Christopher A. Cotropia
Professor of Law
Director, Intellectual Property Institute
Austin Owen Research Fellow
Courses Taught Intellectual Property Fundamentals Intellectual Property Law & Policy Patent Law & Policy Copyright Law Computer Law Property

Professor Chris Cotropia is director of the School of Law's Intellectual Property Institute and Austin Owen Research Fellow. He writes in the areas of patent law, intellectual property, and federal courts. He is the author of numerous book chapters, amicus briefs, and law review articles on these subjects, and his scholarship has appeared in the UCLA Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Notre Dame Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Yale Journal of Law and Technology, and Berkeley Technology Law Journal, among other venues. Prior to joining the Richmond Law faculty, Professor Cotropia was the C. J. Morrow Research Professor of Law at Tulane University School of Law.


Do Applicant Patent Citations Matter? Implications for the Presumption of Validity, at the Second Annual Research Roundtable on Empirical Studies of Patent Litigation, Northwestern University School of Law, November 2010.

What is the Invention?, at Patent Scope Revisited: Merges & Nelson's On the Complex Economics of Patent Scope, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, September 2010.

The Folly of Early Filing in Patent Law, American University School of Law, October 2010.

Panelist, Analyzing In re Bilski, Hot Topics in Patent Law, George Mason University School of Law, July 2010.

The Individual Inventor Motif in the Age of the Patent Troll at Patents and Entrepreneurship in Business and Information Technologies, George Washington University Law School, June 2009.

Panelist, Fulfilling the Patent System's Public Notice Function, Federal Trade Commission, March 2009.

Describing Patents as Real Options at Invention, Creation, and Public Policy, Iowa University Law School, February 2009.

The Upside of Intellectual Property's Downside, University of Washington Law School, February 2009.

Rethinking the Patent System's Early Filing Doctrine, Columbia Law School, January 2009.

Testimony on "Process Patents" before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, DC, May 2007.

Testimony on Public Interest before the United States International Trade Commission in Certain Baseband Processor Chip and Chipsets, Transmitter and Receiver (Radio) Chips, Power Control Chips, and Products Containing Same, Including Cellular Telephone Handsets, Inv. No. 337-TA-543, Washington, DC, March 2007.

Bar Admissions
District of Columbia
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Professional Experience
Professor of Law (2006-present)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Va.
Director, Intellectual Property Institute (2014-present)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Va.
C.J. Morrow Research Associate Professor of Law (2003-2006)
Tulane University School of Law, New Orleans, LA
Intellectual Property Litigation Associate (2001-2003)
Fish & Richardson P.C., Washington, DC
Law Clerk (1999-2001)
Hon. Alvin A. Schall, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

The Dominance of Teams in the Production of Legal Knowledge, 124 Yale L.J.F. __ (forthcoming 2014) (co-authored with Lee Petherbridge).

Is Patent Claim Interpretation Deference or Correction Driven?, 2014 BYU L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2014).

Copyright's Topography: An Empirical Study of Copyright Litigation, 92 Tex. L. Rev. 1981 (2014) (symposium – Steps Toward Evidence-Based IP) (co-authored with Jim Gibson). [Journal] [SSRN]

Predictability and KSR's Fundamental Change to Nonobviousness in Patent Law, 20 Mich. Telecomm. Tech. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2014).

Unpacking Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), 99 Minn. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2014) (co-authored with Jay Kesan and David Schwartz).

Patent Applications and the Performance of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 23 Fed. Cir. Bar J. 179 (2013) (with Cecil D. Quillen, Jr. and Ogden H. Webster).

Do Applicant Patent Citations Matter?, 42 Res. Pol'y 844 (2013) (with Mark Lemley and Bhaven Sampat). [Journal]

What is the "Invention"?, 53 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1855 (2012). [Journal] [L] [W] [HEIN]

Conflict of Interest Issues in Patent Litigation, in IP Enforcement and Litigation 2012: Civil and Criminal Update, at 519 (PLI Intell. Prop., Course Handbook Series No. G-1086, 2012).

The Strength of the International Trade Commission as a Patent Venue, 19 Tex. Intell. Prop. L.J. 1 (2011). [L] [W] [HEIN]

Determining Uniformity Within the Federal Circuit by Measuring Dissent and En Banc Review, 43 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 801 (2010). [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

The Individual Inventor Motif in the Age of the Patent Troll, 12 Yale J.L. & Tech. 52 (2010). [L] [W] [HEIN]

The Upside of Intellectual Property's Downside, 57 UCLA L. Rev. 921 (2010) (with James Gibson). [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

Describing Patents as Real Options, 34 J. Corp. L. 1127 (2009). [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

Modernizing Patent Law's Inequitable Conduct Doctrine, 24 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 723 (2009). [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

The Unreasonableness of the Patent Office's "Broadest Reasonable Interpretation" Standard, 37 AIPLA Q. J. 285 (2009) (co-authored with Dawn-Marie Bey). [SSRN] [W] [HEIN]

The Folly of Early Filing in Patent Law, 61 Hastings L. J. 65 (2009). [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

Copying in Patent Law, 87 N.C.L. Rev. 1421 (2009) (co-authored with Mark Lemley). [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

Nonobviousness and the Federal Circuit: An Empirical Analysis of Recent Case Law, 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 911 (2007). [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

Patent Law Viewed Through an Evidentiary Lens: The "Suggestion Test" as a Rule of Evidence, 2006 B.Y.U.L. Rev. 1517. [Journal] [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]

Patent Claim Interpretation Methodologies and Their Claim Scope Paradigms, 47 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 49 (2005). [SSRN] [L] [W] [HEIN]


Compulsory Licensing Under TRIPS and the Supreme Court of the United States's Decision in eBay v. MercExchange, in Patent Law and Theory: A Handbook of Contemporary Research (Toshiko Takenaka ed., Edward Elgar Publishing 2009). [SSRN]

Internet, in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (David S. Tanenhau ed., MacMillian 2008).

B.S., Northwestern University 1996
J.D., University of Texas School of Law 1999
Contact Information
(804) 484-1574
(804) 289-8683 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Intellectual Property
Patent Law
Computer Law