The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law

The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law is a forum for independent
analysis and balanced discussion of policies for promoting technological
innovation that enhances long-term social welfare.

About Us



Arti K. RaiDuke researchers receive Greenwall Foundation grant to address issues of AI-enabled health care delivery

Arti Rai, Faculty Co-Director of The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law, is one of the principal investigators for this one-year grant from The Greenwall Foundation. Read more here.

White Paper

Righting the Research Imbalance white paper coverRighting the Research Imbalance
Stephen A. Merrill

Research in the physical sciences and engineering yields results important to technological innovation, national security, and economic growth. But since the end of the Cold War, public funding of work in these fields has lagged in relation to the size of the economy, expenditures by governments of other countries, and our own government’s support of the biological and medical sciences. Building on presentations at a CIP conference in Washington, this white paper documents the extent of the deficit, explains how it came about and why attempts to correct it have failed, shows that non-federal government sources of funding (industry, universities, and philanthropy) have not stepped up to compensate, and discusses what steps beyond the FY 2018 Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations Act increases are needed.

Read the Report

Recent Events

Graphic for 'AI in the Administrative State' conferenceAI in the Administrative State: Applications, Innovations, Transparency, Adaptivity

Friday, May 4, 2018 | Duke Law School, Durham, NC

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being employed in the private sector to optimize production processes, pricing, and other business functions. But apart from national security and law enforcement, productive uses in the public sector have received less attention, despite recognition that the administrative state's foremost challenges include efficient processing of ever-increasing amounts of data, and adapting to new information over time. The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law, the Duke Center on Law & Technology, the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, and the Rethinking Regulation Program at the Kenan Institute of Ethics held a joint conference at Duke University to explore promising uses of AI and the challenges they pose in administering diverse governmental functions involving science, technology, health and intellectual property.

More information

Are Patents Under Attack?

Friday, April 6, 2018 | Duke Law School, Durham, NC

The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law and the Federal Circuit Bar Association presented a one-day program focusing on important patent issues affecting the protection of cutting-edge technology. The program provided 7 hours of CLE credit. Sessions: "Women in IP Breakfast"; "The Impact of Recent Section 101 Patent Eligibility Cases on U.S. Innovation"; "Hot Topics in PTAB Proceedings"; "Moderated Discussion with The Honorable Todd M. Hughes, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit"; "Supreme Court Review of Federal Circuit Decisions"; "A View from the Bench" (judges discuss effective advocacy and brief writing); and, "Diversity in Courts, Agencies, Corporations and Law Firms."

  • Picture of Donald Verrilli
    Donald Verrilli, Munger, Tolles &
    Olson (former U.S. Solicitor General)
  • Picture of John Duffy
    John Duffy, University of Virginia
    Law School
  • Picture of James Smith
    James Smith, Ecolab
    (former Chief Judge, PTAB)

Is Administrative Review of Granted Patents Constitutional? 

Friday, September 22, 2017 | Washington, DC

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group, a case in which the petitioner argues that the most prominent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office process for analyzing the validity of granted patents “violates the Constitution by extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury.” This half-day conference gathered distinguished practitioners and legal scholars from a variety of perspectives to discuss potential implications of the case for patent law, for the administrative state, and for affected industries.

This conference was funded through support from Google and InterDigital.

More information


  • Picture of Gary Epstein
    Gary Epstein, former Chair of the
    FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force
  • Picture of David Quinalty
    David Quinalty, Senate Commerce,
    Science & Transportation Committee
  • Picture of Dorothy Robyn
    Dorothy Robyn, former
    Commissioner at the G.S.A.

The FCC Spectrum Incentive Auction: Lessons for the Future

Friday, May 12, 2017
Duke University's "Duke in DC" offices

The FCC concluded the most complex auction in history, the culmination of a decade-long planning process for moving spectrum from broadcast to mobile broadband uses. On May 12, 2017, The Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law held a half-day conference that identified lessons from this auction for spectrum policy, government disposition of assets (whether of spectrum or other resources), and the future of innovation policy generally.

