Deborah R. Gerhardt

Print This Page (PDF) Associate Professor of Law

Education

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

Deborah R. Gerhardt is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Law. She specializes in the intersection of law and creativity and has written leading articles in trademark and copyright law, art law, false advertising and plagiarism. With West Publishing, Professor Gerhardt recently co-authored its first bridge to practice contracts text. She received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to support research to clarify whether art and historical documents are protected by copyright or in the public domain.

In 2015, Professor Gerhardt was invited to participate in the Chancellor's Faculty Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, where she led her team to win the pitch competition.  Also, in 2015, she was selected by the Advertising Educational Foundation for a fellowship in its Visiting Professor Program where she is the first person J. Walter Thompson, the world's largest advertising agency, sponsored for a fellowship.

Professor Gerhardt teaches Arts Entrepreneurship, Art Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Contracts and a practical writing seminar on intellectual property strategies and transactions.  She secured UNC a slot in the USPTO's pilot clinical program and led the effort to launch Carolina's Intellectual Property Clinic where she has taught students practical skills while providing pro bono counsel to artists, musicians and small businesses. 

Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Deborah Gerhardt clerked for the Honorable Judge John M. Manos in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and practiced at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland. She earned her A.B. degree from Duke University and her J.D. degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve School of Law.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

Show All Publications

  • Copyright at the Museum: Using the Publication Doctrine to Free Art and History, 61 J. Copyright Soc'y U.S.A. 393 (2014). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN]
  • Lexmark and the Death of Initial Interest Confusion,  LANDSLIDE Sept.-Oct. 2014 at 22 (2014). [Westlaw]
  • Pay Our Teachers or Lose Your Job, SLATE (Jan. 5, 2014, 11:55 PM) (republished in the Charlotte Observer, January 7, 2014; the Winston Salem Journal, January 8, 2014; the Herald Sun, January 11, 2014; and the Greensboro News & Record, January 12, 2014). [Document Link]
  • Do Trademark Lawyers Matter? (Jon P. McClanahan and Deborah R. Gerhardt), 16 STAN. TECH. L. REV. 583 (2013). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, 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]
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