Portrait of Dr Jose Bellido

Dr Jose Bellido

Reader in Law
Co-Convenor of the LLM specialisation in Intellectual Property Law


Dr Bellido graduated from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2001 with a Ph.D. in the history of copyright. Before that he received an LL.M in Intellectual Property from Queen Mary, University of London (Sir Roy Goode Prize and Herchel Smith Junior Scholar) and an LLB from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. In Spring 2016, he was visiting Fellow at the UNSW (Sydney), and in Summer 2017, he was research Fellow at The Strong, Museum of Play in Rochester (New York). Bellido studies the history of intellectual property in the late nineteenth and the twentieth century, especially in Britain. His latest book, published by Hart/Bloomsbury Press, is the edited collection, Landmark Cases in Intellectual Property (2017).

Research interests

Dr Bellido is particularly interested in the history of intellectual property law. He is the Spanish national editor to the digital archive (together with Professor Xalabarder from the Universidad Oberta Catalunya (UOC) and Professor Casas Valles from the Universitat de Barcelona). This is a major reference work of primary sources on copyright from the invention of the printing press (c.1450) to the Berne Convention (1886) and beyond, which can be accessed at Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer. http://www.copyrighthistory.org/cam/index.php

He is also involved in the following funded projects:


Jose's teaching responsibilities span across Intellectual Property, Copyright and Breach of Confidence and Intellectual Property and Industry Practices.


Jose is happy to supervise research students in the areas of intellectual property law, breach of confidence and defamation.


  • 017-2021. Member of the Governing Board, ISHTIP- International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property. 
  • 2014- Member of the Newton Fund - Social Sciences Panel (British Council) 
  • 2014- Assessor for ANEP (agencia nacional de evaluación y prospectiva), Spain- Ramón y Cajal and Juan de la Cierva grants- (declined)  


