Edison Visiting Scholar Program

The Thomas Alva Edison Visiting Scholars Program enlists the services of academic researchers as Distinguished Scholars or Research Fellows to study intellectual property (IP) issues that further the agency's mission and the public interest. Following the introduction of the program in January 2012, Edison Scholars have studied ways to improve USPTO's efficiency and performance, decrease burdens on applicants, and improve patent quality and clarity, among other topics.

Edison Distinguished Scholars

The Edison Distinguished Scholars are senior scholars and experts in law and related fields. They are invited by the Director to advise on policy issues in their areas of expertise. 

Current Edison Distinguished Scholars:

  • Colleen Chien, Professor of Law, Faculty Scholar of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and Co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Mark Janis, Robert A. Lucas Chair and Professor of Law, Director, Center for Intellectual Property Research at Indiana University Mauer School of Law
  • Peter S. Mennell, Koret Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley; Co-founder, former Executive Director, and Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; and Co-founder and Faculty Director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute
  • Polk Wagner, Michael A. Fitts Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Read more about past Distinguished Scholars

Edison Research Fellows

The Edison Research Fellows program was created in 2013 as an expansion of the successful Edison Scholars Program. Research Fellows perform quantitative research on policy relevant to patent and trademark topics. Their research and data are typically made available to the public.

Current Edison Research Fellows:

  • Mark A. Finlayson, Eminent Scholar Chaired Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University
  • Neel U. Sukhatme, Anne Fleming Research Professor and Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center

Read more about past Research Fellows


Additional information

Please direct any questions to edisonscholar@uspto.gov.