Colleen Chien

Colleen V. Chien

Associate Professor of Law

Colleen Chien is an Associate Professor at Santa Clara University School of Law where she teaches, writes, and mentors students. From 2013-2015 she served in the Obama White House as a Senior Advisor, Intellectual Property and Innovation, working on a broad range of patent, copyright, technology transfer, open innovation, educational innovation, and other issues. Professor Chien is nationally known for her research and publications on domestic and international patent law and policy issues. She has testified on multiple occasions before Congress, the DOJ, the FTC, and the US Patent and Trademark Office on patent issues, frequently lectures at national law conferences, and has published several in-depth empirical studies, including of patent litigation, patent-assertion entities (PAEs) (a term that she coined), and the secondary market for patents. Prior to joining the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty in 2007, Professor Chien prosecuted patents at Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco, as an associate and then Special Counsel, and was a Fellow at the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences. In 2017, Professor Chien was awarded the American Law Institute’s Early Career Medal, awarded every two years to up to two law outstanding professors; she also has received the Vanguard Award for Public Service, and has been named Eric Yamamoto Emerging Scholar, a Tech Law Leader, one of Silicon Valley’s “Women of Influence,” and one of the 50 Most Influential People in Intellectual Property in the world. Chien is a graduate of Stanford (Engineering) and Berkeley Law Schools and lives in Oakland with her husband and their two sons, Max and Benjie. She is the founder of civic engagement projects Wall of Us and ActLocal and an advisor to ClearAccessIP, an AI-driven patent analytics and enterprise software firm and CitizenBe, which works to create and sustain impactful political participation.


J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

A.B. and B.S. in Engineering, Stanford University (with Distinction and Honors)

Areas of Specialization

Patents, Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property, International Intellectual Property, International Trade Commission, Technology and Social Justice

Affiliations and Honors

2017 Intellectual Property Vanguard Award

Women in Tech Law Leader 2017

IAM300 Top Intellectual Property Strategist 2017

American Law Institute Early Career (“Young Scholars”) Medal, 2017

Senior Visiting Research Scholar, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, 2015

Eric Yamamoto Emerging Scholar

2013 Silicon Valley “Woman of Influence”

2012 Santa Clara Law Faculty Member of the Year (Awarded by LLM Students)

50 Most Influential People in the World in Intellectual Property

Fellow, Stanford School of Law Center for Law and the Biosciences, 2006