SSRN | WWW
  • (Re)Structuring Copyright: A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform, Elgar Publishing (2nd edition, 2019)
    Full Text | WWW