Showing 50 of 58 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Bellido, J. (2020). Experimenting with Law: Brecht on Copyright. Law and Critique [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10978-019-09256-5.
    Can one reject copyright law and be a qualified observer of its dispositives? This question was taken up by Bertolt Brecht in an intriguing essay concerning the litigation surrounding the film adaptation of The Threepenny Opera (1928). Brecht here develops an experimental observation around the nature of film adaptation and cultural production in copyright. While an experimental approach to law was in itself a subversive gesture, the specific legal process enabled him to expose the paradoxical ways in which the copyright system worked.
  • Bellido, J. and Pottage, A. (2019). Lexical properties: Trademarks, dictionaries, and the sense of the generic. History of Science [Online] 57:119-139. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0073275318766160.
    The third edition of Webster’s International Dictionary, first published in 1961, represented a novel approach to lexicography. It recorded the English language used in everyday life, incorporating colloquial terms that previous grammarians would have considered unfit for any responsible dictionary. Many were scandalized by the new lexicography. Trademark lawyers were not the most prominent of these critics, but the concerns they expressed are significant because they touched on the core structure of the trademark as a form of property in language. In the course of eavesdropping on everyday usage, Merriam-Webster’s lexicographers picked up on the use of trademarks as common nouns: “thermos” as a generic noun for any vacuum flask, “cellophane” as a term for transparent wrapping, and so on. If Webster’s Third were to be taken as sound evidence of the meaning of words, then the danger was that some of the most familiar marks in the USA would be judged “generic” in the legal sense, and would thereby cease to be proprietary. In this article, we explore the implications of this encounter between law and lexicographic technique.
  • Bellido, J. and Bowrey, K. (2017). Disney in Spain (1930–1935). Business History [Online]:1-31. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/00076791.2017.1299129.
    This article looks at the ways in which the global brand par excellence – Mickey Mouse – spread throughout Spain in the early 1930s. In tracing the creative and commercial interplay with the Mickey character we show how the Disney Company failed to obtain any significant intellectual property rights in its own name or obtain a sympathetic hearing by Spanish patent and trademark officials. Yet this was undoubtedly a period of significant global development of the Disney brand. With the attempt to explain such an apparent contradictory situation, this article highlights the importance of the management of particular struggles in the flux of desires, appropriation and investments that contributed to the emergence of the elusive ‘merchandising right’.
  • Bellido, J. (2017). The Constitution of Intellectual Property as an Academic Subject. Legal Studies [Online] 37:369-390. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lest.12155.
    This essay offers a reinterpretation of the constitution of intellectual property as an academic subject by focusing on the work of Thomas Anthony Blanco White (1916–2006). His textbooks were fundamental for the development of ‘intellectual property’ in Britain and the Commonwealth. Not only did they provide the basis for a discipline in the making, their timely publication also helped to connect and, more importantly, constitute a diverse audience of articled clerks, practitioners and students. This essay traces the making of Blanco's first booklets and his subsequent rewriting of them, which culminated in the publication of what would become a standard textbook writing technique in British intellectual property in the twentieth century. In explaining the history of these textbooks and their pivotal role for the recognition of intellectual property as an academic subject in the university curriculum, the essay explores the ways in which a distinctive knowledge of and writing about intellectual property emerged in Britain in the post-war years.
  • Bellido, J. (2016). Forensic Technologies in Music Copyright. Social and Legal Studies [Online] 25:441-459. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0964663916628621.
    The essay explores some recent controversies in British music copyright through the evolving technologies used to perform or play music in the courtroom. While the conceptual tension between cases has caused doctrinal anxiety about the effect of popular music in copyright, the essay contends that the recent stream of music copyright cases can be considered from a historical perspective, taking into account the tools, materials and experts as they featured in court. In doing so, the essay connects a history of legal expertise to the emergence of new technologies while arguing that legal knowledge about music copyright was, in fact, stabilised in the courtroom.
  • Bellido, J. and Macmillan, F. (2016). Music Copyright after Collectivisation. Intellectual Property Quarterly [Online] 2016:231-246. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/bh.2014.0002?.
    Reflects on the controversies and conflicts associated with the collective management of music copyright. Reviews the initial opposition to collective enterprises for collecting performance fees, the factors contributing to their acceptance, the methods of collection, the development of litigation, its uses, and the move to shift liability to performance venues. Discusses the development of sustainable data infrastructures linking data to music.
  • Bellido, J. and Kang, H. (2016). In Search of a Trade Mark: Search Practices and Bureaucratic Poetics. Griffith Law Review [Online] 25:147-171. Available at: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1080/10383441.2016.1170654.
    Trade marks have been understood as quintessential ‘bureaucratic properties’. This article suggests that the making of trade marks has been historically influenced by bureaucratic practices of search and classification, which in turn were affected by the possibilities and limits of spatial organisation and technological means of access and storage. It shows how the organisation of access and retrieval did not only condition the possibility of conceiving new trade marks, but also served to delineate their intangible proprietary boundaries. Thereby they framed the very meaning of a trade mark. By advancing a historical analysis that is sensitive to shifts, both in actual materiality and in the administrative routines of trade mark law, the article highlights the legal form of trade mark as inherently social and materially shaped. We propose a historical understanding of trade mark law that regards legal practice and bureaucratic routines as being co-constitutive of the very legal object itself.
  • Bellido, J. and Bowrey, K. (2015). From the Author to the Proprietor: Newspaper Copyright and The Times (1842-1956). Journal of Media Law [Online] 6:206-233. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/17577632.6.2.206.
    The article examines a major transformation in newspaper copyright and the existence of modern media markets in Great Britain. It explores the legal foundation of news copyright under the Copyright Act 1842 and depicts the difficulty in reconciling the reporter's right with newspaper management practices. It also examines the creative role played by managers as well as key legal personnel at "The Times" newspaper.
  • Bellido, J. (2015). Toward a history of trade mark watching. Intellectual Property Quarterly 2015:130-152.
  • Bellido, J. (2015). Toward a History of Trademark Watching. Intellectual Property Quarterly 2015:130-151.
    The practice of watching trade mark applications silently emerged alongside the history of trade mark law in the 20th century as an odd but crucial paralegal activity.This article traces that distinctive, if often overlooked, emergence and the controversiesthat initially surrounded its professionalstatus and legitimacy. After looking at the different ways in which watching practices successfully overcame suspicion and criticism, the article explores the strategic role of watchers as mediators and facilitators of knowledge against jurisdictional challenges, and shows how their notifications fuelled corporate aspirations beyond national (trade mark) offices. In doing so, the article examines the impact of computerisation, not only on watching trade marks but also on the conceptual and material infrastructure of trade mark law. The underlying argument is that the construction of the intangible property afforded by trade marks was not only and exclusively an effect of consumers’ projections and identifications. Rather, watching practices also encouraged trade mark ownersto speculate on the contours of“intangible”property and its potential viability at home and abroad.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). Looking Right - the art of visual literacy in English copyright litigation. Law, Culture, and the Humanities [Online] 10:66-87. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1743872111416325.
    The essay explores the interactive role of experts in the construction of the intangible object in copyright law. It pays special attention to the interventions and eventual connections of a British design consultant and fashion designer, Victor Herbert, in different copyright cases such as the well-known Designers Guild Ltd v. Russell Williams (Textiles) Ltd [2001]. The article traces the background of his early court appearances as an expert witness and the range of visual techniques and experiments he developed to “materialize” the incorporeal in copyright law.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). The Editorial Quest for International Copyright - 1886-1896. Book History [Online] 17:380-405. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/bh.2014.0002.
    The establishment of international copyright in the late nineteenth century was not only a legal process. It was also an editorial quest to understand the concrete reality of copyright laws around the world. This essay traces two publishing projects that fundamentally shaped this quest. The first became the most important collection of copyright laws, Lyon-Caen and Delalain’s Lois françaises et étrangères sur la propriété littéraire et artistique. The simultaneous arrival of a specialised journal on copyright, Le Droit d’Auteur, facilitated the modulation and mapping of international copyright laws. The argument in this essay is that these editorial projects were not just representing international copyright, but actually constituting it. Their most immediate and paradoxical effect was that the search for sources of law was converted into the source of international copyright.
  • Bellido, J. (2013). Popular Music and Copyright Law in the Sixties. Journal of Law and Society [Online] 40:570-595. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2013.00641.x.
    Copyright and its relationship with popular music is one of the most disputed issues amongst music and copyright scholars. While some have accused copyright of being blind (or deaf) to the particularities of popular music, others have defended its significance within the industry. This article contributes to this debate by tracing the networks of connections between lawyers, musicians, and clerks that emerged in a formative period in British pop music (the Sixties). It considers how their collaborative efforts and strategies to present evidence in copyright infringement trials were articulated in an attempt to influence music copyright infringement tests in Britain. By highlighting the concrete geographical and temporal contexts from which these networks emerged and their particular contingencies, the article also casts a new light on the impact of the legal profession on copyright, showing a practice-oriented and historically situated way of observing differences between French and British copyright systems.
  • Bellido, J. (2013). The failure of a copyright action: Confidences in the papers of Nora Beloff. Media & Arts Law Review 18.
  • Bellido, J. (2012). Sainz de Andino: consejos y reformas sobre propiedad literaria (1845-1850). Revista de Propiedad Intelectual:65-80.
  • Bellido, J. (2011). Montevideo vs Berne: The Rise of an Interpretation in International Copyright. Revue Internationale du Droit d’Auteur:1-155.

