hero image
Michael Risch, JD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Michael Risch, JD

Vice Dean, Professor of Law | Charles Widger School of Law | Villanova University


Michael Risch, JD, is an expert in intellectual property, patents and internet law.




Michael Risch, JD Publication Michael Risch, JD Publication




IPSC 2015 – Michael Risch – “Do Patent Challenge Rights Lead to Placeholder Lawsuits?” Patent Trolls: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Michael Risch, 4 of 6) Evil Twin Debate 2018



Areas of Expertise (7)


Intellectual Property & Patent Management

Trade Secrets

Trademark Law

Patent Law


Intellectual Property


Professor Risch is a go-to expert on intellectual property, patents and internet law. His teaching and scholarship focus on intellectual property and internet law, with an emphasis on patents, trade secrets and information access. He has commented extensively on the Apple v Samsung and Google v Oracle court cases and his work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Education (2)

University of Chicago Law School: JD

Stanford University: AB

Select Media Appearances (9)

As Other Disney Characters Follow Mickey Mouse to Public Domain, Experts Discuss Company’s Legal Options

FOX Business  online


Risch highlighted the use of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" by United Air Lines as an example of this potential conundrum. In the 1980s, United secured the rights to the tune for an annual fee of $300,000. The song eventually became synonymous with the brand and was featured in a plethora of advertisements. "Does that mean another airline can use the same Gershwin tune for their airline commercial because it's the public domain? On the one hand, you'd say, sure, because it's in the public domain. Anybody can use the music and play it whenever they want it. On the other hand, if you're using a particular clip to sell a competing good that has nothing to do with the clip, maybe that's an issue. And that's going to be the next frontier in my mind," he said.

view more

Indian government moves to hold Twitter liable for user-generated content

Just The News  online


witter is facing a move by the government of India to potentially hold it liable for user-generated content, with Indian officials claiming that the social media company has failed to adhere to the country's new technology laws. ... Twitter will be still able to operate in India if the government succeeds, but "the only question is how much it will cost," said Vice Dean of Villanova University's Charles Widger School of Law Michael Risch, whose research focuses in part on Internet law.

view more

The Tinder-Bumble Feud: Dating Apps Fight Over Who Owns The Swipe



The popular apps Tinder and Bumble have upended dating culture, all with a swipe. But Tinder's parent company says the similarities between the apps suggest another kind of swiping — of ideas. In dueling lawsuits, Match, which owns Tinder, alleges that Bumble stole Tinder's intellectual property. … Michael Risch, a professor at Villanova University's Charles Widger School of Law, has a few concerns. He agrees that many bad, overly broad patents have been thrown out under the Supreme Court decision called Alice. But good ones could be blocked too, he says.

view more

Apple and Samsung settle their epic patent infringement battle



Ultimately, jurors found Samsung had infringed on the majority of the patents in question -- including software features like double-tap zooming and scrolling. Many devices also infringed on hardware style or icon setup. Although "Apple won most of the battles," Samsung found way to "design around" the patents Apple claimed it copied, said Michael Risch, a patent law professor at Villanova University. "One lesson is consumers will drive tech more than patents. Samsung went where it thought consumers wanted ... and Apple stayed with its distinctive smaller shape for a much longer period than Samsung," Risch said. "Sometimes patent can drive innovation in ways we may not have expected."

view more

Apple’s $539 Million in Damages Is a ‘Big Win’ Over Samsung



A $1.05 billion jury verdict in 2012 was whittled down by a previous retrial in 2013, along with appeals and adjustments. After Samsung agreed to pay some damages, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 and was returned to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh with an order to revisit $399 million of that award. Now Samsung has to pay $539 million, an increase of $140 million. That makes it a “huge loss” for Samsung, said Michael Risch, a law professor at Villanova University School of Law in Pennsylvania, “and shows the risk it took by continuing to fight.”

view more

The Waymo-Uber Trial Begins

Bloomberg BNA  


Waymo has spent almost a year accusing Uber Technologies Inc. of an unconscionable theft of its hard-won technology -- and now has to deliver its proof … “A lot is going to depend on themes of conspiracy, but the rubber is finally going to meet the road for Waymo,” Michael Risch, a professor at Villanova University School of Law in Pennsylvania, said in an email. “Can they show trade secrets in Uber’s stuff or not? After a year of pretrial smoke, will they show a fire?”

view more

Federal government drops inquiry into Twitter account critical of Trump

The Christian Science Monitor  


The federal government has withdrawn its request for information regarding a Twitter account that has been critical of President Trump’s immigration policies after the social media company filed a suit claiming the order violated the rights of its users. ... “The party seeking information must at the very least make some sort of showing that there is an actionable wrong committed by the posting,” Michael Risch, a professor of law at Villanova University in Pennsylvania who focuses on internet protocol (IP) and internet law, tells The Christian Science Monitor in an email.

view more

Supreme Court's Decision About Printer Cartridges Could Have Big Consequences



A case about reselling printer cartridges has landed in front of the Supreme Court. The Court's decision could have big implications for a whole slew of consumer products, from computers to cars. ... Michael Risch is a law professor at Villanova Law School who signed an amicus brief in support of Lexmark. "People think that Impression wins this and Lexmark is going to continue to sell cartridges at the cheaper rate with the agreement, they're fooling themselves."

view more

Supreme Court gets rid of delay defense in patent cases



A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday in a lawsuit over adult diapers will make it more difficult for companies accused of patent infringement to shoot down lawsuits because the plaintiffs waited too long to bring them. ... Michael Risch, a law professor at Villanova University School of Law, said the ruling was not unexpected, based on a similar 2014 decision banning the defense in copyright cases.

view more

Select Academic Articles (4)

Hidden In Plain Sight

Berkeley Technology Law Journal

Michael Risch


view more

The Layered Patent System

Iowa Law Review

Michael Risch


view more

Patent Portfolios as Securities

Duke Law Journal

Michael Risch


view more

Life After Bilski

Stanford Law Review

Michael Risch


view more