Professor of Law
Samuel F. Ernst is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Golden Gate University School of Law, where he teaches in the areas of contracts, patent law, copyright law, and torts.
Professor Ernst has published extensively in the areas of intellectual property and contract law as they relate to innovation policy, consumer protection, the courts, and legal history. Prior to entering academia Professor Ernst was a partner at the international law firm of Covington & Burling in San Francisco, practicing intellectual property and appellate litigation while maintaining an active pro bono practice focusing on veterans disability recovery, civil liberties, immigration law, and homeless advocacy.
During these years Professor Ernst also co-taught Pre-Trial Civil Litigation at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. After law school Professor Ernst served as a law clerk to the Honorable Timothy Dyk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2010, Professor Ernst was recognized by the Federal Circuit Bar Association for his work on behalf of veterans. In 2006 and 2008, he received a Certificate of Excellence from the Berkeley Food and Housing Project and sits on the board of that organization. Professor Ernst earned his JD Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He has a BA in Modern Literary Studies from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Comparative Literature from UCLA.
LAW 705AContracts I
LAW 823EIntellectual Property Law Survey
LAW 875Patent Law of the US
LAW 823Copyright Law of the U.S.
Research Interests & Areas of Specialization
- Contract Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- JD, Georgetown University School of Law
- MA, University of California, Los Angeles
- BA, University of California, Santa Cruz
Professional & Teaching Experience
- Associate Professor of Law, Chapman University Fowler School of Law
- Partner, Covington & Burling LLP, San Francisco
- Associate, Heller Ehrman LLP, San Francisco
- Instructor, UC Berkeley School of Law
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Timothy B. Dyk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Visit Professor Ernst’s SSRN page.
- Trump Really is Too Small: The Right to Trademark Political Commentary, forthcoming in the Brooklyn Law Review (Draft is currently available for viewing)
- Another One Bites the Dust: The Federal Circuit Holds that the PTO Violated the First Amendment by Denying Registration to TRUMP TOO SMALL, Patently-O, February 27, 2022
- Section 1052(c) of the Lanham Act: A First Amendment-Free Zone?, Patently-O, February 12, 2021
- co-author of section on Patents, Business and Commercial Litigation in the Federal Courts, 5th ed. (Thomson Reuters/ABA Section of Litigation 2021).
- Radical Patent Law Reform in a Common Law Enabling System: A Metahistory, ch. 8 in Forgotten Intellectual Property Lore (Elgar Press, October 2020).
- The Pharmaceutical Industry’s Corrupt Price Discrimination System: A Single Solution?, 51 Univ. Pac. L. Rev. 475 (2020).
- 2019-2020 Supplement to “Patents,” ch. in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, 4th ed. (Thomson Reuters, 2019).
- A Patent Reformist Supreme Court and its Unearthed Precedent, Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. (2019).
- Total Patent Exhaustion! 59 IDEA 41 (2018).
- The Supreme Court Case That the Federal Circuit Overruled: Westinghouse v. Boyden Power Brake Co., 68 Syracuse L. Rev. 53 (2018).
- Pluralism Applied: A Concordant Approach to Selecting Contract Rules, 101 Marquette L. Rev. 87 (2017).
- The Lost Precedent of the Reverse Doctrine of Equivalents, 18 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law 467 (2016).
- Why Patent Exhaustion Should Liberate Products (And Not Just People), 93 Denver Law Review 897 (2016).
- Protecting the Boundaries: Unclaimed Consideration in the Patentee’s Social Contract, 18 Tulane Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property 1 (2015).
- Introduction to the 2015 Chapman Law Review Symposium: Trolls or Toll-Takers: Do Intellectual Property Non-Practicing Entities Add Value to Society?, 18 Chapman Law Review 611 (2015).
- Patent Exhaustion for the Exhausted Defendant: Should Parties be Able to Contract Around Exhaustion in Settling Patent Litigation?, 2014 University of Illinois Journal of Law Technology & Policy 445 (2014) (peer reviewed).
- The Honorable Timothy B. Dyk and Samuel F. Ernst, Patents, in Business and Commercial Litigation in the Federal Courts, (4th ed. 2016) (Robert L. Haig, ed.)
- Member, State Bar of California, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Federal Circuit Bar Association
- The Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property American Inn of Court
- American Bar Association
- Board of Trustees, Berkeley Food and Housing Projec
Honors & Awards
- Justice Jesse W. Carter Faculty Scholarship Award, Golden Gate University (2018)
- Distinguished Service Award, Chapman University Fowler School of Law
- Super Lawyers Northern California Rising Star (2011, 2012)
- Federal Circuit Bar Association, Certificate of Excellence (for veterans advocacy) (2010, 2011)
- Berkeley Food and Housing Project Certificate of Excellence (for homeless advocacy) (2006, 2008)
- Order of the Coif and Magna Cum Laude, Georgetown University Law Center
- Graduate Fellowship and Teaching Assistantship Awards, University of California, Los Angeles
- College and Major Honors, Chancellor’s Award, Dean’s Award, University of California, Santa Cruz