Sarah Burstein

  • Professor of Law


B.A., with Honors and with Distinction, Iowa State University, 2004

J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2007

Research Interests

  • Design Patents
  • Trade Dress
  • Copyright in the Visual Arts
  • Comparative Design Law


Professor Burstein is an internationally-recognized expert in design patents. Prior to joining the faculty at OU, she worked as an intellectual property litigation associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Pratt in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. Professor Burstein has a law degree from the University of Chicago and B.A. in Art & Design from Iowa State University. 

Professor Burstein has participated in design law conferences at the University of Oxford, Notre Dame Law School, Stanford Law School, the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, ETH Zürich, and Waseda University in Tokyo. Professor Burstein is a past chair of the AALS Section on Art Law and the ABA Design Committee and a member of the INTA Academic Committee.

Selected Recent & Upcoming Presentations

Vanderbilt Law School, Design Patent Panel (Apr. 2022)

Drexel University Kline School of Law, Picturing Truth: Law, Truth & Visual Images (Mar. 2022)

Javeriana University (Bogotá) Design Conference (Nov. 2021)

Selected Additional Writing

Samsung v. Apple: A view from inside the courtroom, PATENTLY-O (Oct. 12, 2016).

“Design” & Design Patents, DESIGN.BLOG (September 7, 2016) (by invitation).

Analysis of U.K. Legislation Criminalizing the Infringement of Registered Designs, COMPARATIVE PATENT REMEDIES (May 23, 2014), (by invitation).

TPP: what the design provisions say—and don't say!, THE IPKAT (Nov. 22, 2013) (by invitation).

Design Patent Myths—On examiners and expertise, THE FACULTY LOUNGE (Oct. 30, 2013).

Classic Design Patent Scholarship, WRITTEN DESCRIPTION (Apr. 5, 2013), (by invitation).

Heart, soul and US design patents, CLASS 99 (Oct. 17, 2012).

Guest Post: Design Patents and Apple v. Samsung, MADISONIAN.NET (Aug. 27, 2012).

Guest Post by Sarah Burstein: Apple v. Samsung, PATENTLY-O (May 18, 2012).


Bar Admissions

Supreme Court of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

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