[Updated 5/12/09 at 2:00 pm]
The US News & World Report ranking of Intellectual Property focused law schools was released in late April. The ranking is created by polling professors who teach at least one IP course. The professors then list up to fifteen programs with good IP programs. Those "votes" are then used to create a ranking. Of course, most IP professors are not patent professors. All of the programs on the list have excellent IP faculty. However, only a few have a patent focus.
The US News list:
University of California--Berkeley
George Washington University
Columbia University; Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent) (tie)
Franklin Pierce Law Center
University of Houston
Santa Clara University; Yeshiva University (Cardozo) (tie)
Patently-O Rankings: I have redone my list of "the top thirty law school patent programs" based solely on the number of Patently-O visits received from the associated university in the past year. There are many issues with problems with this study – although it is probably at least as good as the US News IP Specialty ranking. Some of the problems: Many schools may not use their name in their IP address — making them lose their ranking. This appears to be largely true of Franklin Pierce Law Center. Schools where students (and professors) primarily study away from campus building may also rank relatively lower. Finally, many of the visits to Patently-O may come from other departments – such as the Technology Transfer office – rather than the law school.
Texas; Missouri; Washington U; George Mason; Santa Clara
BU; Berkeley; Georgetown; Virginia
Duke; Minnesota; Northwestern; U Washington
SUNY Buffalo; Loyola (LA); Cornell
Illinois; BC; Houston; Denver; Arkansas; Ohio State; Depaul
Iowa; Fordham; William & Mary; Suffolk; Wisconsin; Colorado; Penn State; Utah; Florida; Yale; Chicago; Syracuse; UPenn
To add an additional layer of confusion, remember that many folks access Patently-O through the free daily e-mail. The following list ranks law school's according to the number of Patently-O e-mail subscribers. Here, we may have bias if some subscribers use their personal e-mail account (such as gmail) instead of the university account.
Pierce Law (Franklin Pierce)
University of Michigan
NY Law School; Columbia; Colorado; Case Western, U Washington, Elon
Michigan State; Chicago-Kent; Denver
George Mason; Cornell; BU; Berkeley; Albany; Washington U; SMU
Lieter Ranking: One part of the 'reputational' ranking of an IP program is based on the scholarship of the faculty. In 2007, Professor Lieter compiled a list of the top-ten intellectual property / cyberlaw faculty and ranked them according to the number of times their work had been cited in law review articles. The Lieter ranking is listed below:
- Mark Lemley (Stanford University): 2110 citations, age 41.
- Robert Merges (University of California, Berkeley): 1280 citations, age 48.
- Thomas McCarthy (University of San Francisco), 1100 citations, age 70.
- Pamela Samuelson (University of California, Berkeley): 970 citations, age 59.
- Jessica Litman (University of Michigan): 870 citations, age 54.
- Dan Burk (University of Minnesota [Now IRVINE]): 840 citations, age 45.
- Jane Ginsburg (Columbia University): 840 citations, age 52.
- Rochelle Dreyfuss (New York University): 790 citations, age 60.
- Paul Goldstein (Stanford University): 790 citations, age 64.
- Julie Cohen (Georgetown University): 740 citations, age 43.
Runners-up for the top ten: Yochai Benkler (Harvard University): 730 citations; Rebecca Eisenberg (University of Michigan), 690 citations; Neil Netanel (University of California, Los Angeles), 640 citations; Wendy Gordon (Boston University), 610 citations; A. Michael Froomkin (University of Miami), 600 citations.
Other highly-cited scholars who don't work exclusively in this area:: Lawrence Lessig (Stanford University [Now Harvard]), 2500 citations; William Landes (University of Chicago), 1550 citations; Margaret Jane Radin (University of Michigan), 1210 citations; William W. Fisher (Harvard University), 1020 citations; James Boyle (Duke University), 710 citations.