Jennifer Urban

Jennifer Urban
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law; Director, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, UC-Berkeley


Jennifer M. Urban is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Broadly, her research considers how values such as free expression, freedom to innovate and privacy are mediated by technology, the laws that govern technology, and private ordering systems.

Her clinic students represent clients in numerous public interest cases and projects at the intersection of societal interests—including civil liberties, innovation, and creative expression—and technological change. Recent Clinic projects include work on individual privacy rights, copyright and free expression, artists’ rights, free and open source licensing, the “smart” electricity grid, biometrics, and defensive patent licensing.

Her recent papers include:

“Protecting Open Innovation: The Defensive Patent License As a New Approach to Patent Threats, Transaction Costs, and Tactical Disarmament” 26 Harvard J. Law and Tech. — (2013) (with Jason Schultz)

“How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem,” forthcoming 27 Berkeley Tech. L.J. — (2013)

“Mobile Phones and Privacy” (with Chris Hoofnagle and Su Li) (2012);

“Mobile Payments: Consumer Benefits & New Privacy Concerns,” (with Chris Hoofnagle and Su Li) (2012) (SSRN:;

A. Morin, J. Urban, P. Sliz, “A Quick Guide to Software Licensing for the Scientist- Programmer,” PLOS Computational Biology Vol. 8, Issue 7, e1002598 (July 2012);

“Shining Light into Black Boxes,” Science Vol. 336, 159-160 (Apr. 13, 2012) (authors A. Morin, J. Urban, P. Adams, I. Foster, A.j Sali, D. Baker, P. Sliz).

Professor Urban comes to Berkeley Law from the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, where she founded and directed the USC Intellectual Property & Technology Law Clinic. Prior to joining the USC faculty in 2004, she was the Samuelson Clinic’s first fellow. Prior to that, she was an attorney with the Venture Law Group in Silicon Valley. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in biological science (concentration in neurobiology and behavior) and from Berkeley Law with a J.D. (intellectual property certificate). She was the Annual Review of Law and Technology editor while a student at Berkeley Law, and received the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.


Location: D137/138 Level: Novice
Jennifer Urban (UC-Berkeley)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 4 ratings)
The Defensive Patent License (DPL) is a new legal mechanism to protect innovators by creating a patent network that is committed to defense and "de-weaponizing" patents. It draws from the theories and values of F/OSS licensing to create obligations that "travel with the patent"--preventing troll from taking over open technologies and pulling them out of the public domain. Read more.


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