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Tomás Gómez-Arostegui

Kay Kitagawa & Andy Johnson-Laird IP Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law

Legal Research Center 320
Legal Assistant:


Tomás Gómez-Arostegui joined our faculty Fall 2006. Before that he served as a Visiting Researcher and Lecturer at the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law at the University of Oslo. He regularly teaches a course on the History of the Common Law, Civil Procedure, Torts, and Trademark Law. His research interests lie primarily in the history of intellectual property before the year 1800, especially that of copyright and patent. In 2015, the American Society for Legal History awarded him the Sutherland Prize for the best article or book chapter on English legal history published in the prior year.

Tomás clerked for the late Judge Edward Rafeedie of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California from 1997 to 1998 in Los Angeles, and for Judge John C. Porfilio of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 1998 to 1999 in Denver. He then practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Century City, California, and Hogan & Hartson LLP in Denver, Colorado. As part of his practice, he litigated matters relating to torts, general commercial disputes, copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, and publicity rights.

While in law school, Tomás served as a Notes Editor on the Southern California Law Review and for two years as a legal writing instructor. His LLM degree from the University of Oslo is in European intellectual-property, telecommunications, e-commerce, and data-privacy law. Tomás is a member of the California bar.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • BA Hist. 1993 University of Southern California
  • JD 1997 University of Southern California Law School, Order of the Coif
  • LLM 2004 University of Oslo, Faculty of Law


Books, Articles & Book Chapters

  • The Traditional Burdens for Final Injunctions in Patent Cases c.1789 and Some Modern Implications (with Sean Bottomley), 71 Case W. Rsrv. L. Rev. 403 (2020) (solicited symposium contribution) Link
  • Privy Council and Scire Facias 1700-1883 (with Sean Bottomley, 2017) Link
  • Patent and Copyright Exhaustion in England circa 1800 (2017) Link
  • Stationers v Seymour (1677), in Landmark Cases in Intellectual Property Law (Jose Bellido ed., 2017) Link
  • Research Handbook on the History of Copyright Law (Isabella Alexander & H. Tomás Gómez-Arostegui eds., 2016) Link
  • Equitable Infringement Remedies before 1800, in Research Handbook on the History of Copyright Law (Isabella Alexander & H. Tomás Gómez-Arostegui eds., 2016) Link
  • Copyright at Common Law in 1774, 47 Conn. L. Rev. 1 (2014) Link
  • The Untold Story of the First Copyright Suit under the Statute of Anne in 1710, 25 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1247 (2010) [symposium contribution] Link
  • Prospective Compensation in Lieu of a Final Injunction in Patent and Copyright Cases, 78 Fordham L. Rev. 1661 (2010). Link
  • What History Teaches Us About Copyright Injunctions and the Inadequate-Remedy-At-Law Requirement, 81 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1197 (2008). Link
  • Defining Private Life Under the European Convention on Human Rights by Referring to Reasonable Expectations, 35 Cal. W. Int’l L. J. 153 (2005). Link
  • A Comparative Fault Framework for Rule 10b-5 Direct Misrepresentation Actions, 70 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1407 (1997).

Shorter Works 

  • A Reply to my Colleagues Regarding Donaldson v Becket, in What is the Point of Copyright History? Reflections on Copyright at Common Law in 1774 by H. Tomás Gómez-Arostegui (Elena Cooper & Ronan Deazley eds., 2016) [solicited symposium contribution] Link
  • What History Teaches Us About U.S. Copyright Law and Statutory Damages, 5 WIPO Journal 76 (2013) [solicited symposium contribution] Link 
  • Copyright Law and the Public Interest in the Nineteenth Century by Isabella Alexander, Hart Publishing, 2010.  Pp. xxiv + 320.  Cloth $110, 2 IP Law Book Rev. 11 (2011) [solicited book review] 
  • The Piracy Loop, Adrian Johns: Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars From Gutenberg to Gates (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Pp.640. $35.00), 73 The Review of Politics 172 (2011) [solicited book review]
  • Harald Welte, Linux, and the GPL, 7 Oregon Intell. Prop. Newsletter 19 (Winter 2006).
  • Know-How, Intellectual Property, and Confidentiality Issues, in Report on Legal Issues in SME Clusters (Pinsent Masons ed., Legal-IST 2005).