Ralph Oman

Ralph Oman

Pravel, Hewitt, Kimball and Kreiger Professorial Lecturer in Intellectual Property and Patent Law, George Washington University Law School

Ralph Oman practices and teaches copyright law at The George Washington University Law School as the Pravel Professorial Lecturer in Intellectual Property and Patent law. He also serves as a Fellow on the faculty of the law school’s Creative and Innovative Economy Center. He has taught at The George Washington University Law School since 1993. From 1994 to 2008, he was counsel to the international law firm, Dechert LLP. He has more than 36 years of experience in intellectual property law and legislation.

Before entering private practice in 1994, Mr. Oman was the register of copyrights of the United States (1985-93), the chief government official charged with administering the national copyright law. During his tenure as register, he helped move the United States into the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the oldest and most prestigious international copyright treaty, a goal sought by U.S. Registers for 100 years.

Prior to his appointment as register, Mr. Oman served as chief counsel for the Senate Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. In his total of 10 years on Capitol Hill working for Senator Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and Senator Charles McCurdy Mathias of Maryland, he participated directly in many legislative enactments, most notably the 1976 revision of the copyright law. In 2002 he received the Jefferson Medal in recognition of his lifelong contribution to strong intellectual property protection.

Mr. Oman continues to promote intellectual property protection. He often serves in judicial proceedings as an expert witness, and he lectures frequently at venues around the world.

At Georgetown University Law Center, Mr. Oman served as executive editor of the Journal of International Law. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable C. Stanley Blair of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Prior to law school, Mr. Oman was a Naval Flight Officer, and he spent two tours of duty in Vietnam with his squadron. He was also a Foreign Service Officer and served as the U.S. Vice Consul in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.


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