Portrait Photo

Robert E Thomas

Darden Restaurants Professor

University of Florida
Warrington College of Business
Management Department
Stuzin Hall 201
PO Box 117165
Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 392-0136


Robert Thomas is Associate Professor of Business Law and Technology, and Huber Hurst Fellow in the Warrington College of Business Management Department at the University of Florida and Invited Professor at the Institut D’Administration Des Entreprises D’Aix-en-Provence, France. He is an expert in the areas of, intellectual property, technology law and negotiation and has published multiple articles in these areas. He teaches intellectual property, e-commerce law, technology law, business law and negotiation courses in the Warrington graduate programs. His courses are typically among the most popular elective offerings in the UF MBA curriculum, and he has received awards for excellence in teaching and research. Prior to his University of Florida appointment, Professor Thomas held dual faculty appointments in the University of Michigan Department of Economics and the University of Michigan Business School.

Professor Thomas has lectured throughout the United States and Western Europe. In 1998 and 1999 Professor Thomas was, respectively, Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, and the Whitney Young Visiting Professorship of Legal Studies at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. His current research examines current attempts to reform patent law. His analysis is multi-disciplinary employing tools from law, economics and institutional political theory.

Professor Thomas graduated from Princeton University with honors in economics. He received his J.D. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.


  • PhD - Economics, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business, 1989
  • JD - Law, Stanford University, 1982
  • AB - Economics, Princeton University, 1979

Research Areas

  • Intellectual property policy
  • Patent Law Reform
  • Managing Technology Innovation
  • E-Commerce Law
  • Law and Economics
  • Balancing Innovation Incentives with Access

Coalition Formation and Battles to Effect Intellectual Property Policy Change in the Age of ACTA, AIA, and the SHIELD Act
Published Year: 2013
Authors: Daniel Cahoy, Linda Oswald, Robert Thomas

Unifying the International Law of Business Method and Software Patents
Published Year: 2009
Authors: Robert Thomas

'Drawing a Line in the Patent Subject Matter Sands: Does Europe Provide a Solution to the Business Method and Software Patent Problem?'
Journal: Boston College Comparative and International law Review
Published Year: 2011
Authors: S. Marsnik, Robert Thomas

'Justice Sotomayor on the Supreme Court: A Boon for Business?'
Journal: Virginia Law & Business Review 4
Published Year: 2009
Authors: D. Muir, D. Baumer, S. Greene, G. Mark, Robert Thomas

'Debugging Software Patents Increasing Innovation and Reducing Uncertainty in the Judicial Reform of Software Patent Law,'
Journal: Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal
Published Year: 2008
Authors: Robert Thomas

'Harmonizing the International Law of Business Method and Software Patents: Following Europe's Lead,'
Journal: Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal
Published Year: 2007
Authors: L. DiMatteo, Robert Thomas

'Vanquishing Copyright Pirates and Patent Trolls: The Divergent Evolution of Copyright and Patent Laws,'
Journal: American Business Law Journal
Published Year: 2006
Authors: Robert Thomas

'Under the Radar: The Resistance of Promotion Biases to Market Economic Forces'
Journal: Syracuse Law Review
Published Year: 2005
Authors: B. Rich, Robert Thomas

'Negociación Estratégica: Conceptos Y responsabilidad in la Regulación de los Servicios Públicos, (Strategic Negotiation: Concepts and Accountability in Public Utilities Regulation),'
Journal: Revista Regulación de Agua Potable y Saneamiento Básico
Published Year: 2001
Authors: Robert Thomas

'The Economics of Race and Music,'
Journal: Sister 2 Sister
Published Year: 2001
Authors: Robert Thomas

'Attorney Fee Arrangements: The U.S. and Western European Perspective,'
Journal: Northwestern University International Journal of Law and Business
Published Year: 1999
Authors: Robert Thomas

'The Psychological Impact of Scrutiny on Contingent Fee Attorney Effort,'
Journal: West Virginia Law Review
Published Year: 1998
Authors: Robert Thomas

'The Impact Of Job Performance, Gender, and Ethnicity On The Managerial Review Of Sexual Harassment Allegations,'
Journal: Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Published Year: 1998
Authors: Robert Thomas

'Database Marketing Practices: Protecting Consumer Privacy,'
Journal: Journal of Public Policy and Marketing
Published Year: 1997
Authors: V. Maurer, Robert Thomas

'Getting Credit Where Credit is Due: Proposed Changes in the Fair Credit Reporting Act,'
Journal: American Business Law Journal
Published Year: 1997
Authors: V. Maurer, Robert Thomas

'Coalition Formation in Standard-Setting Alliances,'
Journal: Management Science
Published Year: 1995
Authors: R. Axelrod, W. Mitchell, D. Bennett, E. Bruderer, Robert Thomas

'The Trial Selection Hypothesis Without the 50 Percent Rule: Some Experimental Evidence,'
Journal: Journal of Legal Studies
Accepted Year: 1995
Authors: Robert Thomas