• James T. Jensen Endowed Professor for Transactional Law, College Of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, Human Genetics


  • J.D., Law, Harvard Law School
  • B.S.E.E. and B.A., Electrical Engineering and English, Rice University


Jorge L. Contreras is the James T. Jensen Endowed Professor for Transactional Law and Director of the Program on Intellectual Property and Technology Law. He teaches and researches in the areas of intellectual property, property law, technical standardization, antitrust and science policy. In 2020 he received the University of Utah's Distinguished Research Award and is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  He has testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, and was awarded the Rossman Memorial Award by the Patent & Trademark Office Society in 2022.

Professor Contreras has written or edited twelve books and published more than 150 scholarly articles and book chapters. His most recent book, The Genome Defense: Inside the Epic Legal Battle to Determine Who Owns Your DNA (NY: Hachette/Algonquin, 2021), has been praised by the NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Nature and numerous other outlets, and was named "Best Patent Law Book of the Year" by the international IPKat blog.  His scholarly articles have appeared in leading scientific, legal and policy journals including Science, Nature, ​NYU Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Iowa Law Review and Antitrust Law Journal. He has been quoted by media outlets around the world including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Korea Times and has been featured on C-SPAN, NPR, PRI and BBC shows and a range of podcasts and online news programs.

Professor Contreras currently serves Co-Chair of the Interdisciplinary Division of the ABA’s Section of Science & Technology Law and a member of the Advisory Board of the American Antitrust Institute. He has previously served as Co-Chair of the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Intellectual Property Management in Standard-Setting Processes, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, the Advisory Council of NIH's National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences (NCATS), the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, and the Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In 2021-22 he served as Chair of the Art Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

Professor Contreras has previously taught at American University Washington College of Law and Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to entering academia he was a partner at the international law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where he practiced transactional and intellectual property law in Boston, London and Washington DC. He is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School (JD) and Rice University (BA, BSEE) and clerked for Chief Justice Thomas R. Philips of the Texas Supreme Court. 



The Genome Defense: Inside the Epic Legal Battle to Determine Who Owns Your DNA (NY: Hachette/Algonquin, 2021)

Intellectual Property Licensing and Transactions: Theory and Practice (NY: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2022)

Injunctions in Patent Law: Trans-Atlantic Dialogues on Flexibility and Tailoring (Jorge L. Contreras & Martin Husovec, eds., Cambridge University Press: 2022)

Bioinformatics, Medical Informatics and the Law (Jorge L. Contreras, A. James Cuticchia & Gregory Kirsch, eds., Edward Elgar: 2022)

Patent Remedies and Complex Products: Toward a Global Consensus (C. Bradford Biddle, Jorge L. Contreras, Brian J. Love, Norman V. Siebrasse, eds., NY: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019)

The Cambridge Handbook of Technical Standardization Law (Jorge L. Contreras, ed., NY: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017, 2019)

Patent Pledges:  Global Perspectives on Patent Law’s Private Ordering Frontier (Jorge L. Contreras & Meredith Jacob, eds., Edward Elgar, 2017) 



"In the Public Interest” - University Technology Transfer and the Nine Points Document – An Empirical Assessment, 13 U. Cal. Irvine L. Rev. (2023, forthcoming)

Transplanting Anti-Suit Injunctions, 71 Am. U. L. Rev. 1537 (2022) (with Peter K. Yu & Yu Yang)

Science Fiction and the Law: A New Wigmorian Bibliography, 13 Harv. J. Sports & Ent. L. 65 (2022)

Sui-Genericide, 106 Iowa L. Rev. 1041 (2021)

Patent Reality Checks—Eliminating Patents on Fake, Impossible and Other Inoperative Inventions, 102 J. Patent & Trademark Off. Soc’y 3 (2021) [Winner: Patent & Trademark Office Society – 2022 Rossman Memorial Award]

The Open COVID Pledge: Design, Implementation and Preliminary Assessment of an Intellectual Property Commons, 2021 Utah L. Rev. 833 (2021)

Rationalizing U.S. Standardization Policy: A Proposal for Institutional Reform, 35 Antitrust 41 (2021) [Finalist: 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards – Best Antitrust Article of the Year]

Not” Madison, CPI Antitrust Chron., Jul. 2021

Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics: A Critical Reassessment, 27 Mich. Tech. L. Rev. 1 (2020)

