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


Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges) (Carolina Academic, 7th ed. 2017).

Patent Law and Policy: Cases and Materials (with Robert Patrick Merges) (LexisNexis, 6th. ed. 2013, 5th ed. 2011, 4th ed. 2007; 3d ed. 2002).

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

Articles and Book Chapters:

"Common Law vs. Statutory Bases of Patent Exhaustion"  (with Rich Hynes), 103 Va. L. Rev. Online (April 2017).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Statutory Domain and the Commercial Law of Intellectual Property" (with Richard Hynes), 102 Va. L. Rev. 1 (2016).
SSRN HeinOnline (PDF)

“The Inducement Standards of Patentability” (with Michael Abramowicz), in Michael Abramowicz et al., eds., Perspectives on Patentable Subject Matter 151 (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

“Standing to Challenge Patents, Enforcement Risk, and Separation of Powers,” 83 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 628 (2015).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Counterproductive Notice in Literalistic Versus Peripheral Claiming," 96 B.U. L. Rev. 1197 (2016).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"The Inequities of Inequitable Conduct: A Case Study of Judicial Control of Administrative Process," 51 Hous. L. Rev. 417 (2013).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Jury Review of Administrative Action," 22 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 281 (2013).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Reviving the Paper Patent Doctrine," 98 Cornell L. Rev. 1359 (2013).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"The Inducement Standard of Patentability" (with Michael Abramowicz), 120 Yale L.J.1590 (2011).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Why Business Method Patents?," 63 Stan. L. Rev. 1247 (2011).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"The Thirteenth Annual Honorable Helen Wilson Nies Memorial Lecture in Intellectual Property Law: Innovation and Recovery," 14 Marquette Intellectual Property L. Rev. 237 (2010).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"The Federal Circuit in the Shadow of the Solicitor General," 78 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 518 (2010).
HeinOnline (PDF)

"Are Administrative Patent Judges Unconstitutional?," 77 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 904 (2009).

"Ending the Patenting Monopoly" (with Michael Abramowicz), 157 U. Penn. L. Rev.1541 (2009).

"Rules and Standards on the Forefront of Patentability," 51 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 609 (2009).

"Intellectual Property for Market Experimentation" (with Michael Abramowicz), 83 NYU L. Rev. 337 (2008).

"Inventing Invention: A Case Study of Legal Innovation," 86 Tex. L. Rev. 1 (2007).

"Rethinking Patent Law's Uniformity Principle," 101 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1619 (2007).

"Story of Graham v. John Deerre Company: Patent Law's Evolving Standard of Creativity (Patents)," in Jane Ginsburg & Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss, eds., Intellectual Property Stories (Foundation Press, 2006).

"Intellectual Property Isolationism and the Average Cost Thesis," 83 Tex. L. Rev. 1077 (2005).

"Comment: Experiments After the Federal Circuit," 54 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 803 (2004).

"Rethinking the Prospect Theory of Patents," 71 U. Chi. L. Rev. 439 (2004).

"The Marginal Cost Controversy in Intellectual Property," 71 U. Chi. L. Rev. 37 (2004).

"Harmony and Diversity in Global Patent Law," 17 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 685 (2002).

"The Festo decision and the return of the Supreme Court to the Bar of Patents," 2002Sup. Ct. Rev. 273 (2002).

"Dickson v. Zurko: An Amicus Brief" (with Thomas G. Field & Craig Allen Nard), 4 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 49 (2000).

"On Improving the Legal Process of Claim Interpretation: Administrative Possibilities." 2Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 109 (2000).

"The FCC and the Patent System: Progressive Ambitions, Jacksonian Realism, and the Technology of Regulation," 71 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1071 (2000).

"Administrative Common Law in Judicial Review," 77 Tex. L. Rev. 113 (1998).

"Symposium: Early Patent Publication: A Boon or Bane?" (Panel Introduction) 16 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 601 (1998).

"Technological Change and Doctrinal Persistence: Telecommunications Reform in Congress and the Court" (with Monroe E. Price), 97 Colum. L. Rev. 976 (1997).

"Comment: Sovereign Immunity, the Officer Suit Fiction and Entitlement Benefits," 56 U. Chi. L. Rev. 295 (1989).

(with Jewell, J.L. and Y.H. Lee). "Parallel Operation and Crosstalk Measurements in GaAs Etalon Optical Logic Devices," 48 Applied Physics Letters 1342 (1986).

(with Jewell, J.L. and Y.H. Lee). "Pulsed Optical Logic in GaAs Etalons," in Optical Bistability III: Proceedings of the Topical Meeting 32 (1985).

Current Courses

All Courses

Administrative Law
Patent Law
International Intellectual Property Law