Jay P. Kesan

Professor
H. Ross & Helen Workman Research Scholar
Director, Program in Intellectual Property and Technology Law

Professor Jay P. Kesan's academic interests are in the areas of technology, law, and business. Specifically, his work focuses on patent law, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, cyberlaw, digital government (e-gov), agricultural biotechnology law, and biofuels regulation. His recent publications can be found on SSRN (Social Science Research Network).

At the University of Illinois, Professor Kesan is appointed in the College of Law, the Institute of Genomic Biology, the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the Information Trust Institute, the Coordinated Science Laboratory, the College of Business, and the Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics.

He directs the Program in Intellectual Property & Technology Law at the College of Law. At the Institute of Genomic Biology (IGB), he is group leader of the Business, Economics & Law of Genomic Biology (BioBEL) theme, and he directs research on biofuel law & regulation at the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI). 

Most recently, he served as a Thomas A. Edison Scholar at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

His recent awards include: Honorable Mention ($1,000 Award), Competition on Cyberdeterrence conducted by the National Research Council for work on “Thinking Through Active Defense in Cyberspace,” 2011; Microsoft Research Awards in 2011 and 2012 for work on technology standards and patent policy; Best Paper Award for Contributions to Foundations of Electronic Governance at the 4th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV), Beijing, China, Oct. 25-28, 2010; Best Paper Award for "An Empirical Examination of Open Standards Development" (with R. Shah), 41st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 2008; Best Paper Award for "An Empirical Study of Open Standards" (with R. Shah) published in the Proceedings of the 8th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, 2007; and IBM Faculty Award in 2006.

His books include: Adopting Open Source Software, A Practical Guide (with Fitzgerald, Russo, Shaikh and Succi), MIT Press (2011); The Commercial Law of Intellectual Property (with Alces, Frisch and See), Aspen Publishing Co. (2003-2014 Cumm. Supp.) (treatise); Intellectual Property in Business Organizations (with Ghosh and Gruner), Lexis-Nexis Publishing Co. (2d ed. 2012) (unique and first-of-its-kind casebook on transactional IP); Defining Values for Research & Technology (Greenough, McConnaughay and Kesan (eds.)), Rowman & Littlefield Publishing (Fall 2006); Intellectual Property: Private Rights, the Public Interest, and the Regulation of Creative Activity (with Ghosh, Gruner & Reis), West Publishing Co. (2d ed. 2010) (casebook); Agricultural Biotechnology and Intellectual Property: Seeds of Change, Kesan (ed.), CABI Publishing Co., Oxford (2007).

He has received numerous, multi-year research grants/awards for his work in the areas of intellectual property and technology regulation from the National Science Foundation, The National Academy of Sciences—Board of Science, Technology and Economic Policy (STEP), the private sector, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Energy Biosciences Institute, the Federal Judicial Center, the Net Institute, the Coleman Foundation, and the University of Illinois Campus Research Board.

Professor Kesan continues to be professionally active in the areas of patent litigation and technology entrepreneurship. He was appointed by federal judges to serve as a special master in patent litigations, and has served as a technical and legal expert and/or counsel in patent matters. He also serves on the boards of directors/advisors of start-up technology companies.

He participated twice in panels at the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Hearings on the Implications of Competition and Patent Law and Policy. He testified about biofuel regulation issues before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He has also worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation on their intellectual property protection and technology commercialization activities in the former Soviet Union countries.

He is regular radio commentator for “Legal Issues in the News,” WILL-AM-FM Illinois Public Radio.

Professor Kesan was a JSPS Invited Fellow and visiting associate professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan and has also served as a Foreign Research Fellow at the Institute of Intellectual Property (IIP) in Tokyo, Japan. He has also taught as a visiting faculty at Georgetown University, DePaul University, Florida State University, and Seattle University.

He serves as faculty editor-in-chief of the University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology & Policy, which published its inaugural issue in Spring 2001. He has also developed an online course on "Legal Issues in Technology Entrepreneurship," supported by a grant from the Coleman Foundation.

Professor Kesan received his J.D. summa cum laude from Georgetown University, where he received several awards including Order of the Coif and served as associate editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Prior to attending law school, Jay Kesan – who also holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering – worked as a research scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. He is a registered patent attorney and practiced at the former firm of Pennie & Edmonds LLP in the areas of patent litigation and patent prosecution. In addition, he has published numerous scientific papers, and he has obtained several patents in the U.S. and abroad.