J.D. Thomas C. Folsom


Thomas C. Folsom, J.D.

Senior Lecturer

Business, Leadership & Management


My hometowns include Seattle, Cleveland, Chicago, New York (all before or up to first grade), San Francisco (grade school and junior high), then back to New York (high school). Other places I have lived or worked since high school include Colorado Springs, San Angelo, TX, Washington, DC, Denver and Boulder CO, Grand Forks ND, Spokane WA, and Virginia Beach. My father was an oral surgeon in the U.S. Public Health Service. I served for a time in the U.S. Air Force, attached to the NSA, and then practiced law in Colorado and taught law at a number of law schools. My law practice was transactional, in corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, and intellectual property including trademarks and patents. I have enjoyed concentrating my teaching on Contract Law, Intellectual Property, Cyber Security, and Jurisprudence, but with a great many other subjects mixed in with those. I have read in politics, ethics, economics and other fields as background to a full view of the law in society.

I have from time to time been interested in bicycling, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, surfing, and languages including computer languages, international travel and lecturing. I’ve been married for 33 years and have three sons and a daughter (all grown up by now).


2019 Professor of the Year (1L), Regent University School of Law.
2010 Regent University Faculty Award for Excellence in scholarship.
2009 Winner, Ladas Memorial Award for “Space Pirates, Hitchhikers, Guides, and the Public Interest: Transformational Trademark Law in Cyberspace”—from the International Trademark Association for excellence in writing on a trademark-related subject.


I have been consistently listed in the top 10% of authors by all-time downloads on the SSRN (formerly known as the Social Science Research Network). Many of the following are available on the SSRN at: http://ssrn.com/author=519369
Designing Food, Owning the Cornucopia: What the Patented Peanut Butter & Jelly Patent Sandwich Might Teach about GMOs/Modified Foods, the Replicator, and Non-Scarcity Economics, 8 Akron Intell. Prop. J. 53 (2015).
Intellectual Property and Public Health—A White Paper, Ryan Vacca (reporter) James M. Chen, Jay Dratler, Thomas C. Folsom, Timothy S. Hall, Yaniv Heled, Frank A. Pasquale, Elizabeth A. Reilly, Jeffrey Samuels, Katherine J. Strandburg, Kara W. Swanson, Andrew W. Torrance, & Katherine A. Van Tassel (contributors), 7 Akron Intell. Prop. J. 39 (2014).
Racing the Genie (Poisoned Flowers, Part 2): Implementing the Solution to Focal Point Abuses and Trademark Conflicts in Cyberspace—New Law for Coded Technology, 43 McGeorge L.Rev. 815 (2012).
Minority Report: Real Patent Reform, Maybe Later—the America Invents Act and the Quasi-Recodification Solution, 6 Akron Intell. Prop. J. 179 (2012) (symposium issue).
Finding Superman (Poisoned Flowers in Cyberspace, Pt. 1): Resolving Focal Point Offenses and Trademark Conflicts on the Internet by Rewriting Code, 43 McGeorge L.Rev. 199 (2011).
Toward Non-Neutral First Principles of Private Law: Designing Secondary Liability Rules for New Technological Uses,3 Akron Intell. Prop. J. 43 (2009) (symposium issue).
Evaluating Supernatural Law: An Inquiry into the Health of Nations (The Restatement of the Obvious, Part II), 21 Regent Law Rev. 105 (2009) (solicited article).
Space Pirates, Hitchhikers, Guides, and the Public Interest: Transformational Trademark Law in Cyberspace, 60 Rutgers Law Rev. 825 (2008). 
Awarded first place in the 2009 International Trademark Association/Ladas Memorial Award Competition for writing excellence on the subject of trademarks.
Reprinted in 99 Trademark Reporter 1166 (2009).
Truth in Intellectual Property Revisited: Embracing eBay at the Edge,2 Akron Intell. Prop. J. 69 (2008) (symposium issue).
Missing the Mark in Cyberspace: Misapplying Trademark Law to Invisible and Attenuated Uses, 33 Rutgers Computer & Tech. L. J. 137 (2007).
Defining Cyberspace (Finding Real Virtue in the Place of Virtual Reality), 9 Tulane Tech. & IP Law Journal 75 (2007).
Awarded third place in the 2006–2007 International Trademark Association/Ladas Memorial Award Competition for writing excellence on the subject of trademarks.
The Restatement of the Obvious: What’s Right Got to Do with It,16 Regent Law Rev. 301 (2004) (solicited article).


