Professor of Law
Director, Center for Intellectual Property Law & Markets
Founder & Director, Center for Computation, Mathematics, and the Law
Founder & Director, Technology Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinic
- JD, 1999, Harvard University
- MS, 1996, Florida State University
- AB, 1992, Stanford University
Areas of Expertise
Professor Sichelman teaches and writes in the areas of patent law, intellectual property, law and entrepreneurship, empirical legal studies, law and economics, and law and artificial intelligence. His current research efforts explore the nature of intellectual property in the era of “big data,” the history of the patent system, the effects of non-competition agreements on innovation, intellectual property law theory, the use of trade secrets by startups, and mathematical and logical models for legal artificial intelligence systems.
Professor Sichelman earned an undergraduate degree in the History of Philosophy of Science, with distinction, from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in Physics from Florida State University. He founded and ran a venture capital-backed software and services company, Unified Dispatch, which was later acquired by a publicly traded company. Professor Sichelman designed the company’s software and is a named inventor on several issued and filed patents and applications. After graduating from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, he clerked for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He practiced in the areas of intellectual property litigation and appeals at the law firms of Heller Ehrman and Irell & Manella. In 2008 and 2009, he was a Kauffman Foundation Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law. He joined the USD School of Law faculty in 2009.
Professor Sichelman is the primary organizer for the School of Law’s annual patent law conference, which features prominent judges, academics, and attorneys. In addition, he has hosted The Patent Conference (PatCon), the largest annual conference for patent law academics, and the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Law (ICAIL), the largest worldwide conference on the topic. He has also organized and hosted numerous other events in the areas of intellectual property law and law & artificial intelligence.
Professor Sichelman has participated in a number of important U.S. Supreme Court cases, including playing a substantial role in a win for an injured employee in MetLife v. Glenn (2008); co-drafting an amicus brief in the patent case, Bilski v. Kappos (2010), in which the court largely adopted the recommendations and reasoning of the brief; and submitting an amicus brief in Global-Tech v. SEB (2011), a patent case involving the scope of indirect infringement. In 2011, he worked with the office of U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren to draft proposed language for the recently passed America Invents Act, the most substantial revision to the Patent Act since 1952. In 2012, he served on the Lieutenant Governor of California’s task force to place a satellite office of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in California.
Professor Sichelman’s work has been highly cited. As of May 2016, his articles include the 6th-most cited law journal article published in 2011, the 12th most-cited law journal article published in 2010, and the 21st most-cited law journal article published in 2009 (according to HeinOnline). As of April 2016, his articles “Commercializing Patents” and “Life After Bilski,” according to a recent survey, are the first and second most-cited of all intellectual property law articles published in U.S. law journals since 2010, respectively. His article “High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey” is the 25th most-cited intellectual property law article published in a U.S. law journal between 2005 and 2009. “Life After Bilski” has also been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court (Mayo v. Prometheus (2012)) and over 20 other judicial opinions.
Honors and Affiliations
Professor Sichelman was awarded Thorsnes Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship at the University of San Diego in 2016, and was named a University Professor in 2015 and a Herzog Endowed Scholar in 2012. He is also a winner of the 2011 Stanford-Samsung Essay Contest on Patent Damages. Professor Sichelman is a licensed attorney and member of the State Bar of California.
Sichelman's publications include “Do Economic Downturns Dampen Patent Litigation? ” in 12 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 481 (with Marco, and Miller) (2015); “Purging Patent Law of 'Private Law' Remedies” in 92 Texas Law Review 516 (2014); “The Vonage Trilogy: A Case Study in 'Patent Bullying'” in 90 Notre Dame Law Review 543 (2014); “Enforcement as Substance in Tax Compliance” in 70 Washington and Lee Law Review 1679 (with Lederman) (2013); “Patents as Promoters of Competition: The Guild Origins of Patent Law in the Venetian Republic” in 49 San Diego Law Review 1267 (with O'Connor) (2012); “Life After Bilski” in 63 Stanford Law Review 1315 (with Lemley, Wagner, and Risch) (2011); “Commercializing Patents” in 62 Stanford Law Review 341 (2010); “Patenting by Entrepreneurs: An Empirical Study” in 17 Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review 111 (with Graham) (2010); and “High Technology Entrepreneurs and the Patent System: Results of the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey” in 24 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 255 (2009).