Remembering Professor Emeritus Mickey Davis

Posted 2020-11-16 5:39pm

Professor Emeritus Michael "Mickey" Davis, passed away November 16. We mourn the loss of one of our law school's prominent scholars and beloved teachers, and celebrate his career and significant impact on generations of lawyers. He recently retired from CSU Cleveland-Marshall in May 2020.

Professor Davis joined the CSU Cleveland-Marshall faculty in 1982. He taught Intellectual Property, Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Torts, Comparative Law, Entertainment Law and European Law. Prior to coming to CSU, he taught at the University of Tennessee and had been in private practice in New York City. He earned his BA from Occidental College, his JD from Hofstra Law School, and his LLM from Harvard Law School. 

Professor Davis published internationally in the areas of comparative law, jurisprudence, and intellectual property. He was a contributing editor of a French law journal, Revue Francaise de Droit Administratif and was the American reporter to the Annuaire International de Justice Constitutionnelle.  He co-authored the book, Intellectual Property, Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright in a Nutshell, published by West Publishing Company. In addition to his writing, he was an admitted patent bar attorney. 

Professor Davis's media appearances include a Letter to the Editor published in The New York Times, written in response to a New York Times article on art made by Guantanamo prisoners and the United States government's erroneous assertion that it owns such art.  According to Professor Davis' Letter, "[t]he government cannot destroy the copyright that each prisoner owns in his works. Under United States copyright law, that right belongs to each prisoner-artist for the next 70-plus years."

His scholarly work on patents in the pharmaceutical industry gained Professor Davis widespread recognition. He was interviewed and appeared in a video, "Could you Patent the Sun?," produced for The New York Times and published on The New York Times website. The video addresses the high costs of pharmaceutical drugs, which is in part driven by the fact that pharmaceutical companies hold patents over the development of many drugs.

But it's the thriving network of IP legal professionals in our city and beyond that perhaps represents Mickey’s most far-reaching and impactful legacy. Thanks to his renowned expertise and engaged teaching, CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has attracted many students over the years and helped them develop the skills they need to pursue their dream careers in the area of intellectual property law, including copyright, patents, trademark law and sports and entertainment law.

We greatly appreciate his many contributions to Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and will be forever grateful for his dedicated service. 

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