Book section

  • Bellido, J. (2019). Cine y Derecho: Sobre los documentales de Pierre Legendre. In: Seccia, O. and Martyniuk, C. eds. ¿Qué Memoria Y Justicia? Teorización crítica E Intervenciones Reparadoras. Argentina: Ediciones La Cebra, pp. 265-292. Available at: https://www.conicet.gov.ar/new_scp/detalle.php?keywords=&id=34414&libros=yes&detalles=yes&lib_id=7929865.
  • Bellido, J. (2017). King Features Syndicate v Kleeman. In: Bellido, J. ed. Landmark Cases in Intellectual Property Law. Hart Publishing. Available at: https://www.bloomsburyprofessional.com/uk/landmark-cases-in-intellectual-property-law-9781509904662/.
  • Bellido, J. (2016). El Salvador and the Internationalisation of Copyright. In: Alexander, I. and Gomez Arostegui, T. eds. Research Handbook on the History of Copyright Law. Edward Elgar, pp. 313-334.
  • Bellido, J. (2016). Codified Anxieties: Literary Copyright in Mid-Nineteenth Century Spain. In: Alexander, I. and Gomez Arostegui, T. eds. Research Handbook on the History of Copyright Law. Edward Elgar, pp. 423-443.
  • Bellido, J. (2016). Sobre la crítica del derecho en el Reino Unido [On the critique of law in the United Kingdom]. In: Martyniuk, C. and Seccia, O. eds. La pasión De La Cabeza: Crítica Y Nostalgia. Buenos Aires: Prometeo.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). Flamenco Music in Copyright Historiography. In: Bowrey, K. and Handler, M. eds. Law and Creativity in the Age of the Entertainment Franchise. Cambridge University Press. Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/law/intellectual-property/law-and-creativity-age-entertainment-franchise.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). Las huellas de Pierre Legendre en Enrique Mari. In: Seccia, O. and Martinyuk, C. eds. Critica Y Estilos De Insumisión. Buenos Aires: Prometeo.

