December 19, 1939April 26, 2017

Dennis S. Karjala was born in New York City, NY, on December 19, 1939, to Dr. Steve Arthur Karjala and Sylvia Gertrude Taitch. Dennis attended Evanston Township High School for two years and graduated from Bellaire High School in Texas.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1961 with a B.S. degree in Engineering/Physics; cum laude. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana for his post graduate work, earning a MS and Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1963 and 1965 respectively. He taught Electrical Engineering at American University in Okinawa for several years. He returned to the United States and earned a J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. While attending Berkeley, he was the Editor in Chief of the University of California Law Review (1971-1972). He practiced law at the firm of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen in San Francisco, upon completion of his Berkeley studies.

In 1978, Dennis joined the faculty of Arizona State University as a Professor of Law. He stayed there for 39 years until his death. In 2001, Dennis was designated a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar, and in 2002 he was appointed to the college’s first endowed chair, the Jack E. Brown Professor of Law. Dennis was also a Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science, and Innovation. Dennis Karjala's work in intellectual property, specifically copyright law, is internationally recognized and complemented by his facility in written and spoken Japanese. Dennis taught courses in property law, copyright, patent law, international intellectual property, and intellectual property in cyberspace. Dennis was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at the University of Hokkaido, and a Japan Foundation Fellow at the University of Tokyo. He has held visiting professorships at numerous institutions, including the University of Minnesota Law School, Washington University School of Law, and UCLA School of Law.

Dennis died following complications resulting from treatment for cancer. He is survived by his daughter, Sylvia, his brother Lawrence, his sisters, Katherine and Lynn, his stepdaughter Barbora Hladek, his stepson Matus Mrocek, and his former wife Katarina Karjala. A memorial service will be announced at a future date.



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Richard Speer

July 13, 2017

I had the great fortune of having Professor Karjala for Property in law school. Though not one of my best subjects, Professor Karjala quickly became one of my favorite professors. He took a subject that was less than exciting and added a dry sense of humor and amazing insight. Although it was hard to read some of the cases without falling asleep, the time flew by when you were in class with him. Most importantly he showed a genuine interest in helping prepare new lawyers. He would always welcome you into his office and take as much time as needed to explain some concepts that were very difficult for all of us. You felt relaxed and comfortable talking to him and he conveyed a sincerity about wanting to do what was best to help the student. After graduation, Professor Karjala would always come up and greet me at alumni events and show that same interest and caring as we talked about our careers. Professor Karjala made a long-lasting impression on the law school and its many graduates, young and old. I would like to thank his family for sharing him with us for all these years.

Sylvia Karjala

June 28, 2017

Ah, dad. Two months have passed and my heart is still broken. Words cannot describe how much I love and miss you. You inspire me to be the best version of me possible. I will always strive to make you proud.

julie kossak

May 9, 2017

One of my favorite law professors of all time. He had what a lot of others lacked, passion. His wicked intellect frightened me, but his personality won me over. Sad to hear of his passing.

Shelly Crochet

May 8, 2017

As the Senior Articles Editor of The Journal of Intellectual Property Law, I would just like to say than I am humbled and honored that our journal is publishing Professor Karjala's newest piece in our upcoming edition of the journal. He is an inspiration to all of us on the board and in the legal field as a whole. Thank you for your support of our school, our journal, and the field of intellectual property - you've truly helped create a path into the future for students of the law.

May 3, 2017

My sincerest condolences to the family. May the assurance at Psalms 29:11 provide comfort to you during this difficult time.

Wes Pue

May 3, 2017

In deepest sympathy to family and friends. I too will miss Dennis greatly.

John Hanck

May 2, 2017

I will miss you. The lively discussions around the campfires were often the highlight of the many trips we went on in desert. The trips will not be the same without you.

April 29, 2017

You were a good, loyal friend in good and bad times. I owe much to your support, both in life and in ideas. I will miss you.