Jay P. Kesan

Professor of Law
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 recent work focuses on patent law and policy, cybersecurity and privacy, and biofuel regulation. He is best known for employing empirical, computational, and analytical methods in his research. His recent publications can be found on SSRN (Social Science Research Network).

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Professor Kesan is appointed in the College of Law, the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), the Information Trust Institute (ITI), the Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL), and the Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics. At the College of Law, he directs the Program in Intellectual Property & Technology Law and co-directs the NSF-sponsored Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program (ICSSP). At CIRI, he is the Principal Investigator of a research effort studying cyber insurance and cyber risk assessment.

He has received numerous, external research grants and awards for his work in the areas of patent/intellectual property policy and cyber security and privacy regulation from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 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 served as one of the inaugural Thomas A. Edison Scholars at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He has been actively involved in virtually every aspect of patent litigation as counsel, technical expert, legal expert, Special Master, and appellate counsel. He is an inventor and patentee himself, and he serves on the boards of directors/advisors of start-up technology companies.

He has published extensively in both peer reviewed journals and the law reviews and his research work has been cited extensively. He has testified before Congress and agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 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. (2003-2018 Cumm. Supp.) (treatise); Transactional Intellectual Property (with Ghosh and Gruner), Lexis-Nexis Publishing Co. (3d ed. 2015) (unique and first-of-its-kind casebook on transactional IP); Defining Values for Research & Technology (Greenough, McConnaughay and Kesan (eds.)), Rowman & Littlefield Publishing (2006); Intellectual Property: Private Rights, the Public Interest, and the Regulation of Creative Activity (with Ghosh, Gruner & Reis), West Publishing Co. (3d ed. 2016) (casebook); Agricultural Biotechnology and Intellectual Property: Seeds of Change, Kesan (ed.), CABI Publishing Co., Oxford (2007).

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 is also a Visiting Professor at the National Law University (NLU) in Delhi, India. 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, Professor 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.

Visit Professor Kesan’s website.


JD Georgetown University Law Center
PhD University of Texas at Austin

Areas of Expertise

Patent Law and Policy
Cybersecurity and Privacy