Conference or workshop item

  • Bellido, J. (2014). Flamenco in Copyright Historiography. In: pp. 170-194. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139626781.011.
  • Kang, H. and Bellido, J. (2014). Search Practices and Trade Mark Registers in the Twentieth Century. In: Alternative Property Practices.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). Authorising Copies: Copyright at the Tate Gallery.
  • Bellido, J. and Bowrey, K. (2014). Mickey in Europe: Merchandising opportunities and trade mark struggles. In: Spanish Economic History Association and UAM University.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). The history of copyright ownership at The Times.
  • Bellido, J. (2013). Contributors’ cheques and Copyright Assignments: Freelancing at The Times (1950s).
  • Bellido, J., Pottage, A. and Weizman, I. (2013). Architectural Copyright and Forensic Expertise.
  • Bellido, J. (2013). La diplomatie de la propriété intellectuelle.
  • Bellido, J., Bhandar, B., Jacob, M. and Kang, H. (2013). Organiser of the panel “Scienti?c and legal knowledges: contexts, motifs, terrains". In: The Association of Law, Culture, Humanities Annual Conference.
  • Bellido, J. (2013). Music and Digitisation: Intellectual Property, Cultural Commons and Ontological Politics.
  • Bellido, J. (2012). Learning Spaces- the Courtroom.
  • Bellido, J. (2012). Los estudios críticos del Derecho en Europa.
  • Bellido, J. (2011). Torres Caicedo and International Copyright. In: ISHTIP.
  • Bellido, J. (2011). Notes on Artistic Copyright Litigation.
  • Bellido, J. (2011). Enrique Mari como Lector.
  • Bellido, J. (2011). Positioning the Intangible at the Trial. In: Intangibles.

Edited book

  • Bellido, J. (2017). Landmark Cases in Intellectual Property. [Online]. Bellido, J. ed. Oxford: Hart Publishing. Available at: https://www.bloomsburyprofessional.com/uk/landmark-cases-in-intellectual-property-law-9781509904662/.
    This volume explores the nature of intellectual property law by looking at particular disputes. All the cases gathered here aim to show the versatile and unstable character of a discipline still searching for landmarks. Each contribution offers an opportunity to raise questions about the narratives that have shaped the discipline throughout its short but profound history. The volume begins by revisiting patent litigation to consider the impact of the Statute of Monopolies (1624). It continues looking at different controversies to describe how the existence of an author's right in literary property was a plausible basis for legal argument, even though no statute expressly mentioned authors' rights before the Statute of Anne (1710). The collection also explores different moments of historical significance for intellectual property law: the first trade mark injunctions; the difficulties the law faced when protecting maps; and the origins of originality in copyright law. Similarly, it considers the different ways of interpreting patent claims in the late nineteenth and twentieth century; the impact of seminal cases on passing off and the law of confidentiality; and more generally, the construction of intellectual property law and its branches in their interaction with new technologies and marketing developments. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of intellectual property law.


  • Bellido, J. (2017). Book Review. Legal Studies [Online] 37:186-189. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/lest.12157.
  • Bellido, J. (2016). ’Sam Ricketson’s The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. A Commentary(OUP, 2015)’. IP Law Book Review [Online] 7:10-26. Available at: http://gguiplc.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/IP_Law_Book_Review_102016.279131550.pdf.
  • Bellido, J. (2016). Book Review: What’s Wrong with Copying?. Intellectual Property Journal:289-294.
  • Bellido, J. (2016). Teilmann-Lock’s The Object of Copyright: A Conceptual History of Originals and Copies in Literature, Art and Design. European Intellectual Property Review 38:126-127.
  • Bellido, J. (2015). Publication review, Popular Music Matters. Essays in Honour of Simon Frith. Entertainment Law Review 26:69-70.
  • Bellido, J. (2015). Sean Bottomley’s The British Patent System during the Industrial Revolution 1700-1852. King’s Law Journal:.-.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). Foxton’s The Life of Thomas E. Scrutton. Law Quarterly Review:.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). Howe and Griffiths’ Concepts of Property in Intellectual Property. Birkbeck Law Review 2:.
  • Bellido, J. (2014). Suthersanen and Gendreau’s A Shifting Empire: 100 Years of the Copyright Act 1911. Queen Mary Intellectual Property Review 4:100-104.
  • Bellido, J. (2013). Birnhack’s Colonial Copyright: Intellectual Property in Mandate Palestine. Law and History Review 31:.
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