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.

University of Richmond's Distinguished Educator Award, Spring 2015
"Higher Education and the DMCA, Conference on Empirical Research on Copyright Issues," Chicago-Kent College of Law, Nov. 2015.
"Physicalism and Patent Theory, Symposium," The Patent Disclosure, Vanderbilt University Law School, Nov. 2015.

"Heterogeneity Among Patent Owners in Litigation,"Tenth Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, Washington University, Nov. 2015.

"Empirical Analysis of Patent Validity," Northwestern University School of Law, Aug. 2015.

"Patent Eligible Subject Matter: Key Cases and Current Requirements," United States Patent and Trademark Office, March 2015.
"USPTO’s Patentable Subject Matter Analysis after Alice," United States Patent and Trademark Office, Feb. 2015.
"Gender Disparity in Law Review Citation Rates," Ninth Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Nov. 2014.
District of Columbia
Bar Admissions
Professor of Law
Professional Experience
Director, Intellectual Property Institute (2014-present)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Va.
Professor of Law (2009-Present)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Va.
Associate Professor of Law (2006-2009)
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
Physicalism and Patent Theory, __ Vand. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2016).

Is Patent Claim Interpretation Deference or Correction Driven?, 2014 BYU L. Rev. 1095 (2015).

Empirical Analysis of Patent Validity, in Research Handbooks on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law (forthcoming 2016) (co-authored with Ronald Mann).

The Dominance of Teams in the Production of Legal Knowledge, 124 Yale L.J.F. 18 (2014) (co-authored with Lee Petherbridge).

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).

Unpacking Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), 99 Minn. L. Rev. 649 (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).

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 Upside of Intellectual Property's Downside, 57 UCLA L. Rev. 921 (2010) (with James Gibson). 

Describing Patents as Real Options, 34 J. Corp. L. 1127 (2009).

Modernizing Patent Law's Inequitable Conduct Doctrine, 24 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 723 (2009). 

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

The Folly of Early Filing in Patent Law, 61 Hastings L. J. 65 (2009).

Copying in Patent Law, 87 N.C.L. Rev. 1421 (2009) (co-authored with Mark Lemley).

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.


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
Room 316, International Center
(804) 484-1574
(804) 289-8683 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Intellectual Property
Patent Law
Computer Law