Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property is an instrumental part of San Diego's economy, making up half of San Diego's six main industry clusters. Thomas Jefferson recognizes the importance and necessity of exposing our students to the principles of intellectual property and capitalizes on the proximity to industry professionals to make student offerings relevant and rewarding.

Thomas Jefferson dedicates nearly a quarter of its full-time faculty and several adjunct professors to intellectual property courses, ranging from the basic to the highly specialized. Our professors have a broad range of professional experience, from representing well known clients in the entertainment and sports industries to patent litigation.

Thomas Jefferson students have numerous opportunities for gaining real world intellectual property experience while in law school.  The school operates USPTO certified Patent and Trademark Clinics on campus that provide valuable service to small businesses, artists and entrepreneurs.  The new IP Practicum  intersession provides students with a law firm environment in which they assist real clients on intellectual property matters. Students also earn law school credit while working at externships in the private and public sectors. Recent placements include FOX Studios in Los Angeles and the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. Graduates have gone from Thomas Jefferson to in-house positions at Fortune 500 companies, to intellectual property associate positions in law firms, and to advanced degree programs nationwide. The school's Center for Law and Intellectual Property offers a certificate program for students specializing in intellectual property law and coordinates events throughout the year that help bring students in contact with local intellectual property professionals. The Intellectual Property Law Association, a Thomas Jefferson student organization, provides additional opportunities for contact and training for all branches of intellectual property.

In 2009, the law school initiated an Intellectual Property Fellowship Program for incoming students with backgrounds appropriate to careers in intellectual property. Fellows work directly with the IP faculty and receive significant financial support. They also take special legal writing classes that focus on IP problems and have preference for IP classes, the IP Summer Practicum and externships.

In the 2007 Mitchell Report on Intellectual Property Curricula published by the Intellectual Property Institute at William Mitchell College of Law, Thomas Jefferson was ranked 15th out of 232 schools in the nation for its IP course offerings, higher than the University of San Diego, UC-Berkeley, UC-Hastings and Stanford.

Our intellectual property faculty members have an open-door policy and are willing to provide guidance to any student who wants to pursue an intellectual property specialty.

View the Preparing for a Career in Intellectual Property Brochure



Biotechnology Law

Computer & Internet Law

Contract Drafting

Copyright Law

Entertainment Law

Entertainment Law Transactions

Information Privacy Law

Intellectual Property & Competition Law

International Intellectual Property

Introduction to Intellectual Property

IP Survey Course

IP & Competition Law

Legal Writing on IP Issues

Music Law

Patent Law

Patent Litigation

Patent Claim Drafting

Technology Externship Program

Trademark & Unfair Competition

Professor Aaron Schwabach (Computer & Internet Law) has been teaching at Thomas Jefferson School of Law since 1994. He has written extensively in the field of intellectual property, including Intellectual Property: A Reference Handbook (2007), Internet and the Law: Technology, Society, and Compromises (2005), The Harry Potter Lexicon and the World of Fandom: Fan Fiction, Outsider Works, and Copyright, 73 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 307 (2009), and Intellectual Property Piracy: Perception and Reality in China, the United States, and Elsewhere, 2 Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law 65 (2007) (also reprinted in Chinese). He has also authored entries about intellectual property in the World History Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties.

Professor Steven Semeraro (Antitrust, Intellectual Property & Competition Law) joined the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division in 1994. While there, he led civil antitrust investigations of the optical disc technology industry, and he has subsequently has published numerous articles in the field of antitrust, including Regulating Information Platforms: The Convergence to Antitrust, 1 J. On Telecomm. & High Tech. L. 143 (2002) , which explored the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law. Professor Steve Semeraro is ranked as one of the top 15 antitrust professors as measured by downloads on the SSRN (Social Science Research Network.)

Professor Susan Tiefenbrun (International Intellectual Property) worked in the New York office of Coudert Brothers, where she handled international commercial transactions. She is the editor of the book Law and the Arts (1999) and the author of several articles about intellectual property, including Copyright Infringement, Sex Trafficking, and the Fictional Life of a Geisha (2004). Professor Tiefenbrun is also the Director of Thomas Jefferson's study abroad programs, both of which regularly offer intellectual property courses.

