John F. Duffy

  • Samuel H. McCoy II Professor of Law
  • Paul G. Mahoney Research Professor of Law

John Duffy joined the Law School in 2011 after serving on the faculty at George Washington University Law School since 2003. Duffy teaches torts, administrative law, patent law and international intellectual property law.

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.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in physics, Duffy served as articles editor on the University of Chicago Law Review and was awarded an Olin Fellowship in Law and Economics. Duffy clerked for Judge Stephen Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, served as an attorney adviser in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, and practiced law with the Washington, D.C., firm Covington & Burling.

Since entering academia in 1996, Duffy has been on the faculty of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the William and Mary School of Law, and has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago. He has published articles in the University of Chicago Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Texas Law Review and Supreme Court Review, and he is the co-author of a casebook on patent law.

Scholarship Profile: Regulatory Structure and the Intellectual Property System (Virginia Journal 2011)

More: Duffy to Join Law School, Strengthen IP Faculty


  • J.D.
    University of Chicago Law School
  • A.B.
    Harvard University


A Guide to Judicial and Political Review of Federal Agencies (with Michael Herz), American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice (1 ed. 2005).


Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges), Carolina Academic Press (8 ed. 2021).
Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges), Carolina Academic Press (7 ed. 2017).
Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges), LexisNexis (6 ed. 2013).
Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges), LexisNexis (5 ed. 2011).
Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges), LexisNexis (4 ed. 2007).
Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges), LexisNexis (3 ed. 2002).

Book Chapters

The Emergence of Intellectual Property for Legal Innovation (with Michael Abramowicz), in Mapping Legal Innovation, Springer, 113–137 (2021).
The Inducement Standards of Patentability (with Michael Abramowitz), in Perspectives on Patentable Subject Matter, Cambridge University Press, 151–224 (2015).
Story of Graham v. John Deere Company: Patent Law's Evolving Standard of Creativity (Patents) (with Robert P. Merges), in Intellectual Property Stories, Foundation Press (2006).

Articles & Reviews

Executive Decisions After Arthrex (with Jennifer Mascott), 2021 The Supreme Court Review 225–265 (2022).
Asymmetric Subsidies and the Bail Crisis (with Rich Hynes), 88 University of Chicago Law Review 1285 (2021).
The Myth of Well-Settled Rules in Merrill v. Yeomans, 71 Case Western Reserve Law Review 667–698 (2020).
Common Law vs. Statutory Bases of Patent Exhaustion (with Rich Hynes), 103 Virginia Law Review Online 1–17 (2017).
Counterproductive Notice in Literalistic versus Peripheral Claiming, 96 Boston University Law Review 1197–1221 (2016).
Statutory Domain and the Commercial Law of Intellectual Property (with Rich Hynes), 102 Virginia Law Review 1–77 (2016).
Standing to Challenge Patents, Enforcement Risk, and Separation of Powers, 83 George Washington Law Review 628–646 (2015).
Jury Review of Administrative Action, 22 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 281–310 (2013).
Reviving the Paper Patent Doctrine, 98 Cornell Law Review 1359–1398 (2013).
The Inducement Standard of Patentability (with Michael Abramowitz), 120 Yale Law Journal 1590–1681 (2011).
Why Business Method Patents?, 63 Stanford Law Review 1247–1289 (2011).
Innovation and Recovery, 14 Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review 237–268 (2010).
The Federal Circuit in the Shadow of the Solicitor General, 78 George Washington Law Review 518–552 (2010).
Are Administrative Patent Judges Unconstitutional?, 77 George Washington Law Review 904–923 (2009).
Ending the Patenting Monopoly (with Michael Abramowicz), 157 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1541–1612 (2009).
A Timing Approach to Patentability, 12 Lewis & Clark Law Review 343–374 (2008).
Intellectual Property for Market Experimentation (with Michael Abramowicz), 83 NYU Law Review 337–410 (2008).
Inventing Invention: A Case Study of Legal Innovation, 86 Texas Law Review 1–72 (2007).
KSR v. Teleflex: Predictable Reform of Patent Substance and Procedure in the Judiciary, 106 Michigan Law Review First Impressions 34–38 (2007).
Rethinking Patent Law's Uniformity Principle (with Craig Allen Nard), 101 Northwestern University Law Review 1619–1676 (2007).
Intellectual Property Isolationsim and the Average Cost Thesis, 83 Texas Law Review 1077–1096 (2005).
Comment: Experiments after the Federal Circuit, 54 Case Western Reserve Law Review 803–810 (2004).
Defending Imminence: From Battered Women to Iraq, 46 Arizona Law Review 213–262 (2004).
Rethinking the Prospect Theory of Patents, 71 University of Chicago Law Review 439–510 (2004).
The Marginal Cost Controversy in Intellectual Property, 71 University of Chicago Law Review 37–56 (2004).
Harmony and Diversity in Global Patent Law, 17 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 685–726 (2002).
Dickinson v. Zurko: An Amicus Brief (with Thomas G.., Field & Craig Allen Nard), 4 Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review 49–74 (2000).
Administrative Common Law in Judicial Review, 77 Texas Law Review 113–215 (1998).
Technological Change and Doctrinal Persistence: Telecommunications Reform in Congress and the Court (with Monroe E. Price), 97 Columbia Law Review 976–1015 (1997).
Sovereign Immunity, the Officer Suit Fiction, and Entitlement Benefits, 56 University of Chicago Law Review 295–336 (1989).
Parallel operation and crosstalk measurements in GaAs étalon optical logic devices (with A. C. Gossard et al.), 48 Applied Physics Letters 1342–1344 (1986).
Pulsed Optical Logic in GaAs Etalons (with J. H. English et al.), 8 Optical Bistability III - Springer Proceedings in Physics 32–34 (1985).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Is Barney Frank Right about the President’s Power to Remove the CFPB Director? (with Aditya Bamzai), Notice & Comment (January 10, 2017).
Tribute: Justice Scalia’s Hapless Law Clerk, SCOTUSblog (March 6, 2016).
Michelle Lee, Hal Wegner and Professor Scalia, PatentlyO Blog (December 21, 2013).

Current Courses

All Courses

Administrative Law
Patent Law
International Intellectual Property Law


Intellectual Property at UVA Law (2022)

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