Federalist Society (Speakers Bureau)


American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA);
International Trademark Association (INTA);
American Bar Association, Section of Intellectual Property (ABA–IP);
Virginia State Bar Association, Section of Intellectual Property (VSB–IP).
(These are representative memberships; many have lapsed, and others have lapsed from time to time)


My current research interests concern
(1) the intersection of intellectual property law and cybersecurity law with cyberspace and the code world;
(2) normative legal theory in accordance with a specified statement of rule-generating principles (the restatement of the obvious); and
(3) the consequent design of laws transformed to resolve new problems. I have published a dozen articles, and I have presented papers throughout the United States and in France.
More generally, all my research interests are unified insofar as they concern duties (whence they come, how they compel obedience and how they generate rights) and the rule of law (in a special sense: whether there are general conditions under which anyone ought in conscience to obey the law; and how any given law can be improved upon more nearly to approximate those conditions). I am concerned with the question: is there a common basis for a common morality suitable for designing a rule of law in a neo-global and neo-tech era?


My basic teaching philosophy and methods are derived from Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and Mortimer Adler as modified by my experience as an Adult Great Books Discussion leader, as a student at St. John’s College, as a law student at Georgetown, my long experience working with associate attorneys at my several law firms, and my law school teaching at several law schools since 1985.

Thomas Aquinas (following Aristotle) points out that teaching, like medicine and farming (and unlike making shoes or building houses) is a cooperative art. A seed can grow without a farmer, the body can heal without a doctor, and a person can learn experientially without a teacher—unlike shoes or houses that do not make or build themselves. In these cooperative arts, the farmer, doctor, and teacher can aid a natural process and help it to mature. Aquinas makes the distinction between learning by discovery or experience, and learning by instruction from a teacher, which might be easier and quicker than trial and error or self-teaching. As a teacher, I can make learning easier for students. Prior to Thomas, Augustine already had observed that teaching is the greatest act of charity, facilitated by love (including a love of learning). Plato had said that motivation (interest) matters. Mortimer Adler adds that “without interest, learning seldom takes place or if it does cannot rise above the level of rote memory.”

And as C.S. Lewis says: if we should find that the youth of today can no longer do arithmetic—but upon looking for causes we find that no one is teaching arithmetic—we should be slow to conclude that human nature or human understanding, or the new generation, or arithmetic itself has changed. A useful slogan for any genuine school, and certainly for a Christian school might be: “two plus two still equals four.” These same authors (and many others in that tradition) also insist that all true education has a moral component and the true teacher must go beyond any particular subject matter. I have always sought to introduce life lessons by way of rational explanation of moral choice or by stories, and even jokes and asides.

Christians have the freedom (and probably an obligation) to teach that God reveals truth not only in the specially revealed, inerrant, and infallible scripture and in the word made flesh as Christians know; but also in general revelation through nature and the laws of nature as all humankind is able to know, without excuse. See, among other authorities, Romans 1 and 2. Perhaps a somewhat unique or unexpected aspect of my teaching philosophy is that I believe a Christian (or any other) student, especially in today’s environment, must know some basic concepts from a perspective related to natural law, or to things knowable by reason: natural law and natural moral reasoning, and also some modern determinations and arguments including decision and game theory, accounting and finance, and at least some of what some modern scientists are suggesting.

My methods are eclectic, including lectures, question and answers, discussion and engagement in any ways that work to help students engage and learn. I have worked closely with students, including not only research assistants, but also during open office hours which I encourage all students to attend for questions and conversation.

I believe that my teaching philosophy and methods are, in a fundamental sense, naturally integrated because they tend towards exploring questions of truth and meaning, and Biblical Christianity is founded on the truth (and permissible freedom of inquiry).

Meet Our Faculty

Albert Ball, Ph.D.

Visiting Professor, Engineering & Computer Science

John Bauer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, General Education

757.352.4064 jbauer@regent.edu
Brian Baugus, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Business, Leadership & Management

757.352.4771 bbaugus@regent.edu
Cheryl Beauchamp, M.S.

Department Chair; Lecturer, Engineering & Computer Science

757.352.4772 cherbea@regent.edu
James M. Boland, J.D.

Principal Lecturer

Government, History & Criminal Justice.

757.352.4632 jboland@regent.edu
William J. Brown, Ph.D.

