Uchenna Felicia Ugwu
Ph.D. (Intl IP Law & Development) 2020
M.A. (Public International Law) 2007
Uchenna Felicia Ugwu is a newly graduating doctoral candidate (PhD in International IP Law and Development) of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on international intellectual property (IP) law and development treaties, patents, plant variety protection, data protection, agriculture, food security, and regional intellectual property (IP) treaties in Africa. It analyzes the provisions for patents and plant variety protection in multilateral, continental and regional IP trade agreements, to explore whether these provisions advance or compromise food security in Africa. Her PhD thesis analyzed the topic “Harnessing the Multilateral Patent and Plant Variety Protection Regimes to Advance Food Security: Implications of the EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement”. She is an academic researcher with over ten years’ experience extensively investigating the relationship between Intellectual Property (IP) norms, innovation and technology use by those in need, especially smallholder farmers and women in developing countries. She has several articles published in national and international peer reviewed journals. She is currently carrying out funded research on agrochemical test data protection, gender and innovation in Africa as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, Canada.
She holds a Master’s degree in Public International Law with Distinction from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom where she developed her personal dissertation: “The TRIPS Agreement as a Developmental Tool”. Courses involved in her study include Contemporary Legal Problems of World Trade, International Trade and Intellectual Property, Global Protection of Human Rights, and Law and Organization of the World Trading System.
She is a member of the Open African Innovation Group, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Women in Innovation, and Center for International Governance Innovation. She has delivered keynote presentations at several conferences including the 2019 CAAS/ACEA Conference in Montreal (presentation title: Redefining Innovation in Multilateral IP Regulation to Advance Agricultural Invention: An African Perspective) and the 2017 International Conference on the Right to Development in South Africa (presentation title: Maintaining the Differentiation Principle in Regional IP and Trade Agreements to Advance Food Security for the Realization to the Right to Development in West Africa).
Uchenna previously participated in development projects at: the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Waterloo, Canada in 2016; the Biodiversity Program of the Centre for International Sustainable Development (CISDL) in 2016; the Open Africa Innovation Research Project of the University of Ottawa from 2015-2017; and the International Law Development Project at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law in Munich, Germany (2009). She is a practicing lawyer, called to the bar of Nigeria and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association since 2003.