About the Program
The innovations that produce economic growth and social progress first arise as ideas. The cost of bringing a new idea to market can be extraordinarily high, but the cost of copying that innovation is often very cheap. Intellectual property law tries to balance the incentive to create with society’s interest in spreading the benefits of innovation. The ability of digital technologies to copy and exploit the advantages of unique intellectual achievements presents new challenges for intellectual property law, making it one of the fastest-growing legal specialties in the United States. Virginia's IP program, combining a broad array of courses, hands-on clinics and professors who are focused on the real-world applications of their scholarship, offers students a unique foundation for exploring these challenges.
There’s No Free Laugh (Anymore): The Emergence of Intellectual Property Norms and the Transformation of Stand-Up Comedy
Resolving Conflicts among Congress’s Powers Regarding Statutes’ Constitutionality: The Case of Anti-Bootlegging Statutes
Making Sense of the Intellectual Property Clause: Promotion of Progress as a Limitation on Congress’s Intellectual Property Power
The Supreme Court in Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, and the Future of Unenumerated Rights
Incentives to Create Under a "Lifetime-Plus-Years" Copyright Duration: Lessons from a Behavioral Economic Analysis for Eldered v. Ashcroft
Fairness, Efficiency and Insider Trading: Deconstructing the Coin of the Realm in the Information Age
Administrative law, civil procedure, computer crime, federal courts, national security law
- Served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice
- Practice appellate litigation privately and for DOJ's National Security Division
- Clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court
Corporate law and corporate finance
- Received the John M. Olin Prize for outstanding S.J.D. dissertation in law and economics at Harvard Law School
- Her article, "Market Segmentation: The Rise of Nevada as a Liability-Free Jurisdiction," was named among the 10 best corporate and securities law articles published in 2012, in an annual poll of corporate law professors conducted by Corporate Practice Commentator (Story)
- Scholarship integrates law and finance (Scholarship Profile). Her article "What Happens in Nevada? Self-Selecting into Lax Law," was published in the Review of Financial Studies.
Intellectual property, patents, administrative law
- Clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for Judge Stephen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- Served as an attorney adviser in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel
- In the field of intellectual property, Duffy has been identified as one of the 25 most-influential people in the nation by The American Lawyer and one of the 50 most influential people in the world by the U.K. publication Managing Intellectual Property. He was named a legal “visionary” by the Legal Times in 2009 and has been profiled in Businessweek.
Property, corporations and land conservation, nonprofit organizations
- Has also taught at the University of Southern California Law School and the University of Chicago Law School
- Scholarly articles include works on land preservation, eminent domain, health care reform and property rights in human biological materials
- Practiced law at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Constitutional law, antitrust and communications regulation, national security
- Clerked for Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Practiced with what is now Mayer Brown in Chicago
- Is a U.S. Army Reserve judge advocate, and was a principal editor and contributor for the first three editions of "The Rule of Law Handbook: A Practitioners’ Guide" (2007-09)
- Before he went to law school, Nachbar spent five years as a systems analyst, working for both Andersen Consulting and Hughes Space and Communications.
Intellectual property, law and economics
- Clerked for the Israeli Supreme Court after earning his law degree at Tel Aviv University
- Served as a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Olin Center for Law and Economics
- Has presented in several fora, including the Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum; the annual meetings of the American, Canadian and European law and economics associations; and the intellectual property scholars conference. (Story)
Legal theory, constitutional theory, procedure, philosophy of law
- His series of articles on constitutional originalism have shaped contemporary thinking about the debate between originalism and constitutional theory
- Editor of Legal Theory Blog, an influential weblog that focuses on developments in contemporary normative and positive legal theory
- Also works on problems of law and technology, including Internet governance, copyright policy and patent law
Corporate law and securities, industrial and intellectual property, economic regulation and history
- Was special assistant to the solicitor general of the United States and executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board Committee on Procedural Reform
- Was a member of the Committee on Public-Private Sector Interactions in Vaccine Innovation of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (1983-85)
- Co-authored books include "Selected Statutes and International Agreements on Unfair Competition, Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents" and "Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition"
Privacy, First Amendment, feminism and the law, civil rights, administrative law
- Named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow for her work on cyberstalking and intimate privacy
- Adviser to then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris on privacy issues and a member of her Cyber Exploitation Task Force (2014-16)
- Vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting civil rights and liberties in a digital age
- Gave TED talk “How Deepfakes Undermine Truth and Democracy” that has had over 1.9 million views
- Clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Mary Johnson Lowe of the Southern District of New York
Bankruptcy and consumer finance law
- Ph.D. in economics, University of Pennsylvania
- Practiced law with Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Los Angeles
- Hynes focuses on parallel systems outside of bankruptcy that handle debtor-creditor relations, including the use of state courts to collect debts. (Scholarship Profile)
Trade secret law, intellectual property, trademark law, patent law
- Co-author of the first and leading U.S. casebook on trade secrets, in addition to a “Nutshell” treatise on trade secrets
- Four of her articles have been named by Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property Review as among the best intellectual property articles of the year
- Member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Leadership Council for The Sedona Conference Rowe, which conducts in-depth study in the areas of antitrust, complex litigation and intellectual property rights to provide nonpartisan consensus-based guidance to courts and attorneys
- Former partner at the law firm of Hale and Dorr in Boston (now WilmerHale), where she practiced complex commercial litigation, including intellectual property and employment litigation
Virginia’s courses cover not just the basic forms of intellectual property — patent, copyright and trademark — and common issues of unfair competition, but also the challenges posed by international law and the Internet. Advanced colloquia in property rights offer students a chance to explore theoretical and practical issues.
