Asrat Tesfayesus


Asrat Tesfayesus is an Economist with the Office of the Chief Economist at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which he joined in September of 2014 with broad and varied experiences in economics, law, and engineering.  His current research focuses on the economics of intellectual property, the efficiency concerns that IP litigation raise, and the role of IP in international trade policy. At the USPTO, Asrat is also the vice-president of the Society of Ethiopian American Engineers and Scientists.

Previously, Asrat was an instructor in International Trade at UC Berkeley where he completed his PhD in economics in May 2013. Asrat also holds a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University with an emphasis in international law. Furthermore, while at Columbia, Asrat participated in a joint degree program and holds Masters in Law degrees from both Sciences Po, Paris and Sorbonne, Paris. Asrat is a member of the State Bar of California.

Prior to his legal studies, Asrat obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) where he came to appreciate the limitless potential of innovation. While he was at UIUC, Asrat contributed to a published research in nano-technology that looks at the optimal metallization schemes in the ohmic contact of two types of semiconductors.


Selected publications

The Law and Economics of Concealing Health and Safety Information (with D. Ingberman), Journal of Law, Economics & Policy, 13(2) 181-275, 2017. Available at:

Patent Litigation Data from US District Court Electronic Records (1963-2015) (with A. Marco and A. Toole), USPTO Economic Working Paper No. 2017-06, 2017. Available at SSRN:

Liberalization Agreements in the GATT/WTO and the Terms-of-trade Externality Theory: Evidence from Three Developing Countries, Review of International Economics, 24(5) 1000-1022, 2016. Available at:

Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update (with (USPTO) A. Marco, A. Toole, (ESA) R. Rubinovitz, D. Langdon, F. Yu, and W. Hawk), U.S. Department of Commerce Report, 2016. Available at:

Comparative study of Ti/Al/Mo/Au, Mo/Al/Mo/Au, and V/Al/Mo/Au ohmic contacts to AlGaN/GaN heterostructures (with D. Selvanath, F. M. Mohammed, and I. Adesida), Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena, 22(5) 2409-2416, 2004. Available at: