Alain Strowel

Professor, Université Saint-Louis, UCLouvain, Munich IP Law Center, avocat, Brussels

Contact information

Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles
43, Boulevard du Jardin botanique – B-1000 Brussels

Université catholique de Louvain
Faculté de droit – Place Montesquieu, 2 – B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

Alain is specialised in intellectual property, information and technology law.

Academic career. He serves as a professor at the UCLouvain and at the Saint-Louis University (Brussels). He teaches as well within the LLM program of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (‘Practice of copyright law’). He has given a course on ‘Design law’ within the LLM program of the KULeuven till 2020 and previously taught at the ULiège and UNamur. His courses cover mainly digital copyright, as well as media and information law, but the interactions between law and technology and law and innovation are at the core of his teachings and research (At UCL, he teaches a course on ‘Intellectual Property and New Technology’ and, with IP managers from industry, ‘Management of Intellectual Property Rights’; in the past, he taught ‘EU Competition Law and Intellectual Property’ in Liège and Brussels).

As guest professor, Alain has teached at several universities: the University of Maastricht (‘Comparative IP litigation’ within the LLM program between 2009-2013), the University of Nijmegen and the University of Essex (Postgraduate Curriculum in European Business Law (PALLAS) between 1996-2011), the Bond University in Australia (‘Global IP law’ in 2009). Between 1995 and 1999, he was invited professor at the University of Ouagadougou (master program in business law). In 2000, he spent three months at the Columbia Law School (New York) as visiting scholar (where he contributed to a course on ‘International Copyright Law’). In 2020-2021, Alain was fellow at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society (Berlin).

Education. Alain graduated in law (1983) and obtained a Ph. D. in law (1992) from the UCLouvain. In addition, he obtained graduate degrees in economics (1984) and philosophy (1985) from UCLouvain. He also obtained a post-graduate diploma in European Integration at the University of Amsterdam (Europa Institute, 1985). Between 1988 and 1991, he got research scholarships from the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Innovation and Competition and drafted his Ph.D while at the Munich-based MPI.

Publications. Alain has authored numerous articles on digital copyright and a few books, including Droit d’auteur et copyright (LGDJ and Bruylant, 1993), Droit d’auteur et numérique: logiciels, bases de données, multimédia (with Estelle Derclaye, Bruylant, 2001) and Quand Google défie le droit (De Boeck et Larcier, 2011). He has edited various books among which: Of Authors and Origins (with Brad Sherman, Clarendon Press, 1994), Droit d’auteur et  liberté d’expression (with Fr. Tulkens, Larcier, 2006), Intellectual Property and Theories of Justice (with A. Gosseries et A. Marciano, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and Secondary Liability in Copyright Law (Edward Elgar, 2009), Le téléchargement d’œuvres sur Internet (with C. Doutrelepont et Fr. Dubuisson, Larcier, 2012). More recently he focused on other tech-related topics and published Net Neutrality in Europe – La neutralité de l’Internet en Europe (Bruylant, 2013), Les droits intellectuels, entre autres droits. Intersections, interactions et interrogations, (with J. Cabay, Larcier, 2019) and Des voitures autonomes à l’intelligence artificielle. Entre droit, politique et éthique (with C. Lazaro, Larcier, 2020). He co-authored, with François Jongen and Edouard Cruysmans, Droit des médias. Droit européen et belge (Larcier, 2017).

Research. Alain’s research focuses now on the governance of data, on the legal challenges raised by artificial intelligence and on the regulation of online platforms. Alain prepared numerous studies for Belgian and European institutions on various intellectual property issues (protection of digital rights management, patenting of software, monetization of IP for SMEs, etc.). One of his last studies for the European Commission (DG Connect) offers an overview of the artificial intelligence tools used in the creative sectors and examines their impact on copyright rules and policies (2021).

Law practice. Alain Strowel is avocat at the Brussels bar since 1988. Alain’s practice concentrates on intellectual property, media and information technology law. Prior to join the U.S. firm Covington & Burling LLP  where he  worked on European law matters between 2001 and 2014, Alain worked in the Brussels IP department of the Dutch firm NautaDutilh. Since 2020, he is partner at Pierstone (, a law firm specialized on the data economy.

Associations, law journals and learned societies. Alain is active in several associations involved with intellectual property  such as the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI), the International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP), the Licensing Executive Society (LES) and the European Copyright Society. He is member of the editorial board of several law journals (Auteurs & Media (Belgium), Propriétés intellectuelles (Paris), Les Cahiers de propriété intellectuelle (Montréal), Computer Law Review International (Cologne)).

He has been nominated as member of Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe) since 2012 and chairs since 2019 the intellectual property working group of ALLEA (All European Academies – Berlin). Between 2012 and 2019, he was a member of the Board of the European Academy of European Law (ERA – Trier). He is also a member of the European Law Institute (ELI).

International experience. Alain has prepared several studies for the European Commission, participated as expert to numerous panels at the European Parliament (for ex. on software patents, digital libraries and text and data mining). He was involved with the awareness and educational programs initiated by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). He participated to several missions in Asia (Indonesia, Korea, Russia and China), Middle-East (Koweit and Libanon) and Africa (Benin, Ivory Coast, etc.). Alain is a panelist for the WIPO and the Belgian domain name dispute resolution systems.

Articles by Alain Strowel on IPdigIT