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R. Polk Wagner

Michael A. Fitts Professor of Law

R. Polk Wagner

Polk Wagner (@ProfPolkWagner) focuses his research and teaching in intellectual property law and policy, with a special interest in patent law. He has written over 20 articles (see them here) on topics ranging from an empirical analysis of judicial decision-making in the patent law to the First Amendment status of software programs. Continue reading…


PATENT LAW: CONCEPTS AND INSIGHTS (Foundation Press 2008) (with C. Nard).

Articles and Book Chapters

Teva and the Process of Claim Construction, 70 FLA. L. REV. 379 (2018) (with Lee Petherbridge).

Poisoning the Next Apple: The America Invents Act and Individual Inventors, 65 STAN L. REV. 517 (2013) (with David S. Abrams).

Unenforceability, 71 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1751 (2013) (with Lee Petherbridge and Jason Rantanen).

Life After Bilski, 63 STAN. L. REV. 1315 (2011) (with M. Lemley, M. Risch, T. Sichelman)

The Two Federal Circuits, 43 LOY. L.A. L. REV. 785 (2010).

Understanding Patent-Quality Mechanisms, 157 U. PA. L. REV. 2135 (2009).

The Supreme Court and the Future of Patent Reform, 55 FED. LAW. 35 (2008)

The Federal Circuit and Patentability: An Empirical Assessment of the Law of Obviousness, 85 TEX. L. REV. 2051 (2007) (with L. Petherbridge).

"A Teaching, Suggestion, or Motivation to Combine": Bringing Structure and Clarity to the Obviousness Analysis, 155 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA 96 (2006).

Comments on “Stealth Marketing and Editorial Integrity”, 85 TEX. L. REV. SEEALSO 17 (2006).

The Perfect Storm: Intellectual Property and Public Values, 74 FORDHAM L. REV. 423 (2005).

Patent Portfolios, 154 U. PA. L. REV. 1 (2005) (with G. Parchomovsky).

Reconsidering the DMCA, 42 HOUST. L. REV. 1107 (2005).

On Software Regulation, 78 S. CAL. L. REV. 457 (2005).

Exactly Backwards: Exceptionalism and the Federal Circuit, 54 CASE W. RES. L. REV. 749 (2004).

Is the Federal Circuit Succeeding? An Empirical Assessment of Judicial Performance, 152 U. PA. L. REV. 1105 (2004) (with Lee Petherbridge).

(Mostly) Against Exceptionalism, in PERSPECTIVES ON PROPERTIES OF THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT (F. Scott Kieff ed., Elssevier 2003).

Of Patents and Path Dependency: A Comment on Burk & Lemley, 18 BERKELEY TECH. L.J. 1341 (2004).

Information Wants to Be Free: Intellectual Property and the Mythologies of Control, 103 COLUM. L. REV. 995 (2003).

Realspace Sovereigns in Cyberspace: Problems with the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 17 BERKELEY TECH. L.J. 989 (2002) (with Catherine Struve).

Reconsidering Estoppel: Patent Administration & the Failure of Festo, 151 U. PA. L. REV. 159 (2002).

The Myth of Private Ordering: Rediscovering Legal Realism in Cyberspace, 73 CHI-KENT L. REV. 1295 (1999) (with M. J. Radin).

Filters and the First Amendment, 83 MINN. L. REV. 755 (1999).

The Medium is the Mistake: The Law of Software for the First Amendment, 51 STAN. L. REV. 387 (1999).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Unenforceability: Research Report (November 16, 2012), U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-28 (with Lee Petherbridge & Jason Rantanen).
[View Document]

Research Areas

  • Intellectual Property
  • Patent Law
  • Copyright Law
  • Trademark Law
  • eCommerce Law
  • Cyberlaw/Internet Law
  • Law and Technology


Penn Law - Professor of Law (2005- ); Co-Director for Technology, Innovation, and Competition (2009- ); Assistant Professor (2000-05)

Law Clerk to the Hon. Clevenger, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (1998-2000)


  • Property Law
  • Patent Law & Policy
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law & Policy
  • Patent Law Appellate Advocacy

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