Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching



    BSc Government and Law - London School of Economics and Political Science (1998);
    LLM (Distinction) - London School of Economics and Political Science (2000);
    PhD Law - European University Institute, Florence, Italy (2005);
    Postdoctoral research fellow - Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (2006-9).
    Assistant Professor of Science Studies - University of Lucerne, Switzerland (2010-4).
    Visiting research fellow at University of California at Berkeley (2002-3)and LSE (2013).


    My main research interests are in intellectual properties at the intersection of law, specific knowledge practices and political economy. I explore the assumptions behind intellectual property forms, as well as their emergence and social relations by drawing from insights and methods of science studies, anthropological, literary and social theory. I have initially examined the concept of the human person implicated in patents related to human genetic material and information. Subsequently I have extended the focus on the relationship between law and science by analysing their epistemic associations in the patent classification.

    More recently I have been engaged in three projects. First, I have shifted the focus of my study of patents by analysing the techniques by which patents become associated with value. I am currently engaged in a project examining the constitution of value in relation to intellectual property, focusing on the ways in which patents have become currencies of capitalism. Another project, together with Jose Bellido, examines the development of trademark classification practice and the role of media. In another project I consider notions of copy and originality by exploring the relationship between creativity and copies in compositional practices of Luciano Berio and Richard Beaudoin.

    Major Research interests:

    Intellectual property; Novelty and creativity; Value and valuation

    Research Areas:

    Intellectual property law; law and social theory; historical epistemology; science studies

    Major Research Projects:
  • Patent Value/Valuation
    Related Conference: Evaluations: Cases, Experiments and Models as tools of appropriations and valuation June 2014- sponsored by Swiss National Science Foundation, University of Lucerne and Birkbeck School of Law- (University of Lucerne, June 2014). Co-organised with Jose Bellido. []

  • Principal investigator for Kent Law School acting as partner university to ERC Advanced Grant on 'Patents as Scientific Information 1895-2020' (PASSIM). Grant period: 2017-2022. Overall lead and principal investigator at Linkoeping University: Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirten, Linkoeping University. Co-Investigator at KLS: Dr Jose Bellido. Other project partners: Nobel Museum and Boras University.
  • Project: What Do Patents Document? Reading and Using Scientific Information in Legal Text.
  • Dr Kang's project will assess whether patent documents are regarded and used as scientific information by scientists themselves. The validity of the patent bargain is explored from the point of view of the intended users in order to ascertain scientists’ attitudes toward patents and whether they read and use patent information. Understanding patents as scientific information exposes an interstice between two different perceptions and function of patents: as public information and as legal documentation. The first approach towards patents assumes that the patent text is a documentary source, implying that the information contained in it has some kind of value beyond the legal text. The second approach regards the patent document as a legal registration document creating an intellectual property right. In this view, the invention is embodied by the patent document rather than being represented by it. A patent document may not have any scientific informational value. The tension between these two conceptions, one more sociological and the other more legal textual, will be explored in order to assess the ways and degrees in which a patent text indeed serves as scientific information for scientists today.
  • AHRC funded research network on 'Legal Materialities', together with Dr Sara Kendall. Grant period: 2017-2019.

