Professor Ruth L. Okediji is the Law School's William L. Prosser Professor of Law and a McKnight Presidential Professor. She teaches contracts, international intellectual property (IP), copyright, trademarks, and IP and development. Okediji is a foremost expert on international IP law and international economic regulation. Before joining the Law School in 2003, she was the Edith Gaylord Presidential Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and she served on the Oklahoma Public Employee Relations Board at the appointment of Gov. Frank Keating. She has been a visiting professor at Duke University School of Law, the University of Haifa Law School, the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and the University of Tilburg Law School; she has held visiting research positions at Harvard Law School and the Max Planck Institute for International and Comparative Patent, Copyright, Trademark and Unfair Competition Law in Munich, Germany. From 2015 to 2016, she was the Hieken Visiting Professor in Patent Law at Harvard Law School.
Okediji's scholarship focuses on issues of innovation policy, economic development, and global knowledge governance in the context of international institutions and public international law. She has authored or co-authored and edited a number of books, including Global Perspectives on Patent Law, The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty (Oxford University Press, 2017), and Copyright Law in An Age of Limitations and Exceptions (Cambridge University Press, 2017). She is co-author of a leading copyright casebook, Copyright in a Global Information Economy (Aspen, 3rd edition, 2011), and of a seminal casebook, International Patent Law and Policy (Aspen, 2013). In addition, she has authored an extensive array of articles, commissioned papers, and book chapters, and has been a reviewer and editor for the Journal of World Intellectual Property since 2009.
Okediji has been acknowledged nationally and internationally for her research and professional service and is regularly cited for her work on IP-related issues in developing and least-developed countries. She has served as a policy advisor on the impact of IP protection on development goals for many governments and inter-governmental organizations. She also has been a consultant for the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, the U.N. Development Program, and the World Intellectual Property Organization and has directed research and technical assistance projects in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2016, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Okediji to the High Level Panel on Access to Medicines.
Since joining the Law School, Professor Okediji has held the inaugural Solly Robins Distinguished Research Fellowship and a McKnight Fellowship. She has served on the doctoral committees at the Australian Catholic University, the University of British Columbia, Duke University Law School, the University of Toronto, and the Graduate Institute in Geneva. She has chaired the Association of American Law Schools Committee on Law and Computers, its Committee on Intellectual Property, and its Nominating Committee for Officers and Members of the Executive Committee. In 2011-12, she was a member of the National Academies Board on Science, Technology and Policy Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era. In 2016, she was elected president of the Order of the Coif.
Over the course of her career, Okediji has received numerous teaching, service, and professionalism honors, includingthe Stanley V. Kinyon Teaching Award, the Regents' Superior Teaching Award, the Student Bar Association's Outstanding Professor Award, and the Professor Most Likely to Go Beyond the Call of Duty recognition. She was elected to the prestigious American Law Institute in 2008.
Okediji is a graduate of the University of Jos (LL.B.) and Harvard Law School (LL.M., S.J.D.), and is licensed to practice law in New York and Minnesota.