Associate Professor of Legal Science at the SSE 1966 – 1973 Gunnar Karnell, (LL.D. 1970, Stockholm University) succeeded, in 1974, Professor Knut Rodhe on the SSE’s Chair of Business Law and as Head of the School’s Law Department.
Under Gunnar Karnell’s administration the Department developed to what has been described as “a bona fide legal competence center focused on business law”, growing to include several full professors, assistants and Ph.D. students. Until the millennium and his retirement, the Department, having by a donation from the Wallenberg Foundation acquired an entire city house for its own use at Saltmätargatan 19 B, developed successfully in teaching and research and several doctoral dissertations were published. Courses were offered and conferences arranged in a wide sphere of business law, to mention in particular company and tax law, intellectual property law, labour law, competition and market law as well as international, in particular EU-law. Numerous attorneys and legal counsels from the Business community and the civil service were contracted as teachers.
Gunnar Karnell retired from his Chair in 2000. He is now Acting Senior Scientific Adviser and Researcher at the SSE Center for Business Law at the SSE, specializing in Intellectual Property Law, also acting as adjudicator for domain names, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva, and IIS.se, Stockholm. He is intermittently active as guest researcher at the Max Planck Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb in his second home town Munich.
Among other academic activities, such as rendering support and advice to postgraduate students at the SSE and other academic entities, Gunnar Karnell acts as Board Member of the Swedish Copyright Society (Svenska Föreningen för Upphovsrätt) and he is one of its Representatives in the ALAI Executive Committee as well as Board Member of the Editorial Staff of the Nordic legal periodical NIR Nordiskt Immateriellt Rättsskydd.
Internationally renowned expert in Intellectual Property Law and related fields, Gunnar Karnell has been widely and over many years involved in international organizations’ legal activities as advisor and or researcher, e.g. at the EU Commission, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Conféderation Internationale des Sociétés des Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC), and the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI). Expert in Copyright Law, he has been active in supporting Nordic and other countries’ governmental and private entity endeavors to develop national and European means of collective and other management of rights.
Gunnar Karnell is Honorary Fellow for Life of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies (HonFSALS), London, U.K., Membre d’Honneur de l’Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI), Paris, France, Honorary Member of the Swedish Society for Intellectual Property (Svenska Föreningen för Immateriellt Rättsskydd (SFIR), incl. its Swedish AIPPI (Association Internationale pour la Propriété Industrelle) Group and also Honorary Member of the Copyright Unit (Upphovsrättsgruppen) of Konstnärliga och Litterära Yrkesutövares Samarbetsnämnd (KLYS) as well as of the Swedish Textbook and Teaching Media Authors’ Society.
He is Past President of the International Association for Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP). The Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Industrielle (AIPPI), Zürich, Switzerland, has bestowed upon him its Award of Honour at its Centennial Congress in Vienna 1997.
A list of Karnell’s published printed legal works (books, articles, reviews etc.) contained, as of January 1, 2017, some 400 titles, mostly within the field of intellectual property and civil law. For the period 1957-1998 most of them are listed in “Festskrift till Gunnar Karnell”, Stockholm 1999, at pp. 847-872. During the time thereafter, together with other printed matter, the list has grown with 18 scientific articles in foreign and national “Festschriften” to the honor of treasured colleagues.