Professor & Research Fellow, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4216 willbro@regent.edu
Jacqueline Bruso, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of Online Education

757.352.4259 jacqbru@regent.edu
Joseph J. Bucci, D.B.A.

Department Chair; Associate Professor, Business, Leadership & Management

757.352.4553 jbucci@regent.edu
Young B. Choi, Ph.D.

Professor, Engineering & Computer Science

757.352.4949 ychoi@regent.edu
Douglas H. Cook, J.D.

Professor, Government, History & Criminal Justice

757.352.4331 dougcoo@regent.edu
Kevin R. Crawford, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, English & Communication Studies

Undergraduate Communication Studies Program Coordinator

757.352.4254 kevicra@regent.edu
Michael Crews, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4333 mcrews@regent.edu
Laura M Dimler, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Psychology

757.352.4166 ldimler@regent.edu
Jacqueline Earle, Ph.D.

Practitioner-in-Residence, Business, Leadership & Management

Michael D. Elam, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4878 melam@regent.edu
Jenny Sue Flannagan, Ed.D.

Associate Professor

Director of Student Teaching

757.352.4123 jennfla@regent.edu
Peter Fraser, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

Associate Professor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4562 pfraser@regent.edu
Cheryl A. Gould, Ed.D.

Department Chair; Assistant Professor, Education & Interdisciplinary Studies

757.352.4029 chergou@regent.edu
Kevin Grimm, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Government, History & Criminal Justice

757.352.4551 kgrimm@regent.edu
Dominick D. Hankle, Ph.D.

Department Chair; Associate Professor, Psychology

757.352.4762 dhankle@regent.edu
Eric Harrell, MFA

Associate Professor, Performing Arts & Music

757.352.4211 eharrell@regent.edu
Barbara Harrington, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Media & Visual Arts

757.352.4561 bharrington@regent.edu
James M. Henderson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biblical Studies & Christian Ministry

757.352.4993 jamehe1@regent.edu
Nicholas Higgins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Government, History & Criminal Justice

757.352.4780 nichhig@regent.edu
Michael Hill-Kirkland, Ph.D.

Professor, Performing Arts & Music

Supervisor for MFA in Acting Program

757.352.4730 michhil@regent.edu
David Impellizzeri, ABD

Instructor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4237 dimpellizzer@regent.edu
Tabmitha Jervey, Ph.D.

Visiting Professor, Science & Mathematics

757.352.4140 tjervey@regent.edu
C. Eric Jones, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology

757.352.4742 ejones@regent.edu
Donald Joyner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Business, Leadership & Management

757.352.4756 dtjoyner@regent.edu
John Keeler, Ph.D.

Professor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4248 johnkee@regent.edu
Thomas A. Keiser, Ph.D.

Department Chair; Assistant Professor, Biblical Studies & Christian Ministry

757.352.4047 tkeiser@regent.edu
Stephen M King, Ph.D.

Department Chair; Professor, Government, History & Criminal Justice

757.352.4753 smking@regent.edu
Dan Koev, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Government, History & Criminal Justice

757.352.4659 dkoev@regent.edu
Don Krudop, DMA

Professional in Residence, Performing Arts & Music

Director of Choral Activities

757.352.4204 donkrud@regent.edu
Jeremy Larson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4221 jlarson@regent.edu
Patricia Lutz, Ph.D.

Department Chair; Assistant Professor, Science & Mathematics

757.352.4432 plutz@regent.edu
Micah Mattix, Ph.D.

Department Chair; Associate Professor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4464 mmattix@regent.edu
Joshua McMullen, Ph.D.

Interim Dean

Department Chair; Associate Professor, General Education

757.352.4776 jmcmullen@regent.edu
Olga B. Moseley, ABD

Instructor, Business, Leadership & Management

757.352.4670 obutenkomose@regent.edu
Stephen D. Perry, Ph.D.

Professor, English & Communication Studies

Director of Graduate Programs in Communication

757.352.4203 sperry@regent.edu
Matthew Pevarnik, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Science & Mathematics

757.352.4750 mpevarnik@regent.edu
William Reddinger, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Government, History & Criminal Justice

757.352.4470 wreddinger@regent.edu
William Skiles, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, General Education

757.352.4745 wskiles@regent.edu
Peggy Southerland, B.A.

Department Chair; Professional-in-Residence, Media & Visual Arts and Performing Arts & Music

757.352.4698 peggys@regent.edu
Helen Stiff-Williams, Ed.D.


