Intellectual Property and Innovation

The first component of the Hoover Project on Commercializing Innovation focuses on the United States intellectual property system and the various ways the private and public sectors can work to facilitate the complex processes of innovation and its commercialization. For example, we explore the ways in which recent Supreme Court patent cases and the recent House and Senate bills on so-called patent reform all inject a greater degree of administrative discretion and flexibility into the patent system. A problem with these changes is that flexibility of this type suffers a fatal Achilles Heel because it leaves the intellectual property system particularly exposed to the powerful influence of lobbyists and regulatory capture. In so doing, it can convert our intellectual property system, which was designed to promote competition and innovation, into one that stifles both.
Note: Having been nominated by President Barack H. Obama, and confirmed by the Senate, to serve as a Commissioner at the U.S. International Trade Commission, F. Scott Kieff swore into and took up his government post on October 18, 2013, after stopping his work for and resigning all of his roles at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, which included having served as Ray & Louise Knowles Senior Fellow at Hoover; as Director and Member of the Research Team of the Hoover Project on Commercializing Innovation; as Member of the Steering Committee and Research Team of the Hoover Working Group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity; and as Member of the John and Jean De Nault Task Force on Property Rights, Freedom, and Prosperity; and after also taking a leave of absence from his post as Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at the George Washington University Law School.

Selected works on Intellectual Property and Innovation:






Media Appearances


Other Media Content


Other Publications




Shorter Works



  • “A Debate About the Patent System”, given at PatCon 3 at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law on April 12, 2013 with Judge Richard Posner and Richard A. Epstein.
  • The Case for Preferring Patent Validity Litigation over Second Window Review and Gold Plate Patents, talk given at the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Foundations of Intellectual Property Reform Symposium, January 16, 2009.  F. Scott Kieff.
  • Understanding Patent Quality Mechanisms, talk given at the University of Pennsylvania Law ReviewFoundations of Intellectual Property Reform Symposium, January 16, 2009.  R. Polk Wagner.