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Bernard Maister


Dr. Bernard Maister is a graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law (Minnesota) and has an LLM from the Cardozo School of Law (New York). He is a licensed attorney in the states of Minnesota and New York.

As a member of the “patent bar”, he is authorised to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has worked as an attorney in law firms in Minnesota and New York involved in patent prosecution and litigation, and pharmaceutical mass torts.

Maister’s current affiliation with the UCT IP Unit arose out of his work on the impact of IP rights on innovation and development, with particular reference to the Millennium Development Goals, as part of a major research project for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The project generated the book Harnessing Intellectual Property Rights for Development Objectives (Wolf Legal, 2011), with Maister serving as one of the authors.

Maister has subsequently participated in research, and published, on various other aspects of international IP rights, including traditional knowledge and, more recently, the area of plant breeders’ rights, food security, and biotechnology patenting.

In addition to these activities, Maister plays an active role in the teaching program of the IP Unit. Prior to his legal career, Maister worked as a pediatric neurologist in the US. His medical degree is from UCT.