Education & Interdisciplinary Studies

804.739.7852 helesti@regent.edu
Rostern Tembo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Science & Mathematics

757.352.4405 rtembo@regent.edu
Charles Turnitsa, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Engineering & Computer Science

757.352.4691 cturnitsa@regent.edu
David Wallace, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biblical Studies & Christian Ministry

757.352.4645 dwallace@regent.edu
Kenneth Wantz, Ph.D.

Professor, Science & Mathematics

757.352.4755 kwantz@regent.edu
Stephen A. Webb, M.S.

Principal Lecturer, Government, History & Criminal Justice

757.352.4609 swebb@regent.edu
Caramine White, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, English & Communication Studies

757.352.4614 cwhite@regent.edu
Vincent Williams, MFA

Associate Professor, Media & Visual Arts

757-352-4373 vwilliams@regent.edu
David Xu, MFA

Associate Professor, Media & Visual Arts

757.352.4235 dxu@regent.edu


Mark Ackerman
Laura L Allnutt, Ms.
Jonathan K. Alston
Lilia Anand
Mary Angela Andrews
Harry M Argo, Mr.
Lance Bacon
Jeff T Bajah, Mr.
Christopher A Baker, Dr.
Diane M. Ball
JaNee D Bartley, Mrs.
Gregory M Baumgardner, Mr.
Debra B Bazemore, Mrs.
Gregory Beck
Hanisha M. Besant
Stephen Bialowas, Dr.
Paul E Bidanset, Mr.
Shannon Bilunas
Craig H Blackman, Mr.
Rachel Blisson
Shermeka S. Bolden
Paul W Boller, Mr.
Nicholas Bottis
J. Dennis Bounds
Daniel J Bourgoine, Mr.
Adam Jerome Bova
Marshall W Bowles, Dr.
Alicia Boyd
Chester Elijah Branch
Elizabeth Branum, Ms.
Bryan Breland
Marcus W Bridges, Dr.
Carla Brown
Mark Brown
Crystal Brown
Glenice Burchard
Olga A. Butenko Moseley
Lisa Byrum
Megan M. Cannedy
Steven Carlin
Christopher Carrothers
Sarah Carson
Zackery Carter
Dawn Casas
Roberto Castaneda
Daniel Castellucci
Melody Cazort
Mary-Lynn Chambers, Dr.
Margaret L Charlton, Dr.
Jessica L Charney, Mrs.
Marie N Chavarria, Mrs.
Marlo Chavarria
David Christian
Jesse Chupp
Katharine Elizabeth Clemons
Marla J Coats, Mrs.
Richard Coffelt
Elliott Cooke
Willie Cordy
Michael Creef
Denise G Crews, Dr.
Danielle M. Crowley
David L Cullipher, Mr.
Angelo Dart
Wesley T. Davey
Michael Davis
Matthew J. Davis
Benjamin Davis
Joshua Davis
Stephen Dawson, DSL
Joseph Ireland DeLong
Shawna M. Diehl
Martin Dignard, Ph.D.
Mary Dixon
Otha J Dixon-McKnight, Dr.
Taylor Raye Doughtie
Dorothy Downing
Patricia Drown
Sharene N Duncombe, Mrs.
Anita K. Dunn
Jacqueline Earle
Peter James Eaton
Elizabeth Elam
Mark Ellis
Mark A Engel, Mr.
Maria-Cristina Espinoza-Alguera
Natalie Esposito Churchill
Jacquelyn Evans
James Ewing
Michael Ferber
Cassandra Ferreira
Wyatt Fisher
Lisa A Flanagan, Mrs.
Margaret Fletcher
John C Forkner, Mr.
David L. Foster
Joy Francis
Mark Frederick
David French
James R. Frohlich
Richard Fuhr
Takenya Fulks
Laura Fuller
David J Gardner, Mr.
Mark O Gatlin, Mr.
Bruce W Gay, Dr.
Mary L Gierszewski, Ms.
Marti Glass
Terilyn Goins
Peggy Gomez
Ascencion Gomez
Molly-Catherine K Goodson
Kyle Graham, Mr.
Sherilyn Grant
Gary Grimm
Christine L Habrle, Ms.
Lisa A Hacker, Mrs.
