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 joined the University of Oklahoma College of Law faculty in 2012. She teaches Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Copyright and Patents. 

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Burstein served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert W. Pratt in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. She also worked as an intellectual property litigation associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Professor Burstein has a law degree from the University of Chicago and B.A. in Art & Design from Iowa State University. 

Professor Burstein’s scholarship focuses on design law, with a particular focus on design patents. She 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.

Transparency disclosure:

Consulted with another law professor, who was preparing for a congressional staff briefing on the PARTS Act, about various issues of design patent law on behalf of the Quality Parts Coalition (October 2016).

Consulted with the same law professor, who was drafting a white paper in support of the PARTS Act, about various issues of design patent law, legislation, and history on behalf of the Quality Parts Coalition (July 2017).

Selected Recent & Upcoming Presentations

University of Texas School of Law, Texas Law Review Symposium (Jan. 2020)

University of Houston Law Center, M3 Workshop (Jan. 2020)

Notre Dame Law School, Inaugural Design Law Scholars Roundtable (Nov. 2019)

University of Houston Law Center,  IPIL Institute Fall Lecture (Nov. 2019)


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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