Ryan Vacca

Phone: (603) 513-5291
Office: UNH School of Law, 2 White Street, Concord, NH 03301
Ryan Vacca

Professor Vacca joined the University of New Hampshire School of Law in 2017. Prior to this, he was the David L. Brennan Professor of Law at the University of Akron School of Law (2010-2017), where he also served as Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology (2015-2017) and Interim Co-Dean (2016-2017). Professor Vacca teaches, or has taught, Fundamentals of Intellectual Property, Patent Law, Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, Current Issues in IP, Contracts, Property, and Professional Responsibility. Professor Vacca has also been a visiting professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, the University of Denver College of Law, Swinburne University Law School (Melbourne, Australia), and Wuhan University of Technology (Wuhan, China). He received his B.A. from Amherst College, his J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law (Order of the Coif), and his LL.M. in Intellectual Property from New York University School of Law.

Professor Vacca primarily focuses his research on intellectual property. His research covers a wide variety of intellectual property topics and industries, including 3D printing, genetically modified food, patent reform efforts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, empirical studies, the music industry, and healthcare. He is frequently invited to present his research at academic conferences and to lawyers, judges, and policymakers across the country. Before entering academia, Professor Vacca was an attorney at the law firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP (now Stinson LLP) in St. Louis, Missouri, where he specialized in intellectual property and products liability.

Ryan Vacca



  • J.D., University of Missouri - Columbia
  • LL.M., New York University
  • B.A., Amherst College

Research Interests

  • 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing
  • Judicial/Law Administration
  • Law & Legal Studies
  • Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks
  • Unfair Competition Law

Courses Taught

  • LAW 405: The American Legal System
  • LGP 920: Contracts
  • LIP 918: Trade Secrets Law
  • LIP 947: Current Issues in IP
  • LIP 954: Patent Law
  • LRS 905: Independent Study
  • TECH 780/880: Intellectual Property Law

Selected Publications

Vacca, R., & Bartow, A. (2022). Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Copyright Jurisprudence. Nevada Law Journal, 22.

Vacca, R., & Halpern, S. (2021). Copyright Law: Protection of Original Expression (4th ed. ed.). Carolina Academic Press.

Vacca, R., & Menell, P. (2020). Revisiting and Confronting the Federal Judiciary “Crisis”: Charting a Path for Federal Judiciary Reform. California Law Review, 108, 789. Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3436493

Vacca, R. G. (2019). The Federal Circuit as an Institution. In P. Menell, B. Depoorter, & D. Schwartz (Eds.), Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law (Vol. II - Analytical Methods). Edward Elgar Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.e-elgar.com/

Vacca, R., & Menell, P. (2019). 3D Printing and US Copyright Law. In D. Mendis, M. Lemley, & M. Rimmer (Eds.), 3D Printing and Beyond: Intellectual Property and Regulation. Edward Elgar.

Vacca, R. (2019). Uncertainty in Employee Status Across Federal Law. Temple Law Review, 92. Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3359683

Vacca, R. G. (2015). Work Made for Hire – Analyzing the Multifactor Balancing Test. Florida State University Law Review, 42, 197-254. Retrieved from http://scholars.unh.edu/law_facpub/284

Cole, B. M., Horton, B. J., & Vacca, R. G. (2014). Food for Thought: Genetically Modified Seeds as De Facto Standard Essential Patents. University of Colorado Law Review, 85, 313-375. Retrieved from http://scholars.unh.edu/law_facpub/283

Vacca, R. G., Chen, J. M., Dratler, J. J., Folsom, T., Hall, T. S., Heled, Y., . . . Van Tassel, K. A. (2013). Intellectual Property and Public Health – A White Paper. Akron Intellectual Property Journal, 7, 39-62. Retrieved from http://scholars.unh.edu/law_facpub/281

Vacca, R. G. (2012). Patent Reform and Best Mode: A Signal to the Patent Office or a Step Toward Elimination?. Albany Law Review, 75, 279-304. Retrieved from http://scholars.unh.edu/law_facpub/282