David A Hackworth
Clinton Hale
Phillip A. Hall
Gale D Hall
Kristin Hanley
Mary M Harlinger
Andrea L Harrison, Dr.
Viva Marie Hathaway
Lisa Hawkins
Edward Heath
John R Hendrickson
Carol Hepburn
Matthew S Hill, Dr.
Sofoklis Hiotellis
Ann Marie Hohman
Steven L Holeman, Mr.
Andrew S Hollis, Mr.
Terry House
Denise R Houser
Jonathan Howell
Russell Huizing
Darnell Huntley
Stephanie Iaquinto
Connie Ingram
Erin-Sean Ireland
Jeffrey Jarnot
Joshua Lynn Jenkins
David J Jennings
Sarah Jones
Kristin H Kain-Kuzniewski
Herman Kastroll
Nona B Kelly, Ms.
Michael Kelly
Jeffrey Kennedy
Kristyl W Kepley, Dr.
Charity A Kewish
Sean F Kirkpatrick, Mr.
Sean Kirnan
Marcie-Anna Klaustermeyer
John F Klem
Penny Kohns
Thomas Kreischer
Donald W Krudop
Michele LaCorte
Alycia LaFavor
Mark LaVoie
Mark Wayne LaVoie
Michele A Lahaie, Ms.
Lindsey Lahaie
Eric M Lansing, Mr.
Kevin Larsen
Laura Latora
Paul C Leccese
Karen Legg
Sarah E Leland, Mrs.
James B Lewis, Dr.
O. Fred Liggin IV
Arthur Livingston
Heidi Livingston
Rebecca Loaiza
Laura A Lowell
Michael Thomas Lucas
Michael L Mahan
Robert Malcolm
Juana Malone
Anne Mannarino, Ed.D.
Melissa A Marsh
Kristina Martin
Garry Martin
Johnathan C Martin
Perry Martini
Olena Maslennikova
Joshua Matlack
Stuart Mattfield
Marisa May
John McClary
John McCloud
Jeanne McDonnell
Dena McElligott
Sean David McGoran
Jamie Michelle McKinney
Jennifer Lynn McMullen
Suzette Meeks
Brian Melton
Patricia Jeannette Mercier
John Miller
Roderick R Mills, Mr.
Dana Milstein
William Minner
Terry Minter
Alyssa G Moore, Ms.
Anne Marie G Morgan
Mary T Morgan, Ms.
James Moten
Anthony Stephan Mulford
Ryan Murnane
Steven Todd Murphy
Kevin Lee Myatt
John B Nelson
Heather L Newton
Gerald Nichter
Steven Noffsinger
Amanda F Noon, Mrs.
Richard Nugara
Michael O'Donnell
Jason O'Neal
Thomas Cooper Owens
Ryan Pace, MFA
Paul Palma
Jamie L Parent, Ms.
LaQuiche R. Parrott
Cary Paulk
Heidi Peelen
Alicia L Peltier
Dayne Peterson
Alicia Plant, Dr.
Heather Anne Plym
Alva Poole
Michael Porter
Thomas Powell
Jonathan Dale Powers
John Powers
Amber L. Quarles
Shaker Ayyanar Rajasekar
Julie Gail Reams
Amy Rickards
Paul W Rickert
James Rolen
Roger Rome
Ethan F Ross
D Rouleau, Mr.
Stephen Russell
Megen Saez
Charles Sanders
Timothy Schauer
Sarah Schulte
Jessica T Scott, Mrs.
Bradley Shedd
Sonja Sheffield
James Edward Silver
Bryan Sims
Amanda Skrobacki
Stephanie B Snyder, Mr.
Steven B. Snyder
Joel Solomon
Don Solomon
Ronald T Sones
Julianne Spatacean
Richard Stultz
Mercedes Sullivan
Peter Surran, Mr.
Michelle Adora Tabbanor
Anne B Tew, Mrs.
Blisson Thangamani
Debra Touhey
Douglas W Turrell, Mr.
Lauren J VanTalia, Dr.
Deborah Vaughn
Pee N Vululleh, Dr.
Adam Wagner
Wendel R. Weaver
Terry Weaver
Sue D Weaver
Sara Lyn Wells
Kerry K Westerwick, Mrs.
James Wheeler
Mark S Wheeler
Joseph M Wiegand
Philip Joel Williams
Delnora J Williams
Arlene M Williams
William B. Wilson
William Scott Wilson
Kathryn I. Wilson
Kevin Wolfe
James Wood
John P. Wright
Amanda Wynn, Ph.D.
Joy Lucille Yaeger
Jonathan G Zachary, Mr.
Cheryl A Zell, Mrs.
Mark Zillges
Winell S de Mesa, Dr.