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Peter Lee

Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law


A.B., magna cum laude History and Science, Harvard University 1998, Phi Beta Kappa

J.D. Yale Law School 2005


Peter Lee teaches and writes in the areas of patent law, innovation, and technology transfer. His current scholarship explores the institutional context of innovation as well as the intersection of intellectual property law and academic science. His recent works have appeared in The Yale Law Journal, California Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, and other leading journals. Professor Lee has received numerous awards for his scholarly work, including the UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellowship, the Samsung-Stanford Patent Prize, and inclusion in West/Thomson’s annual Intellectual Property Law Review. He has served as a Visiting Scholar at Melbourne Law School and speaks widely on intellectual property matters in the United States and abroad.

Professor Lee received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he studied the history and philosophy of science. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was a member of The Yale Law Journal. Professor Lee joined the UC Davis faculty after clerking for Judge Barry G. Silverman of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At UC Davis, he teaches Patent Law, Intellectual Property, International Intellectual Property and Development, Property, and a seminar on Innovation and Technology Transfer. Professor Lee received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.

Subject Areas

Patent Law, Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, Property, Science and Technology Studies

Selected Career Highlights

  • Distinguished Teaching Award (2016)
  • UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow, 2012-17
  • 14th Annual Niro, Haller & Niro Distinguished Intellectual Property Lecturer
  • Samsung-Stanford Patent Prize (2011)
  • Patent Law and the Two Cultures reprinted in INTELL. PROP. L. REV. (2011)
  • Law Clerk for The Honorable Barry G. Silverman, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Phoenix, AZ, 2005-06
  • Schell Fellowship in International Human Rights
  • Senior Editor, The Yale Law Journal
  • New York City Urban Fellows Program, 1998-99

Selected Publications

Enhancing the Innovative Capacity of Venture Capital, 24 Yale J.L. & Tech. (forthcoming 2022)

Patent Law's Externality Asymmetry, 43 Cardozo L. Rev. (forthcoming 2022)

Autonomy, Copyright, and Structures of Creative Production, 83 Ohio State L.J. (forthcoming 2022)

Churn, 99 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1 (2021)

Innovation Consolidation, 54 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 967 (2020)

Tacit Knowledge and University-Industry Technology Transfer, in Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (2020)

Reconceptualizing the Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Shaping Industry Structure, 72 Vand. L. Rev. 1197 (2019), reprinted in Intell. Prop. L. Rev. (2020)

Innovation and the Firm: A New Synthesis, 70 Stan. L. Rev. 1431 (2018)

Distinguishing Damages Paid from Compensation Received: A Thought Experiment, 26 Tex. Intell. Prop. L.J. 231 (2018) (symposium)

Democratic Engagement and the Republic of Science, 51 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 617 (2017) (symposium)

Toward a Distributive Agenda for U.S. Patent Law, 55 Hous. L. Rev. 321 (2017) (symposium)

Centralization, Fragmentation, and Replication in the Genomic Data Commons, in Governing Medical Knowledge Commons (Cambridge 2017)

The Law of Look and Feel, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. 529 (2017) (with Madhavi Sunder), reprinted in Intell. Prop. L. Rev. (2018)

The Supreme Assimilation of Patent Law, 114 Mich. L. Rev. 1413 (2016)

The Supreme Court's Myriad Effects on Scientific Research: Definitional Fluidity and the Legal Construction of Nature, 5 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 1077 (2015) (symposium)

Social Innovation, 92 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1 (2014)

Design Patents: Law Without Design, 17 Stan. Tech. L. Rev. 277 (2013) (with Madhavi Sunder) (symposium)

Patents and the University, 63 Duke L.J. 1 (2013)

Transcending the Tacit Dimension: Patents, Relationships, and Organizational Integration in Technology Transfer, 100 Calif L. Rev. 1503 (2012)

Antiformalism at the Federal Circuit: The Jurisprudence of Chief Judge Rader, 7 Wash. J.L. Tech. & Arts 405 (2012) (invited)

The Accession Insight and Patent Infringement Remedies, 110 Mich. L. Rev. 175 (2011) (winner, Samsung-Stanford Patent Prize)

Contracting to Preserve Open Science: Lessons for a Microbial Research Commons, in Designing The Microbial Research Commons: Proceedings Of An International Workshop (National Academies Press, 2011)

Substantive Claim Construction as a Patent Scope Lever, 1 IP Theory 100 (2011) (symposium)

Patent Law and the Two Cultures, 120 Yale L.J. 2 (2010), reprinted in Intell. Prop. L. Rev. (2011)

Toward a Distributive Commons in Patent Law, 2009 Wis. L. Rev. 917

Innovating Between and Within Technological Paradigms: A Response to Samuelson, 94 Minn. L. Rev. Headnotes 1 (2009)

Interface: The Push and Pull of Patents, 77 Fordham L. Rev. 2225 (2009)

Contracting to Preserve Open Science: Consideration-Based Regulation in Patent Law, 58 Emory L.J. 889 (2009)

The Evolution of Intellectual Infrastructure, 83 Wash. L. Rev. 39 (2008)

Inverting the Logic of Scientific Discovery: Applying Common Law Patentable Subject Matter Doctrine to Constrain Patents on Biotechnology Research Tools, 19 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 79 (2005)

Patents, Paradigm Shifts, and Progress in Biomedical Science, 114 Yale L.J. 659 (2004)