Shontavia Johnson, professor of law and the Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law, takes over as director of Drake Law School’s Intellectual Property Law Center on July 1, 2016.
Johnson succeeds Ed Sease, partner at McKee, Voorhees, & Sease, PLC and a 1967 alumnus of Drake Law School, who has served as interim director of the center since July 2015.
The Drake Intellectual Property Law Center was launched in fall 2007 to promote global, interdisciplinary understanding of intellectual property law and policy.
The center was established with the support of a $1.5 million gift from Wayne, LW’72, and Donna Kern, which endowed the Kern Family Chair in Intellectual Property Law, and a $750,000 leadership commitment from DuPont Pioneer. It has consistently ranked among the top 25 intellectual property law programs in the nation.
"I am grateful to be part of Drake Law School’s longstanding commitment to this dynamic area of law," said Johnson. "I plan to continue our tradition of practical legal training and couple that with a renewed focus on agriculture, biotechnology, and entrepreneurship. It is an exciting time for the center and the Law School."
Johnson received her B.S. in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University and her J.D. from the University of Arkansas.
Before joining the Drake Law School faculty in 2010, Johnson worked as an intellectual property attorney at the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough, LLP in Greenville, S.C., and was a Westerfield Fellow at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
Johnson’s areas of expertise are in intellectual property, entrepreneurship, property, and entertainment law, and she has published numerous articles and blog posts. One of her articles, "Trademark Territoriality in Cyberspace: An Internet Framework for Common Law Trademarks" in the Berkeley Technology Law Review, was named the best article in the world in trademark law by the International Trademark Association in 2014.
Johnson teaches a variety of courses at Drake, including Trademark and Unfair Competition Law, Introduction to Intellectual Property Law, and Law, Innovation, and Technology (Internet Law). She has also served on a number of committees and organizations at the Law School, including director of diversity initiatives and faculty advisor for the Intellectual Property Law Society.
Johnson is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is the founder and managing attorney of Jackson Johnson LLC.
Among her many accolades, Johnson was named one of 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the National Bar Association and IMPACT, and she has received the Inspiring Women in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity and the Gertrude Rush Award from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys.
She is also a Fulbright Specialist Roster Candidate and a 2016 American Arbitration Association Higginbotham Fellow.
For more information about Johnson, see her Drake Law School faculty profile.
For more information about the Intellectual Property Law Center, visit www.law.drake.edu/clinicsCenters/ip.