Professor K. J. Greene (Entertainment Law, Music Law), practiced intellectual property and entertainment law in New York at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and at Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein & Selz, where he represented clients such as Time-Warner/HBO, film director Spike Lee, and the rap group Public Enemy. He has published numerous articles examining the film and music industries, and he has been a featured speaker on motion picture, music and intellectual property issues. Professor Greene has been named one of the Top Ten Intellectual Property Attorneys in San Diego, and his expertise cuts across the fields of copyright, trademark, and right of publicity.

Associate Professor Julie Cromer Young (Copyright), practiced in the fields of trademark and copyright before coming to Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2003. Her publications include Harry Potter and the Three-Second Crime: Are We Vanishing the De Minimis Defense? 36 N.M. L. Rev. 1 (Vol. II, Summer 2006) and How on Earth Terrestrial Laws Can Protect Geospatial Data, 32 J Space Law 253 (2006). Professor Young also serves as the Director of Thomas Jefferson's Center for Law, Technology and Communications.

Associate Professor Deven Desai (Trademark and Unfair Competition, Information Privacy) practiced law in Los Angeles with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, focusing on intellectual property and internet-related disputes, and worked as in-house counsel with technology incubation companies and Mattel, Inc. He regularly presents his scholarship on various aspects of intellectual property at conferences throughout the world.

Associate Professor Sandra Rierson (Trademark and Unfair Competition, Advanced Trademark Seminar) practiced intellectual property law with the Los Angeles firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, where she became a partner in 1998. Her recent publications include IP Remedies after Ebay: Assessing the Impact on Trademark Law in the Akron Intellectual Property Law Journal.

Assistant Professor of Lawyering Jeff Slattery (Legal Writing with intellectual property-focused problems) parlayed years of music business experience into a thriving art and entertainment law practice, focusing on copyright, trademark, and publicity rights. Throughout his career, Professor Slattery has taught courses in law and business to artists, musicians, authors, and filmmakers, including engagements with California Lawyers for the Arts and the University of Southern California.

Associate Professor Brenda M. Simon (Patent Law, Intellectual Property) researches in the areas of patent law, intellectual property, and the biosciences. Prior to joining the Thomas Jefferson faculty, Professor Simon taught courses and conducted research in intellectual property at Stanford Law School, where she was the teaching fellow for the Law, Science & Technology program. She previously practiced law with Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley, where she represented technology clients in intellectual property litigation, counseling, and patent prosecution. Her most recent research has been accepted for publication by the Houston Law Review, Nature Biotechnology, and the Stanford Journal of Law, Science and Policy.

Adjunct Professor Mark Abumeri (Patent Law) is a partner at the law firm of Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP. His practice includes the preparation and prosecution of patent applications and litigation of patents for inventions involving computer hardware/software, e-commerce, electronics, medical devices, optics, semiconductors, and telecommunications.

Adjunct Professor Randy Berholtz (Biotechnology Law, Patent Law Adjudication, Entrepreneurial Legal Clinic) Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Apricus Biosciences, Inc; Former Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of ACON Laboratories, a China-based medical device company. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer of IngleWood Ventures, a life sciences venture capital fund, and Acting General Counsel of Nanogen, Inc., a public genomic products company.

Adjunct Professor John David (JD) Cowart (Patent Clinic, Intro to IP Practice) is Law Vice President and Chief IP Counsel at Teradata Corporation, where he is responsible for all aspects of intellectual property protection and counseling.

Adjunct Professor Thomas Dover (Client Representation, Celebrity Advertising) Thomas is currently a partner within the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Groups of The Eclipse Group LLP. He is an acknowledged expert providing cutting-edge legal strategies focused in the areas of celebrity talent representation, digital rights management, new media, and entertainment law, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Adjunct Professor Eric L. Lane (Trademark Clinic, IP Practicum, Intro to IP Practice, Green Technology, Climate Change and IP Law) is a registered U.S. patent attorney and the supervising attorney for Thomas Jefferson's USPTO Trademark Clinic. Professor Lane specializes in helping technology companies build and manage their patent and trademark portfolios.

Adjunct Professor Stephen M. Novak (Entertainment Law, Entertainment Law Transactions, The Law of Television and Motion Picture Production, Contracts Drafting, Sports Law), is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Professor Novak served as a federal prosecutor under both President Ronald Reagan's and President Herbert Walker Bush's administration. Over the past 25 years, he has held several of the top legal positions in the professional sports and entertainment industries.