Peter Lee


Position Title
Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law and Director, Center for Innovation, Law, and Society

2114 King Hall

Peter Lee teaches and writes in the field of intellectual property law, particularly focusing on patent law, innovation, and technology transfer. His current scholarship explores the institutional context of innovation and the intersection of intellectual property law and the structure of innovative and creative industries. His scholarship has appeared in The Yale Law JournalStanford Law ReviewCalifornia Law ReviewDuke Law JournalMichigan Law Review, and other leading journals. Professor Lee is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and he 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. Professor Lee has held visiting or invited positions at the University of Oxford, Seoul National University, and Melbourne Law School, and he speaks widely on intellectual property matters in the United States and abroad. He is the founding director of the Center for Innovation, Law, and Society.

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 Intellectual Property, Patent Law, Copyright, Trademark and Unfair Competition Law, International Intellectual Property and Development, Innovation and Technology Transfer, and Property. Professor Lee received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.

Education and Degree(s)
  • A.B. History and Science, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1998, Phi Beta Kappa
  • J.D. Yale Law School, 2005
Honors and Awards
  • Autonomy, Copyright, and Structures of Creative Production reprinted in ENT. PUB'G & THE ARTS HANDBOOK (2023)
  • Elected Member, American Law Institute (2022)
  • Distinguished Roger L. Shidler Lecturer (2021)
  • Reconceptualizing the Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Shaping Industry Structure reprinted in INTELL. PROP. L. REV. (2020)
  • The Law of Look and Feel reprinted in INTELL. PROP. L. REV. (2018)
  • Distinguished Teaching Award (2016)
  • UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow, 2012-17
  • 14th Annual Niro, Haller & Niro Distinguished Intellectual Property Lecturer (2011)
  • 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
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Patent Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Innovation Policy
  • Industrial Organization of Innovation
  • Technology Transfer
  • Property
  • Science and Technology Studies


Synthetic Data and the Future of AI, 110 Cornell L. Rev. (forthcoming 2024)

New and Heightened Public-Private Quid Pro Quos: Leveraging Public Support to Enhance Private Technical Disclosure, in Intellectual Property, COVID-19, and the Next Pandemic: Diagnosing Problems, Developing Cures (forthcoming 2024)

Best Mode, in Elgar Encyclopedia of Intellectual Property Law (forthcoming 2024)

Innovation in the Service of Society, 104 B.U. L. Rev. 695 (2024)

An Organizational Theory of International Technology Transfer, Minn. L. Rev. 71 (2023)

Enhancing the Innovative Capacity of Venture Capital, 24 Yale J.L. & Tech. 611 (2022)

Patents and the Pandemic: Intellectual Property, Social Contracts, and Access to Vaccines, 17 Wash. J.L. Tech. & Arts 193 (2022) (2021 Distinguished Roger L. Shidler Lecture)

Patent Law's Externality Asymmetry, 43 Cardozo L. Rev. 1923 (2022)

Autonomy, Copyright, and Structures of Creative Production, 83 Ohio State L.J. 283 (2022), reprinted in Ent. Pub'g & the Arts Handbook (2023)

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)