Mark McKenna named a John P. Murphy Foundation Professor

Author: Amanda Gray

Mark Mckenna

Notre Dame Law School is proud to announce that Professor Mark McKenna has been appointed a John P. Murphy Foundation Professor.

McKenna joins Notre Dame Law Professors Barry Cushman and Nicole Stelle Garnett as John P. Murphy Foundation appointees. Professor McKenna teaches and writes in the areas of intellectual property and privacy law. He also teaches the first-year torts course.

“I’m honored to be named a Murphy Chair, and I’m grateful to the Murphy Foundation for its support of the Law School and my research in particular,” he said.

Professor McKenna is one of the nation’s leading intellectual property scholars. Though his core area of expertise is trademark law, McKenna has written broadly on nearly every area of intellectual property, including utility patent, design patent, copyright, and the right of publicity. His most recent work focuses on the claiming methodologies employed by different intellectual property regimes and particularly the ways differences in claiming exacerbate concerns about overlapping intellectual property protection.

“This recognition is richly deserved for one of Notre Dame’s most influential scholars," said Nell Jessup Newton, Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law. "Mark McKenna is also a superb teacher and a driving force behind the spectacular success of the Law School’s intellectual property and technology programs.”

The appointment is named for John P. Murphy, a 1912 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor of laws degree. He practiced in Minnesota and Montana before joining the Army Air Corps during World War I, serving as special counsel. After the war, Murphy moved to Cleveland to continue his legal career. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of law in 1952. Murphy retired as CEO of Higbee’s department store in 1967. He died in 1969.

The endowment was gifted to the University of Notre Dame in 1998 to both the Law School and Theology Department. It is the single largest donation from the foundation.