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Professor Brenda Simon Joins CWSL Faculty Full-Time

Professor Brenda Simon

New full-time California Western faculty member Professor Brenda Simon is a familiar face around campus.

A visiting professor since fall 2019, Simon is thrilled to be joining the Cal Western community. “Professors at California Western are dedicated both to their students and to the broader legal community,” says Simon. “I knew that joining the faculty would be a perfect fit with my emphasis on the importance of teaching and conducting meaningful legal research.”

Simon, who received her J.D. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2000, began her academic career as a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School in 2008. She joined Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in 2010, becoming a tenured professor in 2016. For the past few years, Professor Simon has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Diego. In addition to being awarded an Edison Innovation Fellowship from George Mason University, she has received multiple teaching awards from her students while teaching property and patent law.

“I love the energy and enthusiasm of first-year students and look forward to teaching Property I and Property II in the upcoming year,” says Simon. “It is so rewarding to help students master challenging areas, working with them to develop the tools they need to succeed.”

This past summer, Simon taught a seminar addressing the Law and Ethics of Big Data, which explored issues that arise in the context of data breaches, algorithmic bias and discrimination, privacy, the limitations of machine learning, and the use and ownership of user data in this rapidly evolving technological area. She also enjoys teaching Patent Law, drawing on her many years of experience practicing intellectual property law at Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley.

Simon’s research interests focus on how technological developments affect intellectual property and information law.

“My work has discussed advances in areas ranging from genetic testing and stem cells to internet search engines and medical devices,” says Simon. “During my fellowships at Stanford and George Mason University, as well as while practicing patent law, I became interested in reforming intellectual property law in ways that encourage innovation while ensuring public accountability.”

Simon has published articles in leading scientific journals and traditional law reviews, including the Northwestern University Law Review, Houston Law Review, Case Western Reserve Law Review, Brooklyn Law Review, Nature Biotechnology, Science, and the Stanford Journal of Law, Science & Policy, among others.

One of her papers, Rules, Standards, and the Reality of Obviousness was selected as among the year’s best law review articles related to intellectual property and republished in the Intellectual Property Law Review.

Professor Simon’s most recent project, Patents, Information, and Innovation, will be published in the Brooklyn Law Review. She explores how companies use intellectual property to encourage the development of inventions, drawing on over a dozen interviews she conducted with professionals from the largely-overlooked medical device industry. “I found that emerging medical device companies often depend on patent protection to help foster communication with investors and negotiate the alliances necessary to commercialize their inventions,” says Simon.

Simon is excited to welcome entering students to the California Western community, recommending they get connected as soon as possible by joining organizations inside and outside the law school.

“Your classmates will become your colleagues and friends sooner than you think and hopefully for many years to come,” says Simon.

The California Western community welcomes Professor Simon as a full-time faculty member.

To learn more about Professor Simon’s scholarly work, click here.