Rita Heimes is general counsel and privacy officer/DPO at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). At  Maine Law, she directs the annual Information Privacy Summer Institute, which is a series of summer courses on critical and current information privacy issues.

Professor Heimes has extensive experience in privacy law, intellectual property law, and cybersecurity law in the private sector, having practiced law in Seattle, Anchorage, and Boulder, and most recently at Verrill & Dana in Portland, Maine. Prior to joining the IAPP, she was a law professor and academic dean at Maine Law. At the Law School, she directed the Center for Law + Innovation, founded the patent law clinic, and developed the nation’s first Privacy Pathways program.

Rita is an active scholar and speaker in the privacy law area. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Iowa and her J.D. from Drake University School of Law. She clerked for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle.  She received a Katahdin counsel award in 2013 for her extensive pro bono service. She is a member of several boards related to information privacy and cybersecurity, and is also involved in local education issues in Portland, Maine.

Selected Publications:


Trademarks, Identity, and Justice, 11 J. MARSHALL REV. INTELL. PROP. L. 133 (2011). [SSRN]

Technology Use Agreements, State Laws and the Pre-Emption Doctrine, in RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON BIOTECHNOLOGY AND GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT (Peter K. Yu ed., Edward Elgar Publ’g 2011).

Ocean Management & Planning in the United States: From Competition to Cooperation, ANNUAIRE DE DROIT MARITIME ET OCÉANIQUE (Universite de Nantes 2011). [SSRN]

Post-Sale Restrictions on Patented Seeds: Which Law Governs?, 10 WAKE FOREST INTELL. PROP. L.J. 98 (2010). [SSRN]

Ocean Planning and the Gulf of Maine: Exploring Bi-National Policy Options, 15 OCEAN & COASTAL L.J. 293 (2010) (co-authored with Lucia Fanning). [SSRN] [PDF]

Creating a Mouse Academic Research Commons, 27 NATURE BIOTECH. 890 (2009) (co-authored with David Einhorn). [Nature.com]

Managing a Fishery Through Contract: Legal Issues Raised by Sector Operating Agreements in the New England Multispecies Fishery, 14 OCEAN & COASTAL L.J. 17 (2008). [SSRN] [PDF]

Patent Trolls Prey on SMEs, in PATENT TROLLS: LEGAL IMPLICATIONS 122 (C Sri Krishna ed., Amicus Books, Icfai U. Press 2008).

Climate Change in the Northwest Atlantic, Ctr. for L. & Innovation, U. of Me. Sch. of L. (2007) (editor).

Legal Guide for Maine Harbormasters, Marine L. Inst., U. of Me. Sch. of L. (2006) (editor).

From Laboratory to Marketplace: The Capacity of Maine’s Research Institutions for Innovation and Technology Transfer, U. of Me. Sch. of L. (2004).

Panel Discussion, Symposium, Internet Privacy Law, Policy and Practice: State, Federal and International Perspectives, 54 ME L. REV. 95 (2002).

Reaching into Cyberspace with Maine’s Long-Arm Statute, 14 ME. B.J. 306 (1999).

Liability for Passive Disposal of Hazardous Waste under CERCLA, 42 DRAKE L. REV. 255 (1993). [HeinOnline]