Patent Law Professors on the Move

Every year March-Madness hits a handful of law professors as they lateral to other law schools. This year is no different.


  • Josh Sarnoff is moving from American University to De Paul. Professor Sarnoff has been a champion of applying classic legal theory in his arguments for "shaking the foundations" of our current patent law system. The slot at De Paul opened when Katherine Strandburg left for NYU
  • Michael Risch is moving from West Virginia to Villanova. In addition to patent law, Professor Risch has considerable experience litigating trade secret and copyright cases.
  • Sean Seymore is moving from Washington and Lee to Vanderbilt. Professor Seymore has a PhD in chemistry and likes to focus on issues involving patenting by academic institutions.
  • Ed Lee is moving from Ohio-State to Chicago-Kent (IIT). Professor Lee's scholarship has focused primarily on copyright and internet law.

Many leading law schools still lack a full time faculty members with a patent law focus.

11 thoughts on “Patent Law Professors on the Move

  1. 11

    As a test of that academic paper posting website I just plugged in “false marking” [the hottest topic de jure in the real world of patent law] and did indeed get one academic paper, at:
    link to

  2. 10

    I suspect that much of the disdain for academics is caused by people like Prof. Lemley who have never prosecuted a patent, but think they can diagnose and cure all of the PTO’s patent prosecution problems. That kind of hubris can give any profession a bad name even though it’s more of an exception than the rule.

  3. 9

    “most practitioners are simply not interested in what academics think.”

    At least not recently, since there seems to be a huge gap between the realities of practice and what is being put forth in the academic world.

  4. 8

    “almost entirely incestuously cited by other NPE academics in their articles”

    How about incestuously citing your own blog?

  5. 4

    Paul, virtually every law review I am aware of provides free access to their articles on their website, and many professors post copies of their articles on SSRN, so I don’t think cost is a realistic concern. The so-called academic-practice divide explains most of what you observe, in that most practitioners are simply not interested in what academics think. That phenomenon is by no means unique to patent law.

  6. 3

    Mr. Morgan –

    All my articles are available to the public here:
    link to

    Comments are welcome despite the fact that I did, in fact, practice for many years before entering academia. Dennis posted a recent essay of mine, and comments received on this blog were helpful.

    I also think I’m a pretty good teacher.

  7. 1

    I hope these IP faculty moves are all for better teaching positions, and not the result of misguided academic standards for “publish or perish.” That seems to cause so many patent law articles to be published with no input or review by those with actual law practice experience in the subject, to rarely be cited by Judges, and almost entirely incestuously cited by other NPE academics in their articles. Especially those published only in the arcane media of costly-subscription law reviews not even readily internet available for public responses. Dennis, you provide a real public service by publishing abstracts of some of them in this blog.

Comments are closed.