Hugh Hansen

Hugh Hansen 300x300

Professor of Law; Director, Fordham Intellectual Property Law Institute

[email protected]
Office: Room 7-120

Faculty Assistant: Emma Mercer, [email protected]

Areas of Expertise: Copyrights and Trademarks; Antitrust; US Supreme Court; EU Intellectual Property Law

  • Hugh C. Hansen is a Professor of Law at Fordham University where he has taught Intellectual Property Law for many years. His focus is on a legal realist understanding of how courts, agencies, congress and the private sector interact with IP law and each other. In the same vein, he founded and directs the Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law and Policy, now in its 31st year, and the Emily C. and John E. Hansen IP Institute. The Director General of the WIPO called the Annual IP Conference "the Davos of the IP world."

    Hugh’s courses have included IP Law, Copyright Law, Advanced Copyright Law, Trademark Law, European Union and International Intellectual Property Law. He also taught U.S. Constitutional Law for 25 years.

    Managing Intellectual Property magazine named Hugh one of the 50 most influential people in IP in the world, multiple times. In doing so, it characterized him as an “IP provocateur” and the “ringmaster” who pulls together “one of the IP world’s must-attend events.” Paul Michel, then Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, presented Hugh with an award for “his contribution to the legal community’s understanding of international intellectual property law.” Lord Justice Colin Birss recently stated: “Prof. Hansen has been personally responsible for bringing together judges and practitioners from all over the world to speak to one another for decades. By doing so, Hugh has done more single-handedly for the improvement of justice in many countries, than anyone else I know. He has had a profound effect.”

    After graduation from Georgetown Law School, where he was a member of the Law Journal, Hugh clerked for Judge Inzer B. Wyatt in the Southern District of New York and then Judge Murray I. Gurfein in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was a litigation associate with Dewey Ballantine Busby and Bush and an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

    Since joining the Law School, Hugh has been a lead counsel, consultant or expert witness in intellectual property matters in the U.S., UK, German, and Polish courts. He has also represented clients in IP matters before DG Competition in the European Commission.

    Hugh speaks frequently on U.S. and international intellectual property law in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Under the auspices of Melbourne University’s Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, Hugh gave a series of addresses on intellectual property law at universities in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, and Sydney. Similarly, the U.S. State Department sponsored a speaking tour in Japan where Hugh addressed U.S. and international IP law issues in academic, government, and think-tank institutions in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, and Nagoya.

    Hugh has been quoted in the media including The Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal and has appeared on news shows including ones on NBC, ABC, CNN and On the Media (NPR).

    He is the author of articles on IP and antitrust law. Hugh updated his book New York Intellectual Property Handbook (Matthew Bender) annually for eleven years. He edited the book US Intellectual Law and Policy (Edward Elgar 2006). He’s submitted amicus curiae briefs including ones in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1351 (2013) and Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. 218 (2017).

    Hugh has also been honored with invitations to deliver a number of distinguished lectures including:

    • Annual Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture, University College London, "The Culture of the Public Domain: A Good Thing?"
    • Distinguished Professor Presentation, John Marshall Law School, “The Supreme Court and Intellectual Property Law: It’s Not What You Think.” 
    • Visiting Scholar Lecture, OHIM (EU Trade Marks & Designs Office), “The Landscape, Cultures and Policies of U.S. Trademark Law.”
    • The Herchel Smith Public Lecture in Intellectual Property Law, Queen Mary University of London, “A Legal Realist Analysis of U.S. Trademark Law with Comparisons to Recent Developments in the European Union.”
    • 30th Annual Brace Lecture, Copyright Society of the USA, “Copyright and the Culture of the Public Domain: A Critical Analysis.” 


    • Law Clerk, Hon. Inzer B. Wyatt, U.S. District Judge, SDNY;
    • Law Clerk, Hon. Murray I. Gurfein, U.S. Circuit Judge, 2nd Cir.;
    • Associate, Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood;
    • Asst. U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, SDNY


    • Rutgers, AB
    • Georgetown, JD
    • Yale, LLM