Credit for and Control of Research Outputs in Genomic Citizen Science, 21 Annual Rev. Genomics & Human Genetics 465 (2020) (with Christi J. Guerrini)

The False Promise of Health Data Ownership, 94 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 624 (2019)

Global Rate-Setting: A Solution for Standards Essential Patents? 94 Wash. L. Rev. 701 (2019)

Much Ado About Holdup, 2019 U. Ill. L. Rev. 875 (2019) [Finalist: 2019 Antitrust Writing Awards – Best Antitrust Article of the Year]

Pledging Patents for the Public Good: Rise and Fall of the Eco-Patent Commons, 57 Houston L. Rev. 61 (2019) (with Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers)

The New Extraterritoriality: FRAND Royalties, Anti-Suit Injunctions and the Global Race to the Bottom in Disputes over Standards-Essential Patents, 25 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 251 (2019)

Litigation of Standards-Essential Patents in Europe: A Comparative Analysis, 32 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1457 (2018) (with Fabian Gaessler, Christian Helmers & Brian J. Love)

The Anticommons at 20: Concerns for Research Continue, 361 Science 335 (2018)

The Genomic Commons, 19 Annual Rev. Genomics & Human Genetics 429 (2018) (with Bartha M. Knoppers)

Are PAEs Different? The Legal Treatment of Patent Assertion Entities in Europe and the United States, 2 IEEE Communication Standards 80 (2018) (with Peter Georg Picht)

From Private Ordering to Public Law: The Legal Framework Governing Standards-Essential Patents, 30 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 211 (2017)

Rationalizing FRAND Royalties: Can Interpleader Save the Internet of Things? 36 Rev. Litig. 285 (2017) (with Jason R. Bartlett)

Patents and Mobile Devices in India: An Empirical Survey, 50 Vand. Transnational L.J. 1 (2017)  (with Rohini Lakshané)

CRISPR, surrogate licensing, and scientific discovery, 355 Science 698 (2017) (with Jacob S. Sherkow)

Solar Climate Engineering and Intellectual Property: Toward a Research Commons, 18 Minn. J. L. Sci. & Tech. 1 (2017) (with Jesse L. Reynolds & Joshua D. Sarnoff)

Genetic Property 105 Geo. L.J. 1 (2016)

Narratives of Gene Patenting, 43 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 1133 (2016)

Pre-Competition, 95 N.C. L. Rev. 67 (2016) (with Liza Vertinsky)

A Brief History of FRAND: Analyzing Current Debates in Standard-Setting and Antitrust through a Historical Lens, 80 Antitrust L.J. 39 (2015)

Patent Pledges, 47 Ariz. St. L.J. 543 (2015)

Sharing by Design: Data and Decentralized Commons, 350 Science 1312 (2015) (with Jerome H. Reichman)

A Unified Framework for RAND and other Reasonable Royalties, 30 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1447 (2015) (with Richard J. Gilbert)

A Market Reliance Theory for FRAND Commitments and Other Patent Pledges, 2015 Utah L. Rev. 479 (2015)

Divergent Patterns of Engagement in Internet Standardization: Japan, Korea and China, 38 Telecom. Policy 916 (2014)

Developing A Framework for Arbitrating Standards-Essential Patent Disputes, 2014 J. Dispute Resol. 23 (2014) (with David L. Newman)

Fixing FRAND: A Pseudo-Pool Approach to Standards-Based Patent Licensing, 79 Antitrust L.J. 47 (2013)

Technical Standards and Ex Ante Disclosure: Results and Analysis of an Empirical Study, 53 Jurimetrics 163 (2013)

Intellectual Property Landscape of Material Sustainability Standards, 14 Columbia Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 485 (2013) (with  Charles R. McManis)

Standards, Patents and the National Smart Grid, 32 Pace L. Rev. 641 (2012) (symposium issue) [Winner: 2014 Elizabeth Payne Cubberly Scholar Award (American University Washington College of Law)] [Reprinted in Intellectual Property, Innovation and the Environment (Peter S. Menell & Sarah M. Tran, eds., 2014)]

Bermuda’s Legacy: Patents, Policy and the Design of the Genome Commons, 12 Minn. J.L., Sci. & Tech. 61 (2011)

Equity, Antitrust and the Reemergence of the Patent Unenforceability Remedy, Antitrust Source (Oct. 2011)

Data Sharing, Latency Variables and Science Commons, 25 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1601 (2010)

Prepublication Data Release, Latency, and Genome Commons, 329 Science 393 (2010)