Catherine Willis

Catherine Willis 
Mentor: Dr. Robert Emerson
Warrington College of Business Administration
"A chance conversation with Professor Emerson about intellectual property law motivated me to get involved with the University Scholars Program. I know that working with him will be an invaluable opportunity to further develop my empirical research and critical thinking skills. My topic, as discussed below, combines my academic interests relating to both of my majors and my future aspirations to pursue law."


Economics and Spanish



Research Interests

  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Studies
  • Hispanic Studies

Academic Awards

  • WCBA President's Honor Roll
  • WCBA Dean's List
  • Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society
  • UF Out-of-State Presidential Silver Scholarship


  • Undergraduate Business Law TA and Research Assistant
  • Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma


  • Dance Marathon
  • St. Francis House
  • Gators March for Babies

Hobbies and Interests

  • UF Club Tennis
  • Piano
  • Traveling
  • Cooking

Research Description

Exploring Regional Variance of and Evaluating the Effects of Regulatory Policy on Trademarks for Restaurant Franchises
I will analyze and quantify the economic and financial effects of regulatory policy on the use of trademarks in restaurant franchises. I will thoroughly research trademark law in the franchising context and examine notable cases in which there has been breach of licensing agreements or unfair competition. Finally, I will explore how restaurants are able to differently use trademarks on an international scale. McDonalds alone employs over a dozen lawyers full time, currently holds 58 trademarks, and has been involved in over 15 major trademark lawsuits in its 119 countries with restaurant locations worldwide. Qualitative information will be obtained through publicly available secondary sources in print and on the Internet and by request from specific institutions.