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Colleen Chien Awarded Young Scholar Medal by The American Law Institute


Santa Clara Law Associate Professor of Law Colleen V. Chien has been named a Young Scholar by The American Law Institute. Professor Chien was named one of two recipients; the other is Daniel Schwarcz of University of Minnesota Law School. The award is presented every other year at the Institute’s Annual Meeting to one or two outstanding early-career law professors whose work has the potential to influence improvements in the law.


“I couldn’t be happier with our Young Scholar selections this year,” said the chair of the Young Scholars Medal Selection Committee, Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court. “These two extraordinary professors have already had an impact on important legal issues. Professor Chien’s work in intellectual property law has already helped shape governmental policy around innovation, and Professor Schwarcz’s research and writings on insurance law have contributed to important policy and legal reforms at both the state and federal levels.”


Professor Chien’s scholarship focuses on domestic and international patent law and policy issues, and she has already played an important role in helping to formulate public policy on intellectual property and innovation, privacy, open government, and civil liberties. From 2013 to 2015, she served as a Senior Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer of the United States on Intellectual Property and Innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where her work ranged from advancing open data policies to increasing access to pediatric AIDS medicines. Having testified twice before the House Judiciary Committee and numerous times before other federal agencies, Chien coined the now-ubiquitous term “patent assertion entity” in 2010. Her work on patent assertion business models – which rely on the use of patents to extract money from others rather than commercialize technology – has been the basis of studies and policy initiatives by the White House, the Federal Trade Commission, and Congress (in the America Invents Act), and the term has been referred to thousands of times by academic and news sources. Policy recommendations that she and her co-authors, in law review articles and other fora, have made have been adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Congressional bills, at the US Patent and Trade Office, and by 32 states.


View the announcement from the Santa Clara University School of Law.