Dalindyebo Shabalala is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the law school. His primary teaching responsibilities are in intellectual property and business law. He teaches the core Business Associations course, and has taught Mergers and Acquisitions. His core areas are in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Research Lab and in the International Intellectual Property Seminar. The WIPO Lab, run every Spring semester in partnership with the WIPO Traditional Knowledge Division, explores cutting-edge issues directly at the interface between research and policy in international intellectual property. Prof. Shabalala also teaches the International Intellectual Property seminar in the Fall which is run as an international negotiation on an update of the TRIPS Agreement, part of his commitment to experiential learning.
Prof. Shabalala’s research focuses on the interaction of intellectual property law, especially patent law, with the rights of indigenous peoples and climate change law. He conducts research on the rights of indigenous peoples and traditional communities to their traditional knowledge and culture and the role of international intellectual property treaties in enabling or preventing the realization of those rights. Prof. Shabalala is Director of the Institute on Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property, which officially launches in November 2016, through which he conducts his core research. As part of the institute’s work he partners with indigenous representatives and civil society organizations in negotiations on traditional knowledge at WIPO, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the WTO.
Prof. Shabalala also conducts research on the interaction of patent law with climate change, focusing on the role of technology licensing and transfer in enabling the technology goals of the climate change convention (UNFCCC). His current research in this area is a long-term collaboration with researchers in India, Brazil, China and South Africa to identify technology transfer and licensing measures that these countries have taken that may or may not be in compliance with their obligations under the TRIPS Agreement. He is co-chair of the Climate Action Network Technology Working Group and serves as the Environmental NGO representative to the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee’s Task Force on Innovation, Research, Development and Demonstration. He continues to provide advice on patent law and technology licensing to developing countries and civil society organizations in climate change negotiations.
Prof. Shabalala participates in the Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology & the Arts
(which sponsors the Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property Institute), and the Frederick K. Cox Center for International Law at CWRU.
Prof. Shabalala has published in several edited volumes, and has published a book “Climate Change, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property – Options for Action at the UNFCCC”, Maastricht University (2014) available in print from Amazon
. His reflections on his research and policy work can be found on his blog
Previously, Prof. Shabalala was Assistant Professor of international Economic Law (Intellectual property) at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He taught European and Comparative intellectual property at the Masters level and remains a fellow in Institute for Globalisation and International Regulation (IGIR) (www.igir.org). Shabalala was Managing Attorney of the Center for International Environmental Law’s Geneva office, and Director of CIEL's Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development Project. He focused on issues at the intersection of intellectual property and climate change, human health, biodiversity and food security, as well as addressing systemic reform of the international intellectual property system. He is now a member of CIEL’s Board of Trustees.