    The Legal Materialities network will be an interdisciplinary forum for exchange that foregrounds the material dimensions of law in light of the transformations affecting many aspects of law, challenging its concepts and practices, such as property or territory. The legal materiality network will reconceptualise law as an assemblage of materials, norms, discourses and knowledge practices. It will formulate new approaches to make sense of law’s changing materiality, from textuality to diverse matters and media.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Kang, H. (2018). Ghosts of inventions: patent law's digital mediations. History of Science.
Bellido, J. and Kang, H. (2016). In Search of a Trade Mark: Search Practices and Bureaucratic Poetics. Griffith Law Review [Online]. Available at:
Kang, H. (2015). Patent as Credit. When Intellectual Property Becomes Speculative. Radical Philosophy 194:29-37.
Kang, H. (2012). Science Inside Law: The Making of a New Patent Class in the International Patent Classification. Science in Context [Online] 25:551-594. Available at:
Kang, H. (2006). An exploration into law and narratives: the case of intellectual property law of biotechnology. Law and Critique [Online] 17:239-265. Available at:
Book section
Kang, H. (2018). Law's Materiality: Between Concrete Matters and Abstract Forms, or How Matter Becomes Material. in: Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulous, A. ed. Routledge Handbook for Law and Theory. Routledge.
Kang, H. (2014). Autonomy/Code: On software rhetorics in postgenomics and artificial intelligence. in: Bung, J. and Grube, M. eds. Autonome Automaten. Künstliche Körper und Artifizielle Agenten in der technisierten Gesellschaft. Berlin: Kritische Reihe, trafo Verlag.
Kang, H. (2011). Homo Postdoctus. in: Eine Naturgeschichte für das 21. Jahrhundert. Zu Ehren von Hans-Jörg Rheinberger. Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte.
Kang, H. (2011). Autonomic computing, genomic data and human agency: the case for embodiment. in: Hildebrandt, M. and Rouvroy, A. eds. Autonomic Computing and Transformation of Human Agency. London: Routledge.
Kang, H. (2009). Classifying Novelty. Transfer and negotiation of scientific knowledge in the International Patent Classification. in: Gaudilliere, J. -P. and Kevles, D. eds. Living Properties: Making Knowledge and Controlling Ownership in the History of Biology. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Preprint, No 382, pp. 123-136.
Kang, H. (2007). Identifying John Moore: narratives of persona in patent law relating to inventions of human origin. in: Glasner, P., Atkinson, P. and Greenslade, H. eds. New Genetics, New Social Formations. London, New York: Routledge.
Kang, H. (2012). Figures of Invention. Modern Law Review 75:463-469.
Internet publication
Kang, H. (2018). Climate Rights [blog post]. Available at:
Kang, H. (2015). Authors and Impresarios: How to Move Across Disciplines. A Conversation with Mario Biagioli [Online]. Available at:
Kang, H. (2017). Patents as Assets: Intellectual Property Rights as Market Subjects and Objects. in: Birch, K. and Muniesa, F. eds. Turning Things into Assets: New Lineaments in the Study of Technoscientific Capitalism. under review at press.
Total publications in KAR: 15 [See all in KAR]
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Teaching and Supervision


Undergraduate modules

LW 556 Intellectual Property Law

Postgraduate modules

LW 813 Contemporary Topics in Intellectual Property

LW933 Intellectual Property and Industrial Practices

LW934 Patent Law and Trade Mark Law



Jake Slosser, 'On the Use of Cognitive Linguistics to Explore Legal Categories: Judicial Interpretation of Digital and Privacy Laws in the EU'. Second supervisor.

Rebecca Gulbul

I am happy to supervise research students in the fields of intellectual property, anthropological and social theory and science studies & history of science.

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Other Academic Activities

External Awards and Funding

Principal investigator for Kent Law School acting as partner university to ERC Advanced Grant on 'Patents as Scientific Information 1895-2020' (PASSIM).

Co-investigator at Kent Law School: Dr Jose Bellido

Overall project lead and principal investigator at Linkoeping University: Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirten, Linkoeping University. Other project partners: Nobel Museum and Boras University.


AHRC Research Network Grant 'Legal Materialities', together with Dr Sara Kendall           

2014 Swiss National Science Foundation funding for conference “Evaluations: Cases, Experiments and Models as tools of appropriations and valuation”. Further funding obtained from University of Lucerne & Birkbeck School of Law.

Stipendiat, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Doctoral Fellowship, Grant of European University Institute

Visiting Fellowship, Grant by UC Berkeley and European University Institute

Doctoral Fellowship, Grant by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

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Last Updated: 28/07/2017