Intellectual Property Law Certificate


Professor of Law

Bernard Chao is a professor of law, director of the law school’s intellectual property certificate program, and co-director of its Empirical Justice Institute.  Professor Chao works at the interface of law and technology.  As a teacher, he has created a new problem-based contracts class for the law school’s part time program.  The class involves both live and remote asynchronous components engaging students with videos, role-playing and frequent assessments.  As a researcher, Professor Chao has two specialties. First, he has regularly written about patent issues important to the technology sector. These writings have covered a wide range of topics including: remedies, subject matter eligibility, extraterritoriality and claim scope.   Second, Professor Chao has used crowdsourcing to conduct a series of experiments on legal decisionmaking.  The results have shed light on how different cognitive biases affect legal decisions, particularly in the context of civil juries.  One prominent line of studies tests how different legal rules and arguments impact damage awards. Other studies have looked at issues ranging from search and seizure under the 4th Amendment to how applications on personalized medicine are faring at the patent office.   

Professor Chao’s papers have appeared in both leading academic publications including the California Law Review, Boston College Law Review and Northwestern University Law Review, and publications directed at the practicing bar like the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and Patently O Law Journal.  One of his patent remedies articles was awarded a Samsung/Stanford patent prize.  Working with different groups like the Harvard Cyberlaw Clinic and Electronic Frontier Foundation, Professor Chao has authored several amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Others have also cited to his works in briefs to the Court.

Prior to joining the University of Denver, Professor Chao practiced law in Silicon Valley for almost twenty years in variety of different roles.  At Wilson, Sonsini and Pennie & Edmonds, Professor Chao litigated high stakes patent cases.  At Covad Communications, he served as Vice President of Legal Strategy as the company grew from a small broadband startup to a public company. Later Professor Chao co-founded his own boutique firm, Chao Hadidi Stark & Barker LLP.  Professor Chao has also had the privilege of advising federal judges as a court appointed Special Master, most notably, in the largest patent multidistrict litigation in U.S. history, In Re Katz Interactive Call Processing Patent Litigation.  He continues to work with practicing attorneys around the country conducting experiments on the effect of different tactics on juries in actual cases.

Viva Moffat

Viva Moffat began her academic career at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law as an assistant professor after seven years in private practice and one year as a visiting professor. While in law school at the University of Virginia, Moffat was editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review. After graduation, she clerked for Judge Robert R. Beezer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Seattle. Following the clerkship, Moffat was an associate at Keker & Van Nest LLP in San Francisco, where she had a general commercial litigation practice. After moving to Colorado in 2000, Moffat’s practice focused on intellectual property litigation and transactions, sparking her interest in teaching and writing in the field of intellectual property. Moffat teaches courses on intellectual property and contracts. Her scholarship concerns intellectual property policy and the interaction among the various legal regimes for the protection of intellectual property.


John T. Soma is the Executive Director of the University of Denver Privacy Foundation. After completing his PhD in economics in 1975, Soma served from 1976 to 1979 as trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Washington, D.C., where he was primarily assigned to the Department of Justice trial team in the U.S. v. IBM litigation. In 1979, he joined the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty. In addition to six books on computer law, Professor Soma has authored more than 40 professional articles in the computer law and privacy area.

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208