The following is a list of courses offered during the current and two previous academic years. Numbers in parentheses indicate which academic year(s) the courses were offered, i.e., 2020-21 is coded (21), 2021-22 is coded (22) and 2022-23 is coded (23). (SC) stands for short course and (YR) stands for yearlong.
Antitrust in the Digital Economy (SC) (21,22)
Art Law (SC) (21,22)
Computational Text Analysis for Legal Practice (SC) (22)
Computer Crime Law (21,22)
Copyright Law (21,22,23)
Emerging Growth Companies and Venture Capital Financing: Principles and Practice (21,22,23)
Exercises in Rule Making - Society, Technology and the Law (SC) (22)
Internet Law (21,22,23)
Introduction to the Law of Trade Secrets (SC) (21,22)
Israeli Business Law and Innovation (SC) (23)
Law and Artificial Intelligence (23)
Law and Technology Colloquium (22,23)
Legal Practice and the Startup Company: An Inside Look (SC) (21,22,23)
Music Law: Analytical and Client Management Skills (SC) (21,22,23)
Patent Law (21,22,23)
Survey of Patent, Copyright, Trademark (21,22,23)
Trade Secret Law (23)
Trademark Law (23)
Being a good intellectual property lawyer requires adaptability in a dynamic field and an understanding of the realities of producing intellectual works.
Run in conjunction with the University of Virginia Patent Foundation, two patent clinics offer hands-on experience as students learn how and when to file patents and draft licensing agreements, deal with clients in the science and technology fields, and research and write about cutting-edge patent topics.
The first clinic involves practical training in patent drafting as well as the negotiation and drafting of patent and software license agreements. Students are assigned to one or more significant drafting and counseling projects and work in the office of the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group one day per week. Clinic participants may evaluate inventions and computer software for patentability and commercial value; counsel UVA faculty inventors regarding patentability, inventorship and the patenting process; prepare, file and prosecute provisional U.S. patent applications; and deal with patent examiners and research current issues in the fields of intellectual property and technology transfer. In a second clinic, the student may work exclusively with patent attorneys drafting, filing and prosecuting patent applications. Alternatively, the student may choose to work exclusively with licensing agents to draft license agreements, negotiate terms and conditions, and prepare confidentiality agreements and marketing documents.
Recent projects include:
- A patent application for a class of metals capable of recovering their original shape and thickness after impact or crushing
- Converting a provisional patent application on technology designed by a pharmacology professor that may halt the spread of cancerous cells
- A brief on pharmaceutical patents in developing countries
- A patent application for a battery-operated, handheld imaging device that promises to perform better than most ultrasound instruments
- Prior art search and a draft patent application for a novel seatbelt-control system
- Prior art review, market research and marketing for a neuro-stimulation technique for the treatment of epilepsy
Law, Innovation, Security & Technology
LIST focuses on the novel legal, policy and business problems caused by the proliferation of emerging technologies, through speakers and other activities. The group also educates students and prepares them with practical skills; connects them with a network of mentors, experts and resources; and collaborates with the policy, business and technology communities. A recent networking event featured prominent attorneys from firms, U.S. attorneys’ offices, the Justice Department, the FBI and various public interest groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. More
Virginia Journal of Law & Technology (VJOLT)
Virginia Law's only e-journal, VJOLT provides a forum for students, professors and practitioners to discuss emerging issues at the intersection of law and technology. Recent issues have included articles on biotechnology, telecommunications, e-commerce, internet privacy and encryption. VJOLT publishes full-text articles directly to the Web. More
Virginia Law Emerging Companies and Venture Capital Society
ECVC is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial initiatives across Grounds, connecting law students with students from other schools, and serving as a hub for those interested in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial law. More
The Virginia Law and Business Society explores the nexus between the worlds of law and business and sometimes features speakers on intellectual property topics. The JD/MBA Society serves as a focal point for communication between J.D. and M.B.A. students and sponsors events and activities that promote interaction among the Law and Business School communities.
Milan Shah, an incoming first-year law student at the University of Virginia, holds a biomedical engineering master’s degree from Clemson University and several inventions. His goal is to become a patent and intellectual property lawyer and a patent judge.
Staci Riordan, partner and chair of the Fashion Law Practice Group at Fox Rothschild, spoke about her professional experiences and growth in the field as part of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology's Symposium "The Future of Fashion Law."