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Full-time Intellectual Property Faculty

Peter Yu

Peter K. Yu, the inaugural holder of the Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law, serves as the director of the Drake Intellectual Property Law Center. A leading expert in international intellectual property and communications law, Professor Yu is the author or editor of five books and more than 100 law review articles and book chapters.
His recent publications include The Global Governance of HIV/AIDS: Intellectual Property and Access to Essential Medicines (Edward Elgar Publishing 2013), Global Issues in Intellectual Property Law (Thomson West 2010) and a four-volume reference book set entitled Intellectual Property and Information Wealth: Issues and Practices in the Digital Age (Praeger Publishers 2007).

He is the general editor of The WIPO Journal (published by the World Intellectual Property Organization in association with Sweet & Maxwell) and sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Copyright Society of the U.S.A., the Journal of World Intellectual Property, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property and the IP Law Book Review‏. He has been in charge of media law projects funded by USAID, IREX and the European Commission.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Professor Yu has served as Wenlan Scholar Chair Professor at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan, China and a visiting professor at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, CEIPI at the University of Strasbourg and Washington & Lee University School of Law. He has spoken at events organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Chinese, EU and U.S. governments, as well as leading research institutions from around the world.
He speaks and writes in Chinese and English, and his lectures and presentations have spanned more than 25 countries on six continents. He is a frequent commentator in the national and international media. His publications have been translated into Arabic, French, Hausa, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese. They are available on his website.

Before joining Drake University, Professor Yu taught at Michigan State University College of Law and founded its nationally-ranked intellectual property and communications law program. He was also a member of the core faculty of the Asian Studies Center and held courtesy appointments in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University. In 2007, he received both the Student Bar Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award and the university-wide MSU Teacher-Scholar Award.

He received his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, where he taught immediately after graduating from law school and served as the first executive director of its nationally-renowned Intellectual Property Law Program. He was also a research associate of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford. He holds a B.A. in English and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His profile in The Des Moines Register is available online.

Shontavia Johnson

Prof. Shontavia Johnson
Shontavia Johnson, Associate Professor of Law, brings to the Drake Intellectual Property Law Center her expertise in patent law and biotechnology. She is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
She sits on the Board of Directors of both the Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association and the Science Center of Iowa. Most recently, she won the Ladas Memorial Award from the International Trademark Association. She also received the 2014 Gertrude Rush Award from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys.
Before joining Drake University Law School, Professor Johnson was a Westerfield Fellow at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, where she taught a course on issues lying at the intersection of intellectual property and human rights. She was also named one of the “Most Supportive” law professors by the A.P. Tureaud Chapter of the Black Law Students Association at Loyola.

She worked as an intellectual property associate at the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough, LLP in Greenville, South Carolina. She is also the founder and director of Each One International, a nonprofit organization committed to eradicating educational disparities in impoverished communities. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she served as an editor of the Arkansas Law Review. She was an honors graduate of Clemson University, receiving her B.S. in Biosystems Engineering.

Her profile in Business Record is available online.

Other Related Full-time Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Jeffrey D. Harty is a shareholder of Nyemaster Goode, P.C. He began his practice in patent prosecution, trademark registration and copyright issues, but now focuses most of his efforts on intellectual property litigation. Before becoming a patent attorney, he worked as a computer programmer with Andersen Consulting. He received his J.D. with high distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering with high distinction from Iowa State University.

Donna E. Johns serves as an in-house counsel for Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. She began her legal career in private practice in Houston, Texas more than 20 years ago. Over the past decade, she has developed a special emphasis on intellectual property law. During 2008-2009, she was the president of the Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association. She holds her J.D. from South Texas College of Law, where she was inducted into the Order of Lytae and became a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. She received her B.S. from Iowa State University. 

Edmund J. Sease is a name partner of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. With more than 35 years of experience as a patent attorney, trademark attorney, intellectual property litigator, he successfully argued J.E.M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. before the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining his law firm in 1973, he worked for seven years in the patent department of Proctor and Gamble. A long-time adjunct professor at Drake University Law School, he received his J.D. Order of the Coif and a B.A. in Chemistry from Drake University.

Last Modified: 1/7/2015 5:22:00 PM by Peter Yu