Speakers included: Lawrence Ausubel, Univ. of Maryland, Power Auctions; Jonathan Chaplin, New Street Research; Paul de Sa, Quadra Partners; Gary Epstein, former Chair of Incentive Auction Task Force at FCC; Karla Hoffman, George Mason Univ.; Allan Ingraham, Economists Inc.; Edward Lazarus, Tribune Media; Michael Ostrovsky, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Preston Padden, Boulder Thinking; David Quinalty, Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee; Charla Rath, Verizon; Dorothy Robyn, former Commissioner at GSA; Gregory Rosston, Stanford Univ.; David Salant, Auction Technologies; Steve Sharkey, T-Mobile; and Ilya Segal, Stanford Univ.

More Information


  • Picture of Katrine Bosley
    Katrine Bosley, Editas Medicine
  • Picture of Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
    Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Co-chair, Senate Competitiveness Caucus
  • Picture of Mary 'Missy' Cummings
    Mary 'Missy' Cummings, Duke Pratt School of Engineering

The Decline in Corporate Research: Should We Worry?

Friday, March 31, 2017, and Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Washington, D.C.

Government data and research point to a long decline in US corporate investment in upstream research. How pervasive is this trend across industries, technologies, and firms of different sizes? How does it compare with research spending by the federal government, universities, and companies abroad? Does it reflect less reliance on research, whoever performs it? Is it explained by capital market pressures, global competition, or other factors? Has it contributed to the slowdown in productivity growth? Are there other reasons policymakers should be concerned? If so, what policy levers should they look to—e.g., intellectual property, tax, government R&D spending, or antitrust enforcement?

These issues were first examined at a conference—The Decline in Corporate Research: Should We Worry?—at "Duke in DC," where speakers included Eduardo Porter, New York Times columnist; Katrine Bosley, Editas Medicine CEO; Bill Raduchel, former AOL CTO; Bill Janeway, Warburg Pincus partner; Eric Toder, Tax Policy Center director; Howard Shelanski, former director OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; and scholars from Duke, Harvard, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, and Berkeley.

The conference was followed by a briefing—The Decline in Research: Should We Worry?—on Capitol Hill hosted by the co-chair of the Senate Competitiveness Caucus. Speakers included Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Ashish Arora, Duke Fuqua School of Business; Steven Freilich, University of Delaware Energy Initiative; Stephen Merrill, Duke Law School; Arti Rai, Duke Law School; and, Pian Shu, Harvard Business School.

Both programs were sponsored by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Find out more about the events and view the archived recordings.


Congressional Briefing


Recent Scholarship from Center Leadership and Affiliates

W. Nicholson Price II & Arti K. Rai, "How logically impossible patents block biosimilars," Nature Biotechnology 37:862–863 (2019). »Read the article

Michael D. Frakes, Jonathan Gruber, and Anupam Jena, "Is Great Information Good Enough? Evidence from Physicians as Patients," NBER Working Paper #26038, July 2019. »Read the paper

Arti K. Rai, "Machine Learning at the Patent Office: Lessons from Patents and Administrative Law," May 24, 2019. »Read the paper

Michael Frakes and Melissa F. Wasserman, "Irrational Ignorance at the Patent Office," Vanderbilt Law Review, 72:3:975–1030, April 2019. »Read the article

Aaron Chatterji, The Main Street Fund: Investing in an Entrepreneurial Economy, Policy Proposal 2018-09, Hamilton Project, Brookings Institution, June 2018. »Read the full paper

Arti K. Rai and Barak D. Richman, "A Preferable Path for Thwarting Pharmaceutical Product Hopping," Health Affairs Blog, May 22, 2018. »Read the article

Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon, and A. Patacconi, “The Decline of Science in Corporate R&D,” Strategic Management, 39:1:3–32, January 2018. »Read the article

See all the scholarship.