Deborah R. Gerhardt is an associate professor at the UNC School of Law. She specializes in the intersection of law and creativity and has written leading articles in trademarks, copyrights, art law, false advertising and plagiarism. With West Publishing, Gerhardt recently co-authored its first bridge to practice contracts text. She received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to support research to clarify whether art and historical documents are protected by copyright or in the public domain.
In 2015, Gerhardt was invited to participate in the Chancellor’s Faculty Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, where she led her team to win the pitch competition. Also, in 2015, she was selected by the Advertising Educational Foundation for a fellowship in its Visiting Professor Program where she is the first person J. Walter Thompson, the world’s largest advertising agency, sponsored for a fellowship.
Gerhardt teaches Art Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Contracts and a practical writing seminar on intellectual property strategies and transactions. She secured UNC a slot in the USPTO’s pilot clinical program and led the effort to launch Carolina’s Intellectual Property Clinic where she teaches students practical skills while providing pro bono counsel to artists, musicians, and small businesses. In this past academic year, Gerhardt coached Carolina’s trademark moot court team to a regional victory and a top 10 finish nationally.
Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Gerhardt clerked for the Honorable Judge John M. Manos in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and practiced at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her J.D. degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve School of Law.