Deborah R. Gerhardt

Assistant Professor of Law


  • J.D. (cum laude), Case Western Reserve University (1990)
  • A.B., Duke University (1987)

Deborah R. Gerhardt is an Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Law. She has published articles on copyright, trademark and plagiarism.  She received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to support research designed to clarify whether art and historical documents are protected by copyright or in the public domain.

Professor Gerhardt is an active volunteer for NC LEAP, a bar association committee dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to artists and low wealth entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Deborah Gerhardt served from 2005-08 as the Scholarly Communications Director for the UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries and the director of the UNC School of Law intellectual property initiative.

Professor Gerhardt clerked for Judge John M. Manos for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and practiced at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland and Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia. She taught as an adjunct professor at William & Mary Law School and served as associate director of the Intellectual Property Project at the University of Richmond School of Law.

She earned her A.B. degree from Duke University and her J.D. degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve School of Law.

Professor Gerhardt teaches Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Contracts and a practical writing seminar on intellectual property strategies and transactions.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

Show All Publications

  • Do Trademark Attorneys Make A Difference?, ITMA REV. 22 (2013).
  • Do Trademark Lawyers Matter? (Jon P. McClanahan and Deborah R. Gerhardt), 16 STAN. TECH. L. REV. 583 (2013). [Westlaw, SSRN, BEPress, Document Link]
  • Social Media Amplify Consumer Investment in Trademarks, 90 N.C. L. Rev. 1491 (2012). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • Copyright Publication: An Empirical Study, 87 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 135 (2011). [Data] [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, BEPress, Document Link (PDF)]
  • Consumer Investment in Trademarks, 88 N.C. L. Rev. 427 (2010). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, BEPress]
  • Fair Use and Fairness on Campus (with M. Wessel), 11 N.C. J.L. & TECH. 461 (2010).    [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • Protect Your Right to Write Again:Tips for Assuring That Your Publication Agreement is a Comfortable Fit (with D. Kjervik), 12 J. Nursing L. 124 (2008).
  • Reading the Fine Print, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, March 22, 2007.  [Document Link]
  • The 2006 Trademark Dilution Revision Act Rolls out a Luxury Claim and a Parody Exemption, 8 N.C. J.L. & TECH. 205 (2007). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, Document Link (PDF)]
  • The Rules of Attribution, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, May 26, 2006, at B20, reprinted in THE WELL-CRAFTED ARGUMENT, A GUIDE AND READER, 3rd ed., at 347 (F. White and S. Billings eds.) (Houghton Mifflin 2008).  Also reprinted in TEXT MESSAGING: READING AND WRITING ABOUT POPULAR CULTURE, at 69 (J. Alberti, ed.) (Houghton Mifflin 2009). [Document Link PE1431 .W48 2008]
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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