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About the Centre for IT & IP Law


The Centre for IT & IP Law is a research center at the Faculty of Law of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), with currently a staff of over 40 researchers specialized in legal and ethical aspects of IT innovation and intellectual property.

Researchers working at the Centre for IT and IP Law focus on the fundamental re-thinking of the current legal framework, necessitated by the rapid evolution of technology in various fields, such as government, media, health care, informatics, digital economy, banking, transport, culture, etc. Their research is characterized by an intra- and extra-juridical interdisciplinary approach, constantly aspiring cross-fertilization between legal, technical, economic, ethical and socio-cultural perspectives.

The Centre for IT & IP Law has a solid track record as a law and ethics partner of large international and interdisciplinary research projects. It is internationally renowned for its expertise in the areas of data protection and privacy, health and care, intellectual property, media and communications, and (cyber)security.

Based on its extensive research expertise, the Centre for IT & IP Law also provides education programs and courses both in Dutch and in English, both on undergraduate and graduate levels on the KU Leuven campus in Leuven and Brussels. In this way, the Centre for IT & IP Law is able to share its expertise with students, scholars and practitioners from around the globe and guide them through the complex world of Law & ICT. The teaching programs of the Centre for IT & IP Law are ranking high, both in student evaluations and in periodic interuniversity teaching assessments. Amongst the curricula of the Centre for IT & IP Law the Masters of Intellectual Property Rights and ICT Law is one of the most popular programs.

© Studio Roma
© Studio Roma

The Centre for IT & IP Law is a member of the Leuven Center on Information and Communication Technology ( which combines the complimentary expertise and experiences of electronics engineers, computer scientists, sociologists and legal scholars in the ICT field at KU Leuven in a multi-disciplinary research center that aims to play a leading role in the worldwide ICT research scene, as well as of imec, high-tech research and innovation hub for nanoelectronics and digital technologies, which unites more than 850 researchers in ICT and ICT driven technologies located at 5 Flemish universities.

The Centre for IT & IP Law evolved from a merger in July 2014 between the Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI) and the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIR), which both had already existed independently for over two decades. After several years of collaboration, it became evident that the regulatory challenges of the new digital age could better be faced by joining forces. The full integration of the complementary expertise in ICT, media and intellectual property law enables The Centre for IT & IP Law to expand its mission and vision in its research and teaching activities for a more robust approach of the future.

The activities of the Centre for IT & IP Law are made possible through funding from multiple European and national research programs and, in particular, from imec and the Vancraesbeeck fund.




Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI), founded in 1990 by Professor Jos Dumortier

ICRI was a research center at the Faculty of Law of KU Leuven dedicated to advance and promote legal knowledge about the information society through research and teaching of the highest quality. ICRI was particularly committed to contribute to a better and more efficient regulatory and policy framework for innovation technologies. It also used its knowledge to contribute to the improvement of legal policies and practices with regard to law & ICT by providing advisory and consultancy services to legislators, public bodies and private enterprises. ICRI was also among the founding members of the Leuven Centre on Information and Communication Technology (LICT) and iMinds (now imec). It was also the initiator and coordinator of the Belgian Cybercrime Centre of Excellence for Training, Research and Education (B-CCENTRE). Through its activities ICRI has acquired an established reputation on the national as well as on the international level.


Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIR), founded in 1988 by Professor Frank Gotzen

CIR was established in 1988 with the approval of the law faculties of KU Leuven and the former Catholic University of Brussels (KU Brussels). The Centre was founded in response to an increasing need among scientists, lawyers, technologists and companies. To a large extent, the establishment of CIR and its activities have been made possible thanks to the Vancraesbeeck-fund set-up by Paul Vancraesbeeck. The objective of CIR was to gain a profound knowledge in patent, trade mark, design and copyright law. More specifically, CIR aimed at gaining a better insight into new and evolving areas of intellectual property law (such as the protection of software, semi-conductor products and biotechnological inventions, standardization and technology transfers) and the general problems of patents, trademarks, designs and copyright.

To concretize these objects CIR organized a manifold of activities on an interdisciplinary level, including fundamental research, the gathering of documentation, the provision of postgraduate teaching, organizing conferences and scientific service to the community.