Intellectual Property Law

Professor Rob Denicola

Robert C. Denicola Margaret R. Larson Professor of Intellectual Property Law Emeritus

Professor Denicola joined the Law College faculty in 1976. He received a B.S.E. degree from Princeton University in 197l and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1974. He also received an LL.M. degree from Harvard in 1976. Professor Denicola worked with a Boston law firm before coming to Nebraska. He has also been a visiting professor at Cornell University and the University of Alabama, and was Acting Dean of the Law College from 1994-96. Professor Denicola teaches courses in Contracts, Copyright, and Unfair Competition. He has written a casebook on copyright law published by Foundation Press and was the Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law of Unfair Competition.

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Professor Mailyn Fidler

Mailyn J. R. Fidler Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Mailyn Fidler joined the faculty in August 2022, where she is affiliated with the Nebraska Governance & Technology Center. Professor Fidler received her B.A. with Honors in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University and her MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar. After completing a fellowship at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, she received her JD from Yale Law School, where she was a student director for an impact litigation clinic. After law school, she continued her work in impact litigation as the Technology and First Amendment Fellow with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She also clerked for The Honorable Robert Bacharach on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Professor Fidler’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of criminal law, technology, and speech. She is an expert on the Fourth Amendment and changing technology. In broader criminal law, she writes about often overlooked aspects of criminal proceedings, including jury nullification, sentence mitigation, and allocution. Her work also analyzes ways that criminalization intersects with regulation of speech, including on the Internet. She is also an expert on international cybersecurity and cybercrime regulations, with a particular focus on Africa. Outside of criminal law, she also studies the way that legal regimes governing intellectual property, speech, and secrecy intersect. At Nebraska, she teaches criminal law and procedure, cybersecurity, and copyright.

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A. Christal Sheppard Adjunct Law Professor

Dr. Christal Sheppard was the first Director of the first United States Patent and Trademark Office located outside of the nation’s capital in 227 years. Prior to joining the Agency, she was assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska where she co-founded a program of Concentrated Study in Intellectual Property law. In 2018, she joined IPwe, a patent based, startup company headquartered in Paris, France, as Executive Vice President for Strategy and Business Development. IPwe applies blockchain and artificial intelligence to the patent ecosystem to create a global marketplace for patent assessment, due diligence, licensing, sale and portfolio management. 

Dr. Sheppard educational background includes an M.S. and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from Cornell University Law School, completion of Harvard’s Executive Education – Senior Managers in Government, the Federal Executive Institute’s - Leadership for a Democratic Society and George Mason University Law and Economic Center’s Economic Institute for Law Professors programs. She is currently enrolled in the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program. 

She has over two decades of Science and Intellectual Property Law and Policy work experience including as practicing attorney at Foley & Lardner, the United States International Trade Commission, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and internships with Judge Rader at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Executive Office of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

Her successful career in intellectual property law and policy also includes her tenure as Chief Counsel on Patents and Trademarks for the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary where she was integral in many endeavors including the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most comprehensive change to this nation's intellectual property laws in over 60 years. 

Dr. Sheppard’s commitment to education is so strong that she continues to teach two courses a year, Patent Law and International Intellectual Property, at the University of Nebraska law college, in her free time. 

Dr. Sheppard has testified before the United States Congress and been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones News Wire, Fox Business News, the Chicago Sun Times, Politico and others on a variety of intellectual property and business issues. She regularly presents on intellectual property matters, from basics to advanced, to solo inventors, incubators, small and large companies, students, professors, attorneys, regulators, judges, administrators, regulators and others throughout the innovation ecosystem. 

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Brett Stohs

Brett C. Stohs Clinical Associate Professor of Law & Cline Williams Director of the Weibling Entrepreneurship Clinic

Professor Stohs joined the faculty in March 2012 to establish and direct a new in-house legal clinic that provides legal assistance to entrepreneurs and startup businesses. Since the Weibling Entrepreneurship Clinic opened in 2013, Professor Stohs has been pursuing research interests in the application of mind mapping software to clinical legal education. His particular interests relate to using mind mapping techniques to optimize client assignments to student participants in a live-client clinic. 

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Stohs worked in private practice for over six years, focusing primarily on mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate and transactional matters for domestic and foreign clients in a variety of industries. From 2005 to 2011, Stohs practiced with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP in Washington, DC, and in 2011 he joined Rembolt Ludtke LLP in Lincoln.  While at Sutherland, Stohs served as a work assignment coordinator for the firm's summer associate program, and as the pro bono coordinator for the firm's partnership with the Advocacy & Justice Clinic operated by the D.C. Bar.

Professor Stohs received his J.D., cum laude, from Duke University School of Law, where he served as Executive Editor for the Duke Law & Technology Review.  Stohs also received a Master of Public Policy from the Sanford Institute of Public Policy, and a B.A. in mathematics and political science, with honors, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Clinical Section of the Association of American Law Schools.

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Elana Zeide

Elana Zeide Assistant Professor of Law

Elana Zeide teaches, researches, and writes about privacy and the legal, policy, and ethical implications of data-driven systems and artificial intelligence. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and part of its new interdisciplinary Nebraska Governance and Technology Center. Her work focuses on the modern day permanent record and how new learning, hiring, and workplace technologies impact education and access to opportunity. Recent articles include Student Privacy in the Age of Big Data, The Structural Consequences of Big Data-Driven Education, and Algorithms Make Lousy Fortune Tellers.

Zeide previously served as a PULSE Fellow in Artificial Intelligence, Law & Policy at UCLA's School of Law, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Seton Hall University’s School of Law, an Associate Research fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy, a Visiting Fellow at Yale School of Law’s Information Society Project, and a Microsoft Research Fellow at New York University's Information Law Institute. She is also an affiliate at Data & Society Research Institute and at the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Silicon Flatirons and serves on advisory boards for The Future of Privacy Forum, Macmillan Learning’s Impact Research Advisory Council, and Blackboard’s Taskforce to Develop Framework and Standards for the Ethical and Legal Use of Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education.

Zeide received her B.A. cum laude in American Studies from Yale University, her M.F.A. from Columbia University, and her J.D. and LL.M. from New York University School of Law where she was a Notes Editor of the New York University Law Review. Elana worked as a Litigation Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and a Legal Analyst at Bloomberg Media before opening her own privacy, media, and platform law practice. Prior to becoming an attorney, Elana was a journalist and pop culture columnist in London and New York.

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