Prof. Lisa P. Ramsey

Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law

Lisa Ramsey is a Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where she is a founding member of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Markets. She teaches and writes in the intellectual property and international intellectual property law area and is an expert on trademark law. Professor Ramsey is an active member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and has given presentations on trademark law to attorneys, professors, and students throughout the United States and around the world. Before joining the USD law faculty, she was an intellectual property litigator at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Rebecca Beach Smith in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Professor Ramsey’s scholarship focuses on potential conflicts between trademark laws and free speech rights, and explains how trademark protection of inherently valuable words, symbols, and product features can harm fair competition and freedom of expression.

Examples of Professor Ramsey’s publications include Protectable Trademark Subject Matter in Common Law Countries and the Problem with Flexibility in The Cambridge Handbook of International and Comparative Trademark Law (Irene Calboli & Jane Ginsburg eds., Cambridge University Press 2020); Using Failure to Function Doctrine to Protect Free Speech and Competition in Trademark Law in the Iowa Law Review Online (2020); Non-Traditional Trademarks and Inherently Valuable Expression in The Protection of Non-Traditional Trademarks (Irene Calboli & Martin Senftleben eds., Oxford University Press 2018); Free Speech Challenges to Trademark Law After Matal v. Tam in the Houston Law Review (2018); A Free Speech Right to Trademark Protection? in the Trademark Reporter (2016); and Free Speech and International Obligations to Protect Trademarks in the Yale Journal of International Law (2010). Her article Descriptive Trademarks and the First Amendment in the Tennessee Law Review (2003) was judged by the editor of the Intellectual Property Law Review to be one of the best intellectual property law articles of 2003.


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