Robert Merges

  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Professor of Law
    Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
  • Tel: 510-643-6199 | Fax: 510-643-2673
  • 438 Law Building (North Addition), Berkeley, CA 94720 MC:7200
  • Faculty Support Contact: Amy Zakimi

Before joining the Berkeley Law faculty in 1995, Robert Merges was a faculty member at Boston University School of Law and served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School.

Merges has authored or coauthored five books, (1) Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials; (2) Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age; (3) Legal Protection for Computer Technology; (4) Trademarks, Unfair Competition and Business Torts; and (5) Justifying Intellectual Property. He has also edited six other books.

Recent articles include Measuring the Costs and Benefits of Patent Pools, forthcoming 76 Ohio St. L.J. (2016) (with Michael Mattioli); Copyright and Distributive Justice, forthcoming Notre Dame L. Rev. (2016) (with Justin Hughes); Against Utilitarian Fundamentalism, forthcoming, St. John’s Law Review, 2016; Philosophical Foundations of IP Law: The Law and Economics Paradigm, June, forthcoming in the Research Handbook on the Economics of IP Law (Peter S. Menell, Ben Depoorter, and David Schwartz, eds.), (Vol. I — Theory) (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming 2016); A Few Kind Words for Absolute Liability in Patent Law, 31 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1 (2016); Economics of Intellectual Property Law, Chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics (submitted January, 2015, published online late 2015); Foreword, Selected Chinese Patent Cases (Dongchuan Luo, ed.; Trans. by Haining Song and Seagull Haiyan Song: Wolters Kluwer, 2014); Foundations and Principles Redux: A Reply to Professor Blankfein-Tabachnick, 101 Cal. L. Rev. 1361 (2013); The Relationship Between Foundations and Principles in IP Law, 49 San Diego L. Rev. 957 (2012); Priority and Novelty Under the AIA, 27 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1023 (2012).

Merges is a co-founder and co-Faculty Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, cornerstone of Berkeley Law’s intellectual property program, rated number one among IP programs by USNews in 12 of the past 13 years.

In addition to teaching and research projects, Merges is a co-founder and former Managing Director of Ovidian LLC, a Berkeley-based consulting and informatics company specializing in assessing and valuing patent portfolios.


B.S., Carnegie-Mellon University (1981)
J.D., Yale University (1985)
LL.M., Columbia University (1988)
J.S.D., Columbia University (1988)