The Papers of William Owen Hennessey - Emeritus Professor of Law

Emeritus Professor of Law, William O. Hennessey

Over two decades Professor Hennessey taught courses in intellectual property law, international trade law, the law of traditional peoples and public international law. He was the cofounder of the Master of Intellectual Property Program. He also directed the University of New Hampshire School of Law - Tsinghua School of Law Intellectual Property Summer Institute in Beijing, China. He was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Tsinghua in 1998. He has been a global diplomat for UNH Law*s Franklin Pierce Center for IP as well as accomplished scholar and constant speaker.

Prior to coming to UNH School of Law, he worked as an interpreter with delegations of Chinese scientists and policy makers for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the National Academy of Sciences and at hearings before several Congressional sub*committees. He also taught Chinese fiction and poetry at the University of Illinois and Oberlin College from 1979 until 1983. He continues to work as a translation advisor to the Legislative Drafting Office of the State Council of the PRC.

Additionally, Professor Hennessey was a member of the Advisory Board of the WIPO Worldwide Academy. He has been a regular consultant on international intellectual property issues for WIPO; the United States Patent and Trademark Office and Department of State; the World Bank; Asian Development Bank; U.S. Agency for International Development and a number of foreign governments. He is the co-author of International Intellectual Property Law and Policy, (Matthew Bender 2006) and International and Comparative Patent Law (Matthew Bender 2002) see the publisher's site.

*In addition to extricating the people, companies, or even countries who are our clients from problems they already have; we must be able to predict the ones they will encounter in the future. We are asked to gaze into the crystal ball and tell them what we see. But rapid changes in technology, international and domestic politics, the natural environment, and human society challenge our abilities to fulfill this role of legal seer. The past is but a partial teacher. So is our local community. At UNH School of Law, we try to bring together people who can extend our vision to the far rim of the globe and of the future. We become better lawyers, and even more importantly, more effective citizens in the global village.*

He continues his affiliation with UNH Law as an Emeritus Professor, while now teaching courses in Chinese culture, film, literature and the arts at UNH.

Career Hightlights

Member of the New Hampshire Bar
Registered to practice before the:
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (Reg. No. 32,032);
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire;
- United States Court of International Trade; and the
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First and Federal Circuits


  • A.B., 1968 Brown University, Biology
  • Ph.D., 1980 Univ. of Michigan, Far Eastern Languages and Literatures
  • J.D., 1986 Franklin Pierce Law Center (now UNH School of Law)

Collection of Papers,
Articles and Presentations





  • UNH School of Law (1989-present), Professor of Law
    • Courses: Public International Law;
    • World Trade and World Intellectual Property Law and Institutions;
    • Trademark and Unfair Competition Law;
    • Law of Indigenous Peoples: U.S. Federal Indian Law
    • Fundamentals of Intellectual Property
  • Director, China Intellectual Property Summer Institute (2002- 2010)
  • Director of Graduate Programs (1989-2002) (administered, marketed, and organized curriculum for the Graduate Programs of the Law Center
  • Chair, Intellectual Property Graduate Programs (2002-2007)
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign): Asst. Prof. of Asian Languages and Cultures (1980-1983)
  • Oberlin College: Asst. Prof. of Chinese Language and Literature (1979-1980)


  • Attorney, Hayes Soloway Hennessey Grossman & Hage, P.C., Manchester, NH (1987-1993), Of Counsel (1993- 2001)

Casebooks and Treatises:

  • INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW & POLICY: Cases and Materials (with G. Dinwoodie and S. Perlmutter, 1st ed. 2001, 2d ed. 2008, Mathew Bender LexisNexis)
  • INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE PATENT LAW: Cases and Materials (with G. Dinwoodie and S. Perlmutter 2002, Mathew Bender LexisNexis)

Reported Litigated Cases:

  • Curtis Manufacturing Company, Inc. v. Plasti-Clip Corporation; Daniel Faneuf Plasti-Clip
  • Corporation; Daniel Faneuf v. Thomas. W. Judd, 933 F. SUPP. 94 (1995) (D.C.N.H. 1995); 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21120
  • Boston Beer Co. v. Slesar Bros. Brewing Co., 9 F.3d 175 (First Cir. 1993); 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 29566; 28 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1778
  • Velcro Group Corp. v. Billarant, 692 F. SUPP. 1443; (D.C.N.H.1988)

Language Proficiencies:

  • Chinese: Near-native speaking and reading (all writing systems)
  • Japanese: Functional speaking, advanced reading
  